Pets and breakdowns – Are dogs & pets included?

What happens to your pets when your vehicle breaks down?

Find out what to do if you have a pet on board when you break down

We know how much you love your pets and don’t want them to get stranded if you break down. Find out everything you need to know about our policy on dogs, cats and other pets in breakdown situations.

Dog tongue

Does The AA attend breakdowns when pets are onboard?

Yes, we’ll always attend breakdowns when you have pets onboard. Our friendly patrols are happy to help you and your furry friends. We recommend keeping a pet carrier or crate with you in the car just to make things easier for us!

Please note that this doesn’t apply to horses & livestock – we won’t be able to accommodate bigger animals.

What happens when you break down with pets on board

Whether you have pets with you or not, we’ll work hard to get you and your vehicle to safety.

If we can’t repair your vehicle on the roadside, we’ll need to tow your vehicle.

It is at the discretion of the Patrol, and solely at the owner’s risk, to allow your pet to ride with you in the recovery vehicle or in the towed vehicle.

In most cases, your pet will be accommodated in the recovery vehicle. However, on some occasions, they may need to ride in the towed vehicle due to individual health and safety reasons, like if one of our drivers has an allergy.

What you can do before we come to help you if you break down with a pet on board

Tell us about your pets

When you contact us during a break down, make sure you tell us if you have animals with you.

This is especially important if you have an assistance animal, like a guide dog. We can then give you tailored guidance on what to do next.

Prepare for a breakdown

You never know when you might need breakdown cover, but you can plan ahead to keep your pet safe and secure if you do:

  1. Have a safe and well-ventilated crate or carrier in your vehicle.
  2. Have water, food and waste bags in case you need them.

If your vehicle breaks down, make sure you take your pet with you to a safe location, away from any traffic.

Will pets be able to go in patrol or recovery vehicles?

As mentioned above, we’ll always try to accommodate your pets, but it’s down to the discretion of the individual patrol that comes out to help you. In cases where our mechanic has an allergy, they may need to tow your vehicle with your pet inside rather than take it in the recovery vehicle. In situations where your pet can’t go in either the recovery vehicle or the towed vehicle, we’ll either help arrange alternative transport for you, or send out another patrol that can take your pet.

Can pets stay in the broken down vehicle while it’s being repaired or towed 

Yes, though this will depend on the specific circumstances of the breakdown. For example, if your broken-down vehicle becomes unsafe for your pet to stay in, we can help arrange alternative transport.

What happens when you break down on the motorway with pets onboard

Let us know that you have a pet onboard if you have a breakdown on a motorway – we may be able to send out a patrol who’s comfortable taking your pet in their vehicle. To be on the safe side, make sure that you bring a pet carrier with you whenever you drive your car with a furry friend onboard.

The Highway Code states that dogs should not be let out on any road on their own, and if let out, should be kept on a short lead. Additionally, when in a vehicle, dogs should be suitably restrained so that they can’t distract or injure you, or themselves, if you have to quickly stop (rules 56 and 57).

What is the AA’s policy on assistance dogs and breakdowns?

We’ll do our best to help you and your assistance dog in a breakdown situation. It’s still down to the discretion of the individual patrol that comes out to help you (they may have an allergy, for example), but you can let us know that you have an assistance dog with you and we’ll be able to tailor help for your specific needs.

What happens if the AA can’t take my pets during breakdown recovery?

We’ll always do our best to help you and your pets in any breakdown situation, but in cases where we can’t take your pets in the recovery vehicle, we’ll help to make alternative arrangements to get your pets back to safety.

We provide 24/7 roadside assistance.

Published: 3 February 2021 | Updated: 05 December 2023 | Author: The AA

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