Having your car break down is one of those things that can categorically ruin anyone’s day. Not only are you unable to get to your destination, but you’re also stuck trying to solve the problem for what may take hours. That’s even before you get to the inevitable cost of repairing your car.
Many drivers do not know what to do when their car breaks down. Aside from pulling over and putting their hazards on, they panic and start to question who to call. The good news is that there are standard answers to this question. Here’s who you call when your car breaks down.
Your Insurance Provider
If you’ve never had an issue like this before, calling your insurer may seem like a strange first choice. However, any insurance policy with the right roadside assistance gives you the benefit of all the help you actually need. You simply make the phone call and they will tell you exactly what to do.
First and foremost, they will call a tow truck for you and ensure you get the assistance you need. Beyond that, they will be able to help calm you down if you’re panicking, and will advise you on what to do while you’re waiting. Depending on where you are, that may simply be staying in your car.
Once your insurance provider is taking care of you, you can start calling the people you usually turn to for support.
A Loved One
Having to sit in a broken down car on the side of the road will make anyone feel vulnerable. Although you know that help is on the way, you should call a loved one who can talk you through the process. They may even be able to come to you while you wait for the tow truck.
At the very least, your loved one will keep you company on the phone. Make sure to look out for any other call that comes while you are on the line, as this may be the tow truck trying to locate your car.
What if you do not have roadside assistance with your insurer? In that case, you will need to organize a tow truck yourself. Call the following people.
A Trusted Mechanic
Unfortunately, car mechanics have a reputation for ripping customers off. They are in a position of power because they know about how your car works while you may have no idea. However, there are many honest mechanics, and hopefully you have built up a relationship with a mechanic who you trust.
This is the person you should call, rather than calling a tow truck company. Towing companies are known for being predatory – they wait to take advantage of people who are extremely vulnerable. Your mechanic will either have their own tow trucks or will know a trustworthy provider.
Even if your mechanic is some distance from where you have broken down, you will want to direct the tow truck to them rather than having to settle for the closest garage.
It is a good idea to call your trusted mechanic even if you are getting roadside assistance from your insurer. If roadside assistance can fix the problem on the side of the road, that is great. But if they need to tow your car somewhere, you’ll want it to be to the mechanic you trust.
No Problem is Too Small
Before you call your insurer, you may be worried that they will not send help. This may be because you think that the problem is your fault. Maybe you’ve been ignoring the oil light for too long, or didn’t fill your tank even though the empty light was on. However, no problem is too small. You are in a vulnerable position no matter what the cause.
If it is just a matter of running out of gas, or another problem you can solve yourself, they will take care of you regardless. Ask the provider how long they will take. If you can find someone closer to help you (or there is a gas station down the road), you may decide to take care of the issue yourself.