What to do if you break down on the motorway

Breaking down on the motorway can be a scary experience – don’t put yourself in danger; follow our guide...

Author Avatar
Claire Evans
8 Nov 2017 17:00 | Last updated: 25 Sep 2018 09:37

Drive to the next junction or the nearest services if possible. If you can't, indicate left and pull on to the hard shoulder calmly and smoothly.

If you have to slow down quickly, put your hazard warning lights on and carefully move to the left when the lane is clear.

Come to a smooth stop, ensuring you’re as far over to the left of the hard shoulder as possible. Turn your wheels away from the motorway, too, just in case the car rolls.

Turn the car’s hazard warning lights on – and the side lights, too, if it's dark or foggy.

Don’t put a warning triangle behind the car. In fact, spend as little time on the hard shoulder as you can – and never attempt to repair your car on the hard shoulder.

Always get out of the car through the left-hand doors – never attempt to exit on the driver’s side.

Leave animals inside the car; it’s safer for them and other road users if they’re left inside.


What to do if you break down on the motorway

Call a breakdown recovery service, or if you are unable to use a mobile phone, walk to the nearest emergency phone, which will be indicated by arrows on the bollards at the edge of the Tarmac. Wait for assistance behind the Armco crash barrier.

Remember, the hard shoulder is only for breakdowns and emergencies, and is a dangerous place to be, given the speed of the vehicles travelling on the motorway; for everything else, leave the motorway or pull into the next motorway services.


Got a motoring question? Our experts are standing by to help, just tweet us your question using #askwhatcar

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here