Breakdowns are destined to happen at inconvenient times and places. So the best thing for you to do is be prepared for the situation.

If you know what to do, you’ll be able to get back on the road quicker, making more efficient use of the time you would have otherwise spent wondering what to do. As a young driver, the last thing you want is to be stuck on the side of a motorway, Googling how to handle a breakdown.

Get prepared

Let’s have a look at what the AA would recommend doing if a breakdown was to occur:


  • Firstly, pull up as far to left of the road as possible
  • Have your wheels positioned to the left
  • Make sure everyone gets out of the car
  • Stand on the left hand side of the vehicle
  • Ensure children and pets are kept under proper control
  • Be sure to leave your sidelights on and turn on your hazard warning lights.


It is worth keeping safety equipment in the car at all times, just in case something like a breakdown does happen. Here is a list of recommended safety items:

  • Warning triangles
  • Reflective clothing
  • Blankets
  • A phone charger
  • Matches
  • First aid kit
  • A snow scraper

It might also be worth keeping some spare money, food and drink. You never know what situation you might get into – breakdowns are usually unexpected so it could be at night in the middle of nowhere. Be prepared for the worst case scenario.

breakdown on motorway

Motorway breakdowns

As well as following the steps above, has a list of recommended dos and don’ts to remember if you break down on a motorway. They advise not to attempt repairs and to use an emergency telephone rather than your mobile phone. If you’ve pulled onto the hard shoulder, retreat up the bank or behind a barrier.

If for some reason you can’t get across to the hard shoulder, switch on your hazard warning lights and remain seated until you know you can safely get clear of the carriageway. Do not attempt to place any warning device on the road. Once you’re in a safe place, put on any reflective clothing you might have had in the car, and then call for help.

Another thing you should not do when your car has broken down, is attempt to start it. This is important because by trying to start it you may in fact be causing further damage.

Breakdown cover with insurethebox

When taking out an insurance policy with insurethebox, you have the option of taking out additional breakdown cover. If you break down, you can get a call out for up to one hour’s assistance at the roadside, and if necessary, Intana can arrange transportation of you and your vehicle to the nearest suitable repairer. If your vehicle cannot be repaired in the same day, transportation and accommodation will be arranged for you.

If your car is involved in an accident and gets damaged, we will pay for the cost of parts that are needed to meet the manufacturer’s specification. If you choose Box Road Rescue UK Motor breakdown insurance, you will receive medical and transfer assistance services and a dedicated 24 hour telephone service, open 365 days a year.

Please read the policy documents on our documents page to find out what we do and do not cover. You should also check the eligibility requirements to ensure your vehicle meets the expectations of the breakdown assistance provider.

If you’re already a policyholder with breakdown cover, and your car breaks down, you should call the relevant number below (depending on your policy start date), for immediate assistance.

  • Policy effective before 1st June 2018 – 0144 444 2137
  • Policy effective on or after 1st June 2018 – 0120 681 2784

Hopefully you’ll now be more capable of handling a breakdown. Let’s just hope it never happens. Let us know if you’ve had any instances where you’ve needed to think fast at a breakdown, do you have any tips for fellow young drivers? Leave a comment below.