Okay – have a guess. Which motorway had the highest number of breakdowns over the last 5 years?
Well, if you're planning to head out of London on the M1, you might want to make sure you've got breakdown cover.
There was over 139,000 reported breakdowns
on the M1 between April 2014 to March 2019. The M1 has the highest number of breakdowns followed closely by the M25 and M6.
But if you breakdown, there are some simple things you can do to help make a frustrating situation a little more tolerable. Take a look at our breakdown checklist that outlines all the equipment you need in case you grind to a halt mid journey.
Breakdown equipment checklist
It can be quite daunting when your car stops working for no apparent reason. Especially if you're away from home, on a busy road or unfamiliar route. But if you keep a few key things in your car, then you'll be prepared for most eventualities.
1. Mobile phone
An essential piece of kit when you're stuck and need help. Keep the battery topped up by charging it with an in-car charger or carrying a portable charger.
2. Spare tyre and jack
So many breakdowns are due to flat tyres. Some people won't think twice about changing a tyre themselves, so a spare tyre that is road legal, a jack, and the special tool to get the wheel nuts off are essential. For the rest of us, your breakdown cover will send someone out to help you get back on the road.
3. Empty fuel carrier
Another common reason to breakdown is running out of fuel. If you know you're within walking distance of a petrol station, a carrier full of fuel could be enough to get you home or at least to the next petrol station.
4. Warm clothes and a waterproof coat
When you breakdown it's likely you'll need to leave the car and could be standing out in the elements for some time. Particularly if you breakdown on a motorway where it's much safer to get out of the car and stand behind the crash barrier. So a few extra layers could be very welcome. In the winter, remember to carry a blanket too.
5. High-vis vest, torch and warning triangle
On a busy road, in bad weather or in the dark it can be very difficult for other drivers to see you. Wear a high–vis vest, put your car's hazard lights on and place a warning triangle 45 metres behind your car if it is safe to do so. Don't put a warning triangle out on a motorway – it's just too dangerous.
6. First aid kit, food and water
Even if you don't breakdown it's good practice to carry a first aid kit and some emergency supplies, just in case. At LV= our average response time to a breakdown is 51 minutes*, which gives you time for a quick snack before help arrives.
7. Jump leads
Another very common cause of breakdowns, especially in the winter or if you only drive short distances is a flat battery. Investing in a set of jump leads could help you get back on the road quickly if you can find a friendly motorist to charge your battery. However, jump-starting a car isn't always straightforward so if you're at all unsure about what to do call your breakdown provider instead.
8. Spare screen wash, de-icer and a scraper
It's amazing how quickly your windscreen can become just a smear of mud without a regular spray of screen wash, especially in the winter months. Keep a spare in the car and top it up regularly. Also during winter months, your vehicle windscreen and windows can ice over. Having a de-icer and a scraper on hand can be very beneficial in clearing this quickly, otherwise it's a long wait for your car to heat up and melt the ice before you set off.
* Average response time of 50.43 mins. 93.25% of customers were able to complete their journey, based on 118,919 jobs from Agent Performance Review Report. Aug '19- Feb '20