How to scrap my car? Everything you NEED to know

The sad day has come when the cost of repairing your car turns out to be more than what your car is actually worth. But how do you go about scrapping your car?

When it comes to scrapping your car, there are exceptions as to when it’s the best idea to go ahead with it. For example, if your vehicle is a rare classic that is appreciating in value, then it won’t be a good idea to send it to the scrapyard or even vehicle recycler. In this blog-post, we’ll be going over everything you need to know about scrapping your car.

How do I scrap my car for cash?

Scrapping your car is a relatively easy process these days. In the past, you often had to pay someone to collect and take your car but luckily, these days, not only you get your scrap car taken away, but you also make some cash which you can use towards your next purchase. Sounds great right? So let’s go through the steps for scrapping your car.

  • Step 1 – Do a Google search on ‘scrap car for cash near me’ and you should get a list of companies that will pay cash for your scrap car.
  • Step 2 – Go through a few companies before deciding which one to go with. Some companies pay more than others. You will find those companies that come up 1st on Google actually may pay you less than what those might pay that appear on the 3rd page of Google.
  • Step 3 – Read through the fine prints and find out what exactly each company offers you. For example, some may take care of all the legal paperwork whereas some don’t. This can leave you with a hefty fine a couple of months down the line. We buy scrap cars for cash in Surrey and London and always take care of all the paperwork so it is a completely hassle-free experience for our clients.
  • Step 4 – Prepare your car for collection. Remove all your items from your car and even take your final photos with your car before it is taken away.
  • Step 5 – Time to say goodbye. Handover the keys to the scrap car company and complete any necessary paperwork with them.
  • Step 6 – Notify the DVLA. If you don’t want to be liable for road tax or perhaps receive a refund on your car tax, then you want to contact the DVLA as soon as possible and let them know that you have scrapped your vehicle.

How much is my car worth?

When thinking about scrapping your car, your first thought will be how much your car is worth? Learning that your car is only good enough for the knacker’s yard is probably going to make you think about how much money you’re loosing. Or perhaps, whether you will be able to draw anything from the car’s scrap value. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you will be able to. The value of your car has more to do with the price of recycled steel, copper and aluminium rather than what it might have been worth in working order. When the rate of these metals descend, some scrap car companies will even charge you to take your car away because it costs more to actually come and collect your car than the value of your car.

Why Choose Vehicle Transportation Over Driving?

One of the ways that you can get your vehicle moved from point A to B is through using a vehicle transportation companylike us. There may be several different reasons as to why you would want your vehicle transported over driving but you’re not sure if it’s the right thing to do. In this blog-post, we’ll be going over some of the reasons as to why transporting your vehicle with a trustworthy vehicle transportation company may be a good idea. So let’s begin:

1. Costs – add them all up!
When deciding between having your vehicle transported or doing it yourself, it can seem like the DIY option (see what we did there?), is a cheaper option. Well think again! Long distance travelling can cost a fortune after adding up all the costs of fuel, accommodation, food and your time of driving! At the end of the day, time is money and you would want to use that time doing something else that you specialise in and you would probably make twice of the amount that you would need to pay to a vehicle transportation company. If you’re a car dealer, you better off spending the time you will be driving on finding a few good deals instead.

2. Convenience
Whether or not you enjoy driving adventures, long-distance driving can be both dangerous and boring. At the end of the day, when you’re trying to move your vehicle from point A to B, you’re doing it probably because you have to – whether that’s for a family occasion or as part of your day-to-day job. Either way, your driving adventure can quickly turn into an endless trip. Let’s not forget your vehicle’s maintenance and mileage as well. Whether you have just bought a classic or a brand new car, you don’t want to rack up the mileage, so it’s always better to consider hiring a vehicle transporter who can take care of your car move without increasing your vehicle’s mileage.

3. Safety and security
Driving a long-distance journey can be both threatening to yourself and your vehicle. From breakdowns to road-accidents, a whole lot of scenarios is possible which can all be avoided. Every single one of these scenarios will be costly and put a lot of unnecessary strain on both you as the driver and your car’s pristine engine.

