Breaking down is one of the most frustrating things that can happen to you in a day. You’re on your way, inevitably somewhere incredibly important, and suddenly your car makes noises you don’t like. You realize that it’s not going much further, even though you can’t stomach the thought of that. So you pull over to the side and get ready to have a very different day to the one you planned.
If it makes you feel better, breaking down before people had mobile phones was significantly worse, especially if you were on a deserted road. Today, you don’t have to get out of your car, and in many cases you shouldn’t. Simply pick up your phone and make those all-important calls.
But who do you call first? Here are the first three calls you should make when your car breaks down.
1. Your Insurer
If you have a good insurance plan, your insurer will provide roadside assistance. This means that they will take your call at all times, with the promise to send help. They have contacts with available towing companies, and they will organize for them to come as soon as possible.
Not sure if you have roadside assistance? If you have comprehensive coverage with an insurer that provides roadside assistance, then you certainly do. Phone your insurer to find out. They may give you the bad news that you don’t have roadside assistance, but they will be able to give you the right number to phone to get the help you need.
2. Your Emergency Contact
Breaking down leaves you in an uncomfortable situation. You are in a location far from where you need to be with no way of getting home. You can’t just call a rideshare company, because you can’t leave your car behind. At the same time, you may feel very vulnerable being stuck where you are.
For this reason, your second call should be the person you would trust as your emergency contact. This is the person who you check in with most often during the day. They provide the sense of calm you need in situations like these. Even if they are nowhere near to you, they can be a soothing voice, making you feel a lot safer and ready to make the best possible decisions. They also now know where you are, so that you don’t feel so abandoned (and they can send help if they don’t hear from you).
Make sure you have call waiting turned on, so that your roadside assistance can get in touch even if you are still getting that comfort.
3. Your Trusted Mechanic
Chances are, your problems are due to regular wear and tear and your insurance is not going to pay for them. It is only in rare circumstances that you need to go to a mechanic who they have approved. If you have a mechanic you already trust who is nearby, you can advise the tow truck driver to take your car to them.
For those who are driving a car bought straight from the manufacturer’s dealership, you should phone them. They will be able to tell you the closest branch for repairs, where you will get the best possible service. This will also prevent your car from being fitted with cheap parts or from undergoing work that voids the warranty.
The tow truck driver may want to take you to a place that they know, but you should not have to settle for an unknown mechanic unless you don’t have an alternative nearby. The reality is that mechanics are hit and miss when it comes to being deserving of your trust. There are those who will take advantage of your lack of expertise to make you pay more than you should while only doing a half job.
Breaking down is incredibly frustrating, and it can even be frightening if you are in the middle of nowhere. Make the above three calls and you will be on your way towards the most pain-free resolution.