Car breakdown cover could save lives of DIY mechanics

Go compare with our comparison table

Car breakdown cover could save lives of DIY mechanics

20 November 2009 / by Rachael Stiles

Motorists who break down on the motorway could be putting lives at risk by trying to fix the problem themselves or calling on friends or family to help them instead of using a professional car breakdown service.

According to a new study by esure car insurance, Motorway Madness, 67 per cent of motorists who do not have car breakdown cover would either call a friend or relative for help or try to be a DIY mechanic on the motorway hard shoulder.

This puts everyone involved in peril, the insurer warns, and the number of deaths and injuries incurred on motorway hard shoulders rose by nearly a fifth in the last year.

If someone comes to help, then they too have to pull over on the side of the motorway, and attempting to fix the problem without the aid of specialist hazard lighting, hi-visibility clothing and professional equipment could prove to be ‘fatal false economy’.

The study also found that a third of all drivers would remain their car to await assistance, rather than getting out and staying well behind the safety barrier on the verge to protect themselves and their families from traffic.

Commenting on Motorway Madness’ revelations, Mike Pickard, head of risk and underwriting at esure car insurance, said: “Breakdown cover is a very small price to pay for a service that can protect a motorist and their family when they are at their most vulnerable.”

Mr Pickard is adamant that drivers not attempt to fix the car themselves, or to ask others to do so. “Anyone who calls friends and relatives to rescue them on a motorway is potentially putting three or four people’s lives into terrible danger,” he said. “The motorway is not the place for DIY. Call the experts.”

To try and avoid breaking down in the first place, esure recommends checking the oil, fuel level and type pressure before any journey which involves travelling on a motorway.

Keeping warm clothes, blankets, umbrellas and reflective tabards in the car can offer protection against the elements if the car does happen to break down,  at which point the driver should move onto the hard shoulder before slowing down, then put on the hazard warning lights and leave the car via the passenger door and wait on the verge in case the car is hit by another vehicle.

According to esure, some drivers also practice false economy by not taking out car breakdown cover until they have already broken down, which can still incur a lump sum for payment, costing considerably more than taking it cover before hand.
Buying breakdown cover with car insurance can be a cost-effective way to ensure peace of mind whilst on any length of journey. esure customers can add breakdown cover to their car insurance policy for as little as £36.75.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd

Compare Breakdown Cover Deals
Provider Online Discount Cover Features Special Offers  
n/a Cover from £25. (10% of customers achieve these prices online)

50% off your AA or RAC renewal quote. For vehicles 10 years & under on our closest equivalent UK vehicle cover. Underwritten by U K Insurance Limited

Get Quotes >
n/a Personal cover from £8 per month

Don’t let a breakdown spoil your summer – Join now and get FREE Onward Travel and FREE Key Replace. New customers. Selected cover levels. T&Cs; apply. 4 out of 5 breakdowns fixed at the roadside. We’ll fix you and get you on your way on average in just 30 minutes, 92% of members recommend the RAC. Rated 4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, making RAC the most trusted breakdown provider

Get Quotes >
n/a No matter the vehicle type or age you can rest assured you are in safe hands with one of the UK’s leading specialists Any vehicle covered, any age. With our Full UK cover you are covered in every eventuality, from assistance at the roadside and your home address, through to overnight accommodation, hire car and onward travel should you vehicle not be immediately repairable. Get Quotes >
n/a Get 24 hour roadside recovery assistance from £39

Enjoy free At Home cover. New customers buying AA Breakdown Cover with National Recovery can add At Home cover at no extra cost. T&C;’s apply*

Get Quotes >
n/a Average response time 36 minutes – fastest cover in the country. Cover from £11.99. 5 Star rating from independent customer review agency Review Centre. Cover available for cars, vans, motorbikes & fleets

Unlimited Callouts per year No excess or callout charges, vehicle Home Start available, up to 1 hour Roadside Assistance, 75% of breakdowns repaired at roadside, covers the driver and up to 7 passengers, European Cover also available

Get Quotes >
n/a Cover from just £17.90

Half price MOT.

Get Quotes >

* New customers buying any combination of National Recovery, At Home and Onward Travel options with breakdown membership and paying on an annual continuous basis will get an M&S or Gift gift card worth up to £50. To qualify, you’ll need to buy breakdown membership with at least 1 option (National Recovery, At Home and/or Onward Travel). The value of the gift gift card will depend on the number of options added to your cover – £20 gift gift card when adding 1 option, £30 gift gift card when adding 2 options, £50 gift gift card when adding 3 options.

Written by Editorial Team