Breakdown insurance - how to avoid using it
When driving a car in the UK, it is essential to have insurance, tax and (for cars over three years old) an MOT certificate. Many car drivers also choose to buy breakdown insurance, to help them if there is a problem with their vehicle, that stops it from working the way it should. This can be very useful, but it's also great if you can eliminate some of the most common causes of breakdown as well.
There are different levels of cover available for breakdown insurance. Some policies will cover you wherever you break down, some will include bringing your car back home from wherever the problem occurred. You may also wish to buy an extra which guarantees you transport on to your destination. Often the cheapest package, though, cover the car only when it is away from home, so if you are at home and your car will not start, then you would still need to pay to have a mechanic come out and diagnose the problem. This is likely to reflect the fact that the top cause of breakdowns is actually a flat battery, which is most likely to occur when the car is parked for a long while, typically when the car is at home.
If you mainly do short journeys, the battery may not be getting a chance to fully charge up. If this is the case, then charging the car overnight once a fortnight could help avoid a flat battery and the dreaded non starting car.
To try and avoid your battery, or other parts like spark plugs, clutch cables or the alternator, causing a problem, it is a good idea to have your car serviced regularly. Alternatively you can make some checks yourself using your car owner's manual, if you are confident around an engine.