What to do if Your Car Breaks Down on the Motorway

Published on 11 January 2014

Breaking down while driving on the motorway can be a frightening experience. It can sometimes be hard and dangerous to stop, especially when you’re travelling at speed.

Below, we've listed some steps to take should your car break down on the motorway. 


What to do if Your Car Breaks Down on the Motorway


  1. Use your warning lights immediately if you have to slow down or stop. If you can, drive to a side road off the motorway.
  2. If your car breaks down on the motorway, try to take it off the road. Stopping on a moving lane is extremely dangerous, but it’s worth remembering that stopping on the hard shoulder can be dangerous too. You should only use the hard shoulder if it's an emergency (incidentally you should never use it to make a phone call, check a map or go to the toilet).
  3. If stopping on the hard shoulder is a must, pull in as far away from the main road as you can, and turn your wheels away from the road. Leave your hazard warning lights on while you're stopped.
  4. Get out of the passenger side of the car. While waiting on the Gardaí or a recovery service, you should try to stand on a verge or behind the barrier, but stay near your car.


Breakdown Assistance


If you're unfortunate enough to break down on a motorway, we can provide Breakdown Assistance. Please refer to your policy booklet to see if this is included in your cover. Breakdown Assistance includes:

  • 24hr roadside assistance.
  • Home start.
  • Vehicle recovery or journey completion.

While it might be tempting to change your own tyre or make repairs, you really shouldn’t, as it can be highly dangerous.

If you have a phone, you can use it to ring a repair service, but if not, walk alongside the carriageway to the nearest rescue phone. Never cross the carriageway.

When you’re getting back on the road, make sure you build up speed on the hard shoulder first. Wait until there's a safe gap in the traffic before rejoining the motorway.


Car Insurance with Liberty


As previously mentioned, Liberty customers can avail of Breakdown Assistance under their Car insurance policy, and you can too. With Liberty, you can also get up to 25% off* when you quote and buy your Car insurance online.


Get a car quote


*Online discount applies to new private car insurance policies only. Maximum discount €300. Subject to minimum premium and applied before optional covers. Acceptance criteria, terms and conditions apply.