What should I do if my new brand new car breaks down? | AA Cars

Breakdowns are part and parcel of motoring, and it’s almost certain that you’ll experience one during your time driving. But the time when you least expect this to happen is in the first few months after buying a brand new car. This is also when faults should be least likely to occur, as all of the parts are new.

Unfortunately, accidents and issues can occasionally happen during this time. So we take a look at what you can do if you find yourself in this situation.

Breakdown cover

All new cars sold include roadside assistance – in many cases from the AA. The service provided may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer so you have to careful to differentiate between our B2C product and B2B services. That way, if anything does go wrong with your vehicle while out on the open road that stops you in your tracks, such as a tyre blowout or any mechanical fault, you can get a helping hand.

Most basic breakdown policies will cover roadside assistance and unlimited call-outs for engineers – unless it’s a recurring mechanical problem with your vehicle – while onward travel if the vehicle can’t get going again straight away can also be included on an entry-level policy.

With the AA’s breakdown cover, all passenger vehicles are covered, including cars, motorcycles, vans and campervans, as well as vehicles being towed and caravans. You’ll get 24/7 roadside assistance with unlimited call-outs.

You can also add other options, such as National Recovery and At Home assistance – which means we’ll have you covered wherever you are in the UK. If you’d like help with alternative travel arrangements, you can include Onward Travel. 

AA breakdown offers more mobile mechanics than any other UK vehicle breakdown service, and fixes 8/10 vehicles at the roadside. See how much you could save on vehicle breakdown cover today.

Check the warranty

All new vehicles come with at least 3 years of warranty cover, and under that, almost all components are included. There are manufacturers, such as Kia and Vauxhall, that do offer ‘lifetime’ or extended warranties on vehicles, giving car buyers additional peace of mind when purchasing a new vehicle.

All mechanical elements should be covered during that warranty period, such as the engine, transmission, electrical system, fuel system and cooling system, so if there are any issues with these sections of the vehicle, replacements and fixture will be free of charge.

Reject the vehicle

If it’s worst-case scenario and your vehicle has a series of issues shortly after you buy it, you can send it back to the dealer you bought the vehicle from and reject it for being ‘unsatisfactory’.

All vehicles sold must work without any defects, be as described in promotional material or on the order sheet, while also being able to get you where you need to go – and if a vehicle falls short of any of those criteria, you can return it.

Sales of new products, including new cars, are covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and this provides a number of statutory remedies for consumers if things go wrong after purchase. If a product develops a fault in less than 30 days, a customer can return it to where it was bought for a full refund and you can reject the vehicle.

However, any issues that occur after 30 days and up to 6 months after purchase, you’re entitled to repair or replacement. If this isn’t possible or the dealer fails to fix the fault then you’re entitled to a refund, adjusted to take account of the use you have had of the vehicle.

This, however, can create a lot of hassle as you’d then have to look for a replacement vehicle, and it may be best to try and resolve any issues with the dealer before considering taking this action.


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