breakdown news

Ten thousand drivers broke down on motorways without breakdown cover

AA patrols attended more than 98k motorway breakdowns in 2021

24 January 2022

Ten thousand drivers broke down on motorways last year and immediately joined the AA as they had no cover.

Nearly 10% of all of the UK’s leading breakdown provider’s motorway jobs were for people who only bought breakdown cover in their hour of need. Adding more tension and expense to an already stressful situation.

Drivers who breakdown on motorways and require towing away without breakdown cover currently pay National Highways £150*, however the Home Office are reviewing these costs as they were originally set in 2008.

Too many drivers have had an avoidable breakdown in a dangerous location
Edmund King, AA president

Arranging breakdown cover is simple to do and helps save time and money, and the AA is currently offering one third off annual membership**. Drivers can also make savings by purchasing roadside assistance ahead of time rather than buying and requesting immediate help.

Many of the 10,000 daily breakdowns the AA attends across Britain are avoidable by carrying out regular vehicle checks. Following the AA’s handy FLOWER acronym can help you to remember what to check***.

  • Fuel
  • Lights
  • Oil
  • Water
  • Electrics
  • Rubber

Edmund King, AA president, said: “Too many drivers have had an avoidable breakdown in a dangerous location. While we are always there to help, buying cover at the roadside adds unnecessary stress and expense to an already tense situation.

“Purchasing our cover gives you peace of mind for a whole year, and our award winning five-star patrols**** will try and repair your vehicles once you are in a place of safety.

“However, it is always best to prevent breaking down in the first place, so checking your tyres, oil and fuel are easiest ways to keep you safe.”

* National Highways vehicle removal

** Get a 1/3 off breakdown cover

*** Essential car maintenance tips and checklist

**** Five star AA named Which? recommended provider for fourth year running


  • Get to an emergency refuge area (ERA) or hard shoulder
  • If it's safe, exit your car on the left and wait behind the barrier
  • If you break down in a live lane and can’t exit your car safely, switch on your hazard lights, stay in the car with your seat belt on and call 999
  • If you can get to safety, call for help immediately (if you’re an AA member call 0800 887766)
  • See also; Broken down on the motorway | What to do | The AA