If you find yourself traveling in the UK by automobile and happen to find yourself stranded with a breakdown or if you have been involved in an auto accident, please follow these important steps:
- Get the car off of the road if possible, or pull it onto the hard shoulder (if safe to do so). This accomplishes two things: first, you are not blocking traffic; second, you can be seen more easily by emergency personnel.
- Call 999. This is UK’s emergency number for help with public safety. Tell the operator what you need, and wait for help to arrive.
- Let your insurance company know about the accident as soon as possible so that they can begin working with you on a claim.
- Stay put where your car is until help arrives unless staying puts you in danger of being hit by another car or some other hazard. The police officer or other official who arrives to help you may tell you otherwise, but if someone comes to your car, stay in the car no matter what until you are told it is safe for you to leave.
- If possible, take pictures of the scene with your cell phone camera before any emergency vehicles arrive or anyone moves anything.
Once the local police have been able to record the facts and collect evidence related to the accident, they will likely instruct you to call a breakdown services company. There are many companies to choose from and you are likely best served by searching for your nearest qualified breakdown services and recovery company online. Most are available 24/7 and typically have fast response times of 1 hour or less.
Be sure to get help from a trustworthy service. Breakdown and recovery services tend to come with an extra cost, but if you have the wherewithal to secure a trustworthy company in advance of needing their services it can be well worth the money.
Remember that this is a business transaction and that you should not feel pressured into a particular choice based on the salesperson’s personal preferences. You are both looking for a fair deal that is beneficial to you. Breakdown services do not come without risk and sometimes companies will use high-pressure tactics in an effort to ensure you go with their service. Ask lots of questions about how they work, what kind of training their agents have had, if they have any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau, and what type of insurance is held by you and your service.
You do not want to be stranded without help when traveling in the UK. Breakdown services can be expensive compared to many other countries but they are there for your protection. It is very likely that most breakdown services require you to call them first before they will send out help, but be sure to ask about this ahead of time if it is not clear. Breakdown services like those in the UK typically also offer assistance with lock-outs, flat tire changes, and fuel delivery.
It can be frustrating when you are stranded by car troubles on the road; however, there are options that can help get you back on your way. Breakdown services are designed to keep the roads clear and traffic moving, not to provide free service for travelers who find themselves in need of support. Luckily, most roadside assistance plans are fairly reasonable in cost. Make sure you read all disclosure information before signing up with a new road side assistance provider.
I hope this blog post helps you if you find yourself traveling by car or truck in the UK and end up stranded, in an accident or needing any type of breakdown and recovery services.