1. Choose the right car
Although BestSellingCarsBlog does not review cars, the best-selling data published on the site can help you make a decision on your next new or used car based on how well it sell in your country. This is not a fool-proof way of choosing a car, but coupled with some solid online research about your target car’s capacity to breakdown and a thorough look into your trusted friends and family’s advice, it can help you avoid lemons.
2. Check your car every couple of weeks
You now have purchased your dream car. How to minimize the chance of a breakdown? Rain or shine, it pays to give the car a good check over every couple of weeks. This way you could prevent a breakdown and perhaps a large and unwelcome bill.
Fuel: Top up when you pass a filling station rather than delay looking for one until the fuel light comes on – particularly if you’re driving in an unfamiliar area.
Lights: Clean all exterior lights regularly and check for blown bulbs and cracks in the lens.
Oil: Cars can consume as much as a litre of oil every 1,000 miles. Check the oil level regularly (your handbook will show you how). Don’t wait for the red oil pressure warning light to come on – engine damage may already have occurred by then.
Water: Overheating is a common cause of breakdowns, especially in hotter weather. Check the coolant level regularly (the handbook will show you how) and if the level always seems low, check for leakages. Top up the windscreen washer fluid too.
Electrics: Battery problems are the number one cause of breakdowns at any time of year. Renew an old, tired battery before it lets you down. Also make sure that your electric radiator cooling fan starts running when the engine gets hot – you can check this by running the engine with the car stationary.
Rubber: Incorrectly inflated tyres are not only unsafe, they wear out faster and can increase fuel consumption by around 5%. If you’re driving with extra passengers or luggage, remember to increase your tyre pressure accordingly (see your handbook).
3. Get the right Breakdown Cover
The AA is Britain’s most trusted brand, having more dedicated patrols than any other UK breakdown service, and a unique Breakdown & Traffic app giving you live updates on traffic and road works and enabling you to call out and track your AA patrol. 8 out of 10 cars are fixed at the roadside with the AA, and you can use a virtual membership card if you don’t have your real one handy. People who have used the AA have rated them 4.8 out of 5 with 1285 out of 1323 (97%) reviewers recommending this service.