In this pandemic, driving is quite possibly the safest and most reliable way of getting around. But what happens if your vehicle breaks down during the pandemic? Find out all this and more in our blog. Am I still covered for breakdowns? Yes, you will still be covered to be rescued to the best of the ability of the breakdown provider but due to reduced service, wait times may be higher than normal. Sterling will make sure that key workers are prioritised for recovery during this time. Can I still get Sterling Rescue? Yes, Sterling is still open so you can purchase cover to protect against vehicle breakdowns. Just give us a call on 0344 381 9959 or use this online form. What’s included in Sterling Breakdown cover? If you choose our annual Sterling Rescue cover, the following are included: Cover from £46.80 a year – amongst the best value on the marketAccess to 850 breakdown recovery specialists across the UKBreakdown cover for most vehicles, from cars to campersIncludes call out, roadside assistance, national recovery service, home serviceCover is for the vehicle, so anyone driving it is protectedSterling Rescue lines are open 24/7, every day of the year What do I do if I breakdown? Simply follow the same procedure as you did before: 1. Puts your hazards on Make sure you put your hazard lights on if you breakdown This will give other drivers behind you a signal that something’s not quite right so they give you more space. This helps prevent accidents on the road. 2. Get to a safe place Your number one priority is to remain safe. If you breakdown on the road, the safest thing you can do is try to get your car off the road. If possible, you should leave your car, especially if you weren’t able to move it. Ideally, stay behind a barrier away from your car while you wait for help. Bonus tip: use safety equipment Although things like a hi-vis jacket and safety triangle aren’t required by law in the UK, they can make other drivers and pedestrians aware of your presence. Please note you shouldn’t use a safety triangle on the motorway. If you’re on a normal road, place it 45m behind your vehicle. 3. Give us a call If you’ve taken out Sterling Breakdown, call our Rescue services on 0330 123 1146. Our lines are open 24 hours, 365 days of the year for around-the-clock response. Sterling Rescue uses a network of 1,800 breakdown recovery specialists and local garages. We offer total UK coverage, so can help no matter where you breakdown. Is there anything I can do to prevent a breakdown? Whilst MOTs have been put on hold, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent vehicle breakdowns. Follow these steps to ensure you remain as safe on the roads as possible. 1. Keep your engine oil at the right level Check your vehicle’s engine oil level at least once a month Not enough engine oil can lead to a build-up of heat and friction in your car, which can cause major disrepairs. It’s important to check this at least once a month while your car’s in use. 2. Keep your battery in good condition Make sure when you’re parking your vehicle after a journey, that you turn off any interior and main lights to prevent your battery from being drained while the car isn’t in use. A car battery can also become drained if you don’t use your car for a long period of time, or you only drive short distances. Of course, avoiding the use of public transport could mean you understandably use your vehicle for shorter journeys than usual. Wherever possible, we would recommend that you walk any short distances you can. 3. Keep your keys safe Losing your keys is one of the most common reasons you’d need roadside assistance. Whether you accidentally locked them in your car when you went out or you lost them while you were at home, this can cause quite a fuss – and a costly bill to boot. We recommend that you keep a spare set at home, so even if you lose your keys while you’re out, you can retrieve your vehicle. We also recommend that you try and get into the habit of putting your keys in the same place while you’re at home, and doing habitual checks to ensure you have them on your person when you leave the car. 4. Check your tyres regularly Flat tyres are all too common, but there are ways to avoid them. For starters, make sure you’re checking the tyre tread depth on a regular basis. Even if you don’t have the traditional tools for the job, you can actually do this with a 20 pence piece! Simply place the 20p into one of the tyre treads. If you can’t see the inner line of the 20 pence piece, your tread depth should be okay. If not, it might be best to visit a garage to see if there’s anything wrong. We hope this has helped you prevent your vehicle from breaking down during the pandemic. These tips can help you even after the crisis is over, and are easy enough to do on a regular basis. You might want to read our guide on car health checks you can perform during the lockdown, which will help prevent breakdowns. If you’d like to talk to our team about Sterling Breakdown, give us a call on 0344 381 9959 or use this online form. And remember: stay safe out there!