Finally, I want to finish up by saying that the car transport industry is a £9 billion industry which seeks to move cars, bikes, models and prototypes safely and securely without putting any inconvenience to their proud owners. As a vehicle breakdown and recovery company based in Surrey, we specialise in transporting cars all around Surrey, London, Essex, Hampshire, Sussex, Kent and the rest of the UK. If you want to find out more, please get in touch.

5 simple practical tips to prevent car breakdown

Imagine being on a journey with your friends or family and out of nowhere, your car comes to a dead-halt – or even worse, your engine stops working. And now you’re stranded trying to figure out the next step. You would probably call your insurance company if you have a vehicle breakdown cover, if not, you may have to call a local vehicle breakdown and recovery service. Now, chances are, if you’re in a busy place like Surrey or London, you would probably find a recovery service fairly quickly, but imagine being on an endless road between mountains, in the middle of nowhere. This can quickly become a tricky situation to deal with.

A car breakdown is a painful situation to be in and it’s certainly something none of us would like to experience. Whilst it can happen to anybody at anytime, there are a few things you can do to minimise the risk of car breakdown and that’s what we will be discussing in this blog-post today.

5 Major Tips to Avoid Car Breakdown

There are so many things you can do in order to minimise the risk of a breakdown but here we will be going through five important tips. These are all basic maintenance practices that if incorporated into your daily routine, can save you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds. Apart from this, it will save you from the headache of dealing with a car breakdown.

Follow these basic car maintenance practices and continue to enjoy your drive, save money and time.

  1. Regular vehicle checks
  2. Keep your car hydrated
  3. Race for the tracks
  4. Avoid overloading fluids
  5. Ignorance is not bliss

Now you know these five tips, let’s go through each one by one so you can have a better understanding.

  1. Regular vehicle checks One easy way to avoid car breakdown, that is often taken for granted, is to give your vehicle periodic service and checks. The best way to do this is by following your car service and maintenance schedule provided by your vehicle’s manufacturer. This will help minimising the risk of breakdown and keeps your car in the best possible condition at all times.
  2. Keep your car hydrated Just like human beings, vehicles also have an optimum fluid intake to run smoothly. This is because of the way they are engineered. From your breaks to the engine, they need fluids in order to function properly. Most of the mechanical systems of cars require periodic fluid top-up to prevent heat, friction and allow the joints move seamlessly without rubbing against one another and causing damage. Unfortunately, most car breakdowns these days occur due to overheating. Given the busy schedule of people these days, it’s understandable that one might forget to do their regular checks and keep their vehicle hydrated, therefore they end up in a breakdown situation. But this could have easily been prevented by periodic checking and fluid top-ups.
  3. Race for the tracks One of the key reasons for vehicle breakdowns is reckless driving which can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the parts of your vehicle. This can make the parts bound to fail at any given moment, from tyres burning out to the brakes wearing off, engine over-heating, physical damage and many more. But all of these can be avoided by firstly being aware of the reason for why some of these occur and secondly that all of these can be avoided by safe driving.
  4. Avoid overloading fluids When it comes to fluids, this is something essential for vehicles and as discussed previously, all cars require hydration just like humans. However, just the way that your stomach can handle a specific amount of water and food, a car can also handle a specific amount of fluid. Therefore, overloading it unnecessarily will cause damage. This is all cars, if not, most cars have a minimum and maximum marker point to indicate how much fluid should be added. Having said this, overloading isn’t limited to fluids. Overloading your vehicle with items – whether that is large objects in the boot or on the backseat, can make your vehicle unstable and increase the risk of breakdown as well as accidents. This is because the heavier your vehicle becomes, the more unstable it becomes which can affect its acceleration, the breaking system and therefore may lead to accidents.
  5. Ignorance is not bliss The most common way that a car problem can be diagnosed is by simply listening to your car. Whilst this doesn’t diagnose the specific cause, it certainly can give you an indication that there is something wrong so you can take your vehicle to your local garage. In the garage, your vehicle will be hooked up to professional diagnostic devices which can detect exactly what the problem might be. With numerous warning signs cars come with nowadays, it’s become relatively easy to monitor your vehicle’s health, so do not ignore these warning signs and take prompt action as soon as you hear an abnormal sound or see a warning sign that shouldn’t be on. This will ensure that your vehicle remains in the best possible condition.

Finally, it’s always better to prevent a problem before it arises rather than curing it after it has risen. It’s a good practice to note down the contacts of your local roadside assistance or vehicle breakdown and recovery service so if you find yourself in a breakdown situation (with or without phone signal or internet), at least you will have the number of the breakdown service and can seek help. You can start by saving Surrey and London’s most reliable breakdown and recovery service – Fastlink Recovery, in case you find yourself in a difficult breakdown situation.

What to do if you break down?

A breakdown can be dangerous, especially if you’re on a motorway with fast moving cars around. You may think that you can park on the hard-shoulder and it’s all safe. Remember, the hard shoulder is only for emergencies, not for making calls, having a stretch or even toilet stops. Whilst the hard shoulder is safer than being in the middle lane of a motorway, it’s still not safe because there are fast moving cars and if one fails to see you or loses their control, it can lead to a disaster.

But what can you do if your car breaks down. Well the first point would be to call us for help and whilst we’re on our way, you can do the following:

  1. Put your hazard lights on First and foremost, put your hazard lights on to warn other drivers of your presence and that you’re experiencing a problem. If it’s dark or foggy, then keep your sidelights on too. This will help other drivers see you and minimises the risk fo accidents.
  2. Make sure you’re safe Once you’ve put your hazard lights on, then you want to ensure you reach a safe place. If possible, move your vehicle off the road but keep the hazard lights on so others can see you have broken down. If you’re on a motorway and can’t turn off at the next exit, then you should pull over on the hard shoulder and ensure you stop as far to the left as possible to allow enough room for the moving traffic.
  3. Stay away from moving traffic Usually, the safest option is to get out of your car using the door facing away from the passing traffic and get yourself behind the barrier. This is because there is a higher chance that a car will hit your vehicle than you as a person and if this happens, you don’t want to be in the car because that is of course extremely dangerous.
  4. Wear a reflective jacket and put your warning lights out if it’s dark If you have a reflective jacket with you, then put this on as soon as you breakdown to let other road users know about your presence. If it’s dark, you should use any light that you have in the car to notify others of your presence which will reduce the chance of any accident.
  5. Don’t put a warning triangle on a hard shoulder Finally, if you’re on a motorway, it’s not safe to put out a warning triangle. However, if you’re on a road then it’s safe so do put out a warning triangle at least 45 meters behind your vehicle.

I hope you found this article useful and interesting. It’s always a good idea to save the number of a breakdown recovery service on your phone in case of a breakdown situation. If you ever breakdown without internet, it can make your experience really frustrating because you may not be cable to look up local breakdown recovery services. However, if you have the number of at least one accident and breakdown recovery service saved on your phone, then this can be very useful on the day. So do keep our details saved and let us know if you ever get stuck in a breakdown service.

Surrey and London Vehicle Breakdown and Recovery Service Fastlink Recovery


What factors affect the pricing of a vehicle recovery service?

Whilst it’s impossible to predict when and where you will ever require the help of a breakdown and recovery service, you should always keep one in mind just in case. Breakdowns or accidents can happen to anyone, anytime and anywhere, so there will be a need to call your local breakdown recovery service.

When you choose to work with Surrey and London’s most reliable accident breakdown and recovery service, you’re ensuring that you will receive the best quality of work.

At Fastlink Recovery, we offer our services on a no-obligation basis which means you will have access to the most reliable breakdown and recovery service at the click of a button on your phone. We at Fastlink Recovery, always work extremely hard to ensure that we offer the most comprehensive services and a fair and cost effective rate to our clients.

Usually with breakdown recovery services, prices vary and depend on several factors. You will find that the oldest companies tend to place their pricing in the higher brackets due to their reputation and brand. Smaller breakdown services that are local and family-run, may place their pricing in the lower brackets because often these businesses don’t have numerous employees to pay form therefore their pricing reduces significantly.

Time of the day matters

As you might be aware, time of the day affects most business services. With breakdown and recovery service, it would generally cost more to have a vehicle recovered late at night. This pricing is also affected by public holidays and weekends but we, at Fastlink Recovery, will always take the time to discuss your tailored quote and the prices to ensure it is fair for the service you are receiving.

Distance is key

Another important factor is the distance of which your vehicle needs to be transported to and/or from. Generally, the further away from the base, the more the charges, therefore a shorter journey costs much less than a long haul journey.

Location, location, location

The price of your vehicle breakdown service will also depend on the location that you’re at. If you’re stranded on the side of the motorway, the price will be slightly different to breaking down in a residential area. Generally, this is similar to a risk assessment. The higher the risk of the job, the more the price will be. So because a motorway is a difficult and potentially a dangerous situation, it is associated with higher costs, whereas a residential area would be much cheaper as it is less risky.

Finally, to wrap up, there are are multiple factors that influence the price of your vehicle breakdown and recovery service. When you choose a breakdown service, it is vital that you choose a company that is reliable and has exceptional client reviews, high quality equipment and customer service. Here at Fastlink Recovery, we provide exceptional vehicle breakdown and recovery services across Surrey, London, Hampshire, Essex, Sussex and Kent, so if you ever breakdown or require vehicle transportation services in these regions, feel free to get in touch with us.

Dealing with a car breakdown in a remote location? Here’s what you can do

One of the most frustrating situations you can ever experience as driver is if you breakdown in a remote location. I mean no one wants to breakdown – whether that’s at home or in a remote location. Dealing with a car breakdown is certainly annoying even in your own garage but worrying about this wouldn’t solve the problem. Instead you should prepare for the unexpected and in this blog-post, we’ll be going over some of the things you can do to minimise your chances of breakdown or at least being stuck in the middle of nowhere for hours.

  1. Travel with essentials

When it comes to travelling with essentials, we all often take this for granted and often don’t even think about a breakdown situation. We all tend to always think about the positives and think less of the negatives, but it is crucial that you carry the right tools/essentials with you in case of a breakdown situation. Whether you breakdown on an endless highway or high up in the mountains, the most important item(s) to have would be food and water supplies. So our recommendation is to always have a bottle of drinking water and some tinned food in your car in case of an emergency. This will help you wait for help without panicking or going HANGRY. Also, being dehydrated and a lack of energy can hinder your ability to think and as a result, you may experience a tough time coming up with a solution to your car breakdown problem.

2. Carry important parts

Whether you’re driving in a city or in the countryside away from civilisation, you want to carry some important car parts in case of a breakdown situation. In both circumstances, you will be away from mechanics so it’s crucial to pack the right car parts that you may have to replace without having to wait for a vehicle breakdown and recovery service for hours. From a backup tyre to an additional car battery, from extra pairs of disc pads to spark plugs, an extra can of engine oil, coolant, windscreen washer fluid and gasoline, all these items should be in your car at all times in case of an emergency. Pro tip: purchase a toolbox with the right tools as well so you can do the replacements yourself if needed.

3. Carry a secondary feature phone

A feature phone is a class of mobile phone that can retain the form factor of earlier generations of phones and the best thing about them is their ability to receive signal, even when you are between mountains. This will help you so much on the day because the last thing you want to experience is a breakdown without phone battery or signal. Breaking down without battery or signal is not only the most frustrating situation but also very dangerous so do carry a secondary feature phone in your vehicle in case of an emergency. Pro tip: make sure you always carry two chargers for the phone with you in the car, one to be used and a second one for back up!

4. Keep to the left lane

Most drivers get to know about a problem their car might have before it is overgrown. This could be through warning lights or any unusual noise the car makes. This means before your car breaks down completely, you might get an indication and if so, you must try to drive in the left lane if not park somewhere on the left hand side of the road to avoid traffic behind you. However, this isn’t just to allow other road users pass, it’s for your safety as well (the middle of the road isn’t the safest place to diagnose your vehicle) so do keep this in mind when driving. To wrap up, being stuck on a road in a breakdown situation without any signs of help is certainly one of the most unpleasant and challenging experiences you can ever face as a road user. This situation isn’t certainly impossible. It can happen to any driver at any time so it’s important to think about all the possibilities prior to a journey so if things do end up going wrong, you would have at least thought about it previously and prepared for it. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and found it useful. If you ever require breakdown services or vehicle transportation, please do get in touch with us at

5 Roadside safety tips you NEED to know

Breakdown recovery service in Surrey, London, Hampshire

Breaking down whilst on a road-trip is probably the last thing every driver wants, but a roadside emergency can happen to every driver. A flat tyre, overheated vehicle or an accident can happen on any day. This can force you to move your vehicle off the road can call up a breakdown recovery for roadside assistance, whether it be repairing your car on the side of the road or towing it away to a local garage.

A roadside emergency can be incredibly dangerous, as it puts you in a vulnerable situation and prone to be hit by other fast-moving cars. If you’re on a motorway, then you’d be a higher chance of getting hit therefore more danger and risk. If it’s night time and also foggy, this is the worst and you would be at the greatest risk.

Whether you’re carrying out repairs on your vehicle yourself or waiting for help from a breakdown rescue service, it’s crucial that you take a few steps to keep yourself safe whilst on the side of the road. Here are a few things you should do:

Keeping yourself save whilst on the side of the road

1. Take action immediately: If you notice car trouble, start moving over right way. If you wait too long, your car may stop moving before you’re able to get off of the road and this puts you at a greater risk of accidents because your car will stop in the middle of the road.

2. Get as far off the road as possible: If you’re experiencing an emergency whilst driving, the most important thing you can do is get to a safe place as soon as possible. A hard shoulder will do if that’s all you can manage, but it’s best to exit freeways, turn off roadways, and pull into a rest stop or a parking lot. Try to stop under a street light if possible to allow others see you. Never stop around corners or curves as approaching cars may not see you. You should also never stop on the bottom of a hill, or on a narrow road. Don’t stop on a left shoulder unless you have no other choice, as you will be unable to get out of your car and walk off of the highway. Even if you’re destroying your tyre, eep going until you can get to a safe spot. You may even save yourself breakdown rescue fees if you’re able to get to a parking lot where you can handle repairs yourself!

3. Let others know you’re in trouble: Turn on your hazard lights, and if you have safety cones, signs, flares, triangles, or a light, use those as well to increase your visibility. If you’re stopped at night, be sure to leave your lights on. You can also pop your hood to show others you’re having car trouble.

4. Call for roadside rescue: If you have roadside assistance through your insurance, give them a call immediately. They are typically available 24/7 with fast service that will take you to the nearest vehicle repair location. Remember to put their phone number in your cell phone so you’ll always have it handy. If you don’t have a roadside assistance cover, don’t worry, you can call a local roadside rescue company for a one-off rescue.

5. Remember you’re still in traffic: If you’ve stopped on the hard shoulder, do remember that this is still part of the traffic. This means you and your car are not protected by the white line that separates you from the approaching cars. It takes a small amount of wind or a distraction for other cars to drift away from their lane and into the hard shoulder, hitting your car. So, take care and keep your distance from the flowing traffic. If you can’t perform your own roadside repairs safely, it is best to remain in the vehicle with your seat belt on and doors locked. Don’t stand behind or next to your vehicle.

6. Have your emergency supplies ready: In an emergency like this, it’s paramount that you have a first aid kit, extra water, food, emergency repair supplies including tools, a spare tyre, duct tape, jack, jumper cables, heavy duty rope, gloves and flat tyre repair kit. You should also have flags, flares, or reflective triangles to warn other drivers that you’re having trouble.

7. Be ready to call a professional for help: Some vehicle owners can handle quick roadside repairs without help, but even the most DIYers can end up in a dangerous territory. You should know when it’s the right time to call for help but also should know that it’s not a good idea to try and do the same whilst you’re on a highway hard shoulder. Whilst you might be able to handle a tyre change in a parking lot, it’s not a good idea to try to do the same while you’re on a highway shoulder due to the risk of danger. So our advice is to use your best judgement.

8. Be careful about accepting help: It’s always best to call a professional, a trusted friend or family member who can help. Yet strangers who see you’re having trouble may stop to offer assistance. They may be well intentioned, but you should use caution. Lower your window only enough to talk and use your best judgement in accepting their help. If you’re waiting on roadside assistance, thank them for stopping and let them know that you’ll be taken care of.

Car problems you should never ignore

Nobody likes breaking down whilst on a road-trip. In fact, this is probably the worst thing that can happen to one. Having said this, it takes consistent habits of checking your car on a regular basis to minimise the risk of breakdown. Unfortunately, some people are under the impression that their vehicle won’t break down so they skip a check up here and then. And when a warning light comes on, they ignore it for as long as they can until the problem progressively gets bigger. This isn’t the right mindset to look after a car and if these are some of the things you have been doing, you should definitely try and avoid them in the future and address the problem rather than avoiding it for as long as you can.

Car problems can arise for everybody and whether small or big, they should certainly never be ignored. But of course, some problems may take higher priority due to the nature of the problem. Here are a few car problems that we think, you should never ignore:

1. Fluid Leaks

Fluid leaks are probably the most common issues with cars. A car should never be leaking fluid. If so, it should definitely be checked out as soon as possible. Some of the most common fluid leaks include oil leaks, which can result in major engine damage if not cared for urgently. In addition to this, we have transmission fluid leaks which can result in the need for a massive transmission repair.

2. Brake Noise

Grinding or squealing noise heard when hitting your break is normally a sign of some sort of damage associated with the break. If you ever hear such noise, be sure to visit your local garage right away. Grinding noise normally means your break pads are critically low and should never be ignored. If so, it could lead to a failure in break function which can easily lead to an accident.

3. Check Engine Light

Engine light is another common problem that you should never ignore. If you ever see this light, you should address the problem straightaway and get a diagnostic carried out as soon as possible. Having said this, most check engine light problems are relatively small but if not cared for in time, can turn into a huge issue e.g. failed oxygen sensor which may result in the need to replace the catalytic convertor – this can be a huge cost.

4. Burnt Out Lights

If a light is gone, whether it’s a headlight, tail light, reverse light, turn signal or any other light, you should try replacing it as soon as possible. Driving with a burnt light is not only illegal in the UK but it’s also very dangerous, especially at night and it will certainly put you at a greater risk of accidents.

5. Colored Exhaust Smoke

If the smoke of your engine is colourful, it normally means a problem. Blue smoke means oil is burning, white smoke represents leaking coolant, black smoke means too much gasoline is being used. It’s of course up to you to keep your vehicle safe and reliable, which you can do so by paying close attention to signs of trouble and to your local garage as soon as it is safe to do so.

That’s everything for this blog. I hope you enjoyed it and learned a few things.

What To Do When Your Car Breaks Down At the Side of the Road?

A car breakdown can be very stressful and ruin your entire day. Not only this, it can be quite dangerous and costly as well. If your car has never broken down before, it’s a good idea to be prepared so that you know what to do in case it breaks down anywhere. If you ever breakdown, the most important thing to remember is that your safety should be your top priority. With this in mind, here are some tips on what you should do during a breakdown on a motorway or even a minor road:

If you break down anywhere:

  • You should move your vehicle off the road as soon as it is safe to do so – or pull over to the hard shoulder
  • Put your hazard lights on (and your sidelights if it’s dark or foggy)
  • Wear a reflective jacket if you have one to ensure other drivers can see you. This is super-important when you are on a high-speed motorway
  • Get out of the car (and get your passengers out, too) and move away from your car and moving traffic
  • Leave animals in the car to avoid potential accidents
  • Stay away from moving traffic
  • If you have a disability that prevents you from following these steps, stay in the car with your seatbelt on, switch on your hazard lights and call your breakdown provider or the emergency services
  • If you can’t get onto the hard shoulder, stay in your car with your seatbelt fastened until it is safe to leave the car, and call the emergency services as soon as possible to get help

If you break down on the motorway, you should also:

  • If possible, keep up momentum until you are safely at the side of the road
  • Move to the hard shoulder if possible, and position your wheels to face the grass verge
  • If you can’t get to the hard shoulder, turn on your hazard lights and call the emergency services for assistance before you call a vehicle rescue service
  • Call your breakdown provider with details of your car, your location and the issue you are having with your car. You may not know the issue in technical terms but it would help to let your breakdown provider know of the basics i.e. a flat tyre or engine fault
  • Don’t attempt any repairs yourself and leave this to the professionals. It can be very costly if attempt repairing the car yourself without the required knowledge of the mechanics of your vehicle
  • Exit your car from a left-hand door rather than the driver’s side next to oncoming traffic, as it isn’t safe to stay inside the car in this situation. Move behind the crash barrier and up the bank if you can.
  • If you don’t have a mobile phone with you, walk to an emergency phone at the side of the road. These are orange and the arrows on the posts at the back of the hard shoulder will guide you to the nearest phone. This phone will connect you directly to the highways agency.
  • Don’t put a warning triangle on the hard shoulder as this isn’t safe for you
  • If your breakdown provider fixes your car at the side of the road, merge back onto the motorway safely by building up speed on the hard shoulder, signalling early and checking your blind spots. Watch out for other cars also parked on the hard shoulder.

Breaking Down On A Smart Motorway

Smart motorways are different because they do not have a hard shoulder. If you break down on a smart motorway, here are a few things you should do if you breakdown on a smart motorway:

  1. Stop at an emergency refuge area (ERA) or motorway service area, or leave at the next junction if possible
  2. If this is not possible, try to get the vehicle off the carriageway
  3. If you’re in the left-hand lane, put your hazard lights on, get out of the vehicle on the passenger side if it is safe to do so, and wait behind the barrier
  4. The authorities will see that your car has stopped, and close the lane so that your car isn’t hit
  5. If you’re in another lane or you can’t get out of the car, keep your seatbelt on and call the emergency services
  6. If you stop in an ERA, use the SOS phone to contact the Regional Control Centre both when you stop and before you leave
  7. Call your breakdown provider to get help as soon as it is safe to do so

Breaking Down On Minor Roads

Breaking down on a minor road is not as dangerous as breaking down on a motorway, but there will be cars driving past and you still need to take a few steps to ensure you are safe:

  1. If you are on a busy or main road, you may want to pull into a side street if possible to stay away from the moving traffic
  2. Put your hazard lights on (and your side lights if it’s dark)
  3. Wear a reflective jacket if you have one and place your warning triangle within 50 yards behind your vehicle on the same side of the road to warn other road users. If you don’t have a warning triangle, it may be worth getting one for your own safety if you ever breakdown. You can purchase one from Amazon for only £4 – £6. Here is one we recommend – Reflective Warning Triangle by Travel Kits
  4. If you are worried about your car getting hit by other vehicles, make sure that you and your passengers exit the car when it is safe to do so
  5. Call your breakdown provider and wait for assistance

What if You Don’t Have Breakdown Cover?

If you don’t have breakdown cover, you can either phone a local garage, join a breakdown cover provider on the spot, or if you are on the motorway, contact the highways agency. Here’s a little more information about each option:

1.       Call A Local Breakdown Recovery Provider

Depending on where you have broken down, you can call a local breakdown recovery provider to either repair your car on the roadside (if it’s a minor issue) or help transporting to a local garage (for larger issues).

2.       Call A Local Garage

Garages normally work with local breakdown recovery providers and may charge a call out fee, as well as a fee for each mile your vehicle is towed. If you are in an unfamiliar location you might not know where the nearest garage is, and this can work out to be quite expensive.

 3.       Join A Breakdown Provider

You can call a breakdown provider and join them on the spot, which would mean you would be attended to like any other breakdown customer. This comes with an additional fee but it could be your cheapest option, and you’ll be covered for the next 12 months.

 4.       Call the Highways Agency 

If you break down on the motorway, you can call the highways agency using the emergency phones at the side of the road. They will tow you to a local garage, but this can come at a hefty price – at least £150.

Of course, the cheapest option would be to ensure that you have breakdown cover in place at all times but you may not want to do this for various reasons. Some car insurance policies also come with breakdown cover included, so you can contact your insurance provider if you ever breakdown. If you’re not sure whether you have a breakdown cover in place, you can call your insurance provider to find out.

Prepare For Long Journeys 

If you’re heading out on a long journey, it’s a good idea to carry out basic maintenance and checks to help you avoid a breaking down as much as possible. There are a few pre-journey checks you should do including:

  • Check your oil and water levels
  • Check your tyre tread and pressure

It’s also a good idea to put a few things in your car in the event of a breakdown, such as:

  • Your breakdown membership details
  • A fully charged mobile phone (with it’s charger just in case)
  • A reflective jacket
  • A warning triangle
  • A first aid kit
  • Blankets
  • A torch
  • Snacks and plenty of water
  • A shovel, de-icer, an ice scraper and warm clothes in the winter
  • Sun cream and hats in the summer
  • Books or toys to keep children occupied

Here is an all in one travel kit for driving in Europe that we recommend – Profile Auto Euro Travel Kit for driving in France and Europe

Most breakdowns are unavoidable and happen when we least expect it, but if you know what to do and you have everything you need, you should be able to deal with it safely.