Can I Leave a Broken Down Car?

Breaking down is one of the worst nightmares imaginable when behind the wheel, and depending on where your car has given up the ghost, you could find yourself in even more danger standing on the side of the road than in a car about to expire.

If you’re currently looking upon a sorry sight – one of your car stranded on the side of the road, its hazard lights flashing away the last of its life – then Scrap Cars For Cash is here to provide you with a subtle silver lining. If the breakdown is terminal, then chances are you’re going to want to be shipping your formerly reliable set of wheels off to the nearest scrapyard as soon as possible. With our nationwide network of scrap and salvage specialists on hand to provide you the very best price, no matter where you are or how bad the damage is, all you need to do is make one phone call to the Scrap Cars For Cash team, and within 60 seconds we’ll tell you just how much your broken down vehicle could be worth.

Why Would I Need To Leave My Broken Down Car?

If you’re, very understandably, just getting out to get some fresh air or to clear your head, then you’ll need to be wary of where you are. Take a look around just to make sure you’re not putting yourself in extra danger by leaving where your car currently is. If you’re getting out to fix the car, then you’ll need to make sure that you have enough space around you to carry this out safely without putting anyone else in danger at the same time. If you’re leaving the car entirely, this would not be recommended as it could be mistaken as an abandoned car – although technically at this stage it would be – and could be seized by authorities.

Can I Leave My Broken Down Car On The Motorway?

With so-called ‘smart’ motorways now a regular sight on the British motorway network, this question has become all the more important in recent years. If you are able to do so, you should make sure you get your car across the motorway to the left-most lane as quickly and as safely as possible. If you’re on a traditional motorway, then safely pull into the hard shoulder, whereas if you’re on a smart motorway, you’ll need to find the nearest emergency refuge area – even if the hard shoulder is in use as a hard shoulder, we’d recommend finding one of these areas anyway. If you cannot make it across the carriageway, then stop, secure the car, put your hazard lights on and call 999 immediately.

Staying in your car on a motorway is actually more dangerous than remaining in it, so make sure you exit the car as quickly as possible once stopped via the left hand side of the car – never open your door into a live traffic lane. Once out of the car, position yourself on the other side of the Armco barrier and call National Highways. Once you have informed National Highways, you’ll need to call out a breakdown provider – do not attempt any of your own repairs when stranded on a motorway.

If you break down on a dual carriageway, then follow the above suggestions and pull as far over to the left of the road as possible, ideally in one of the regularly seen dual carriageway rest areas. This can be more dangerous due to dual carriageways not having specified breakdown areas or hard shoulders, and with only one additional lane to pull into, so make sure you’re completely aware of your surroundings when exiting your car.

Can I Leave My Broken Down Car On Quieter, Slower Roads?

Just because a road is slower or quieter doesn’t make it any less dangerous. A pedestrian has a one in five chance of being killed if hit at 30mph. Raise this speed by just 5mph and that risk jumps up to one in three, so make sure that if you do have to stop and get out of your car, you’re doing so in a safe space that gives both you and other road users clear visibility of you and the road itself.

Once you’re positioned in a safe space, you need to warn other road users, which is where your warning triangle comes in. Most people neglect to put one of these out – if they even own one – and when they do, they’re very rarely far enough away from the car. You’ll need to be around 45 metres away to give plenty of warning to anyone else on the road, and if you’re near a bend, the triangle should be placed before the turn. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re not sure about your abilities to fix the car, or whether you’re in a safe space, then stop and call for assistance.

How Long Can I Leave My Broken Down Car For?

If you’ve broken down on a residential road and the car is in a legal and safe space, providing it remains taxed and insured, there’s nothing to stop you from leaving it there for as long as you need before getting it fixed. However, if you’re on the motorway network, the car will not be deemed to be in a safe space until it is off that road and in a garage (or your driveway).

As we’ve mentioned previously, there is the risk that the car could be registered as abandoned if you’ve left it for too long – although keeping it taxed and insured means no-one can legally move it without your permission, you just might not make many friends in doing so. If the car has, conveniently, broken down at home and is not parked on the public highway (effectively in your own garage, driveway or on private land), then you could declare a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN), saving you some tax and insurance payments in the process.

If your car has expired and upon inspection you’ve realