A work day is stressful enough. When your car breaks down, it can feel like the universe is conspiring against you. It is a frustrating situation that you can’t always plan for. And it always seems to happen at the worst possible time.
Most people don’t know what to do in these situations, especially if they are driving in an area they’re not familiar with. The good news is that you don’t have to frantically Google which tow truck operators are nearby.
Here are the three calls you should make if your car breaks down.
1. Your Motor Insurance Company
Car insurance policies generally cover accidents and acts of God. They rarely cover mechanical issues. However, your car insurance company might still be your greatest help when your car has broken down. Many insurance companies provide roadside assist plans. This means that they will take care of you whenever something happens to your car.
Instead of having to find a tow truck company yourself and trust a random mechanic, they send a truck to you. They also know all the best mechanics in the area.
It is also possible to get plans with mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI), which covers mechanical issues. To understand what MBI covers and the difference between MBI and a warranty, learn more here.
2. A Loved One Who is Good in a Crisis
Your instinct might be to call the person with whom you have the most intimate relationship. However, the reality is that some people are not quite cut out to stay calm in a crisis. A breakdown can turn into a catastrophe, as they remind you just how much money it will cost and what you’ll have to miss to sort this out.
You will call them soon, but first call a loved one who you know is good at handling crises. This is someone who is calm and efficient, but also empathetic. They don’t play down your feelings, but they don’t get drawn in either.
With their help, you will feel far more at ease sitting in your car, waiting for help to come. If you do decide to call another, less-ideal person, you will be in a strong place to manage their feelings.
3. A Mechanic You Know and Trust
If you’re particularly far from home, your regular mechanic is not going to be the one doing the necessary work on your car. However, you should call them nonetheless. This is because you know them to be trustworthy and they can steer you away from any bad advice.
There are people who spin the truth in every profession. The mechanic world is the same. The problem is that people with no knowledge of cars need to make decisions, and unscrupulous mechanics can sell them just about any story. Having someone you know is on your side to guide you along the way is always ideal. This is why it’s so important to find a great mechanic when you get your car. Ask friends and family members about the mechanics they trust, so you have someone to call in a crisis.
The reality with breakdowns is that you are having to deal with a crisis as it happens. You don’t have time to do your research and you are in a chaotic state of mind. You are less likely to think critically about what a mechanic you don’t know or trust tells you, as you just want your car fixed. Knowing what you should listen for and being able to verify what you’ve been told will give you peace of mind.
Once you’ve made these 3 calls, you’ll need to sit tight and wait for help to arrive. Stay in your car if possible, as that is where you are safest. Remind yourself that you have done all you can do, and try your best to stay calm.