New Drivers: Are You Putting Yourself at Risk of a Breakdown?

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Written by Michael Foote, founder of Quote Goat, has over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.

Breakdowns are a disaster for every vehicle owner, but when you’re a young driver they can be particularly scary. When you haven’t been driving for very long and are only just getting to grips with the car itself it can be pretty terrifying when it acts in an unexpected way. As well as being inconvenient breaking down can be dangerous too, particularly if it happens at night or on a busy road. On top of this, you know when something goes wrong with your car than it’s probably not going to be cheap to fix, and it’s already expensive enough for newer or younger drivers. So what can you do to avoid breakdowns? While some will be unavoidable, often there are things you can do to prevent issues with your car in the first place. Here are some of the mistakes you might be making.

Skipping Car Servicing

When you’re a new driver, chances are you won’t be driving a brand new car. And once any vehicle over three years old, it of course needs an MOT certificate to legally be driven on the roads. But don’t wait for this for any problems to be picked up, having a full service done once a year as well could pick up problems before they develop (you could have a service six months after your MOT, that way the car is being looked at twice a year). A service will top up all of your car’s fluids and check a number of parts to make sure they’re not worn and are in working order. The problem with cars is that if one thing goes wrong it can be enough to cause a complete breakdown. So keeping an eye on everything and spotting the signs early is key to avoid breaking down and saving money later down the line too. The same applies if you notice something not quite right with your car but it still seems to be driving, don’t chance it. There’s no saying how long it will hold out, or what other damage it’s causing. As a new driver this might seem like an unnecessary expense but could save you a lot of money if it prevents a breakdown.

Not Driving Carefully

The way you drive your car can cause parts to fail far before their life expectancy. And as a newer driver who is still getting used to the car, you might be a little rougher on it than the average driver. Bumping up kerbs, driving too fast over potholes and over speed bumps will damage your suspension system. Braking harshly and driving too fast around corners can cause your tyres to fail. If you do experienced a damaged or blown tyre, you could fix this yourself providing you’re in a safe position (make sure you’re away from oncoming traffic). There are even companies who can assist with the removal of locking wheel nuts if you find yours are stuck. Cheaper than signing up to a breakdown company.

Forgetting to Top Up The Fuel Tank

It seems like an obvious point to make, but is something that so many people get caught out with. Driving with a low level of fuel in the tank is a bad habit, it’s something you might have got away with for years but there’s always going to be one time when you don’t. Maybe there are road diversions on the way to the petrol station or more traffic than usual. The petrol station may be closed or out of the fuel you need, you just never know. Right from when you first get onto the roads, get into the habit of topping up every time you reach a quarter of a tank. It gives you plenty of time to get to a petrol station when you need to and prevents you from breaking down due to this silly mistake


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