As fantastic as cars are, they aren’t immune to breaking down. One of the biggest annoyances in life is when your car decides to give up the ghost, as you can guarantee it will happen when you’re late for work, the temperate is sub-zero, or your breakdown cover has lapsed.
On the back of our stories about learning to drive, we asked around the office again to get a few tales about breaking down…
“As a 22 year old I was showing my Australian house mate around the North East. After leaving Durham I managed to puncture my tyre on the motorway. Whilst my friend was watching a couple play golf on the nearby golf course, I spent over 45 minutes trying to get the tyre off the car. Unfortunately, that tyre was going nowhere. I eventually gave up and called my granddad. He arrived 20 minutes later and that tyre was off in a flash. I hung my head in shame for days afterwards.”
“On the busy Stourbridge ring road, my 1995 Metro Manhattan choked right by an exit. I tried to roll the car up on the kerb but it was so high I couldn’t get my car’s tiny wheels up! It was rush hour so I was being beeped at left, right and centre :(”
“I was on my way into work on my only working day between Christmas and New Year, and I accidentally kerbed my car. Cue two ripped, flat tyres meaning I had to sit on the side of the road, freezing cold, waiting for the AA… I don’t think people in the office believed me!”
“A few years back, a couple of days before Christmas during a cold snap, I was on the M25 in the overtaking lane merrily on my way to work. As I put my foot down on the accelerator the car slowed down instead of speeding up … I managed to get over to the hard shoulder where I had to wait for 3 hours in 7 inches of snow for breakdown. I was less than 2 miles from home and could see the exit from where I was. Turns out that something in my engine had broken so my fuel was freezing. Luckily, it was a few days after my birthday and I had received a new hat, gloves, scarf and coat which helped keep me toasty although I did spend quite a bit of time dancing up and down the motorway reservation singing the tune from the Go Compare advert (don’t ask me why) to help keep warm. I’m sure I entertained the passing drivers!”
“When I was about 7, I went on holiday to France with my parents, aunt and uncle. About an hour or so after leaving the ferry, we’re on a motorway and one of us notices a burning smell. We pull over onto the hard shoulder and realise one of the tyres is practically bald; my dad had left the handbrake on all the way from the ferry! Cue standing at the side of the motorway, cold and tired, whilst my dad attempted to change the wheel. Aside from that, my main memory of the trip is endless arguing over maps (oh, to have had a sat nav back then!).”
Breakdowns happen to the best of us, so it’s always a good idea to ensure you’re prepared! We sell an AA breakdown kit which comes with plenty of stuff you might need in the event of an emergency. It’s a good idea to carry a warning triangle, hi-vis jacket, torch and first aid kit in your car as we don’t think you can ever be too careful! You can take a look at the rest of our Breakdown Essentials here.