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Two steps to take if your car breaks down

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Almost all drivers will experience a vehicle breakdown at some point. Here are two pieces of advice that you may want to follow if you ever find yourself in this type of situation.

Stay safe whilst you wait for the tow service

Depending on where you are located and how busy the tow company you have called is, you could end up waiting for an hour or more for them to arrive. As such, if your vehicle breaks down on a busy road (where there is a risk of you or your car being struck by other drivers) or in a dangerous neighbourhood (where you may end up encountering unscrupulous individuals), it is important to take some basic precautions to ensure that you remain safe until the towing service reaches your location.

If your primary concern is being hit by other road users, then you should take steps to make your car stand out, so that drivers can see and swerve around it. This might be tricky if the breakdown occurs at night or during a period of heavy mist. In such cases, you should turn on your car blinkers and place your emergency reflective triangle a metre or two away from the vehicle.

If the road you have broken down on is not particularly busy but is located in an area with high crime rates, the best thing to do is to remain inside your vehicle, with the windows rolled up and the doors locked. If you have any expensive items (such as a laptop, jewellery or a high-end smartphone) which could potentially catch an opportunistic criminal's eye, you should stow these items in an area which is not visible to passers-by (such as underneath one of the car seats or in the glove compartment).

Decide what to do with your vehicle

If your car has broken down as a result of some simple problem, such as a flat tyre or a dead battery, then it should be fairly easy to resolve the issue and get your car back on the road quite quickly.

However, if your vehicle has developed a serious fault which will cost a lot of money to fix, you will need to determine whether or not it is worth attempting to repair the damage. Major engine problems, for example, often cost at least a few hundred dollars (if not more) to fix.

If a mechanic informs you that cost of the required repair work is close to or exceeds the value of your vehicle, then it may be best to get rid of the car and purchase a new one. In this scenario, you may be able to make some money by selling your car (even if it is not in roadworthy condition).

Most towns and cities have a company that offers cash for cars; these businesses usually purchase old or unwanted cars and then sell the scrap metal and various components of these vehicles. Companies of this kind will usually tow the vehicle away from its current location and provide an instant payment upon collection of the car.

This type of service will not only spare you the hassle of trying to transport your unwanted car to an auto wrecking facility but will also allow you to make some money off of your vehicle, even if it is in extremely poor condition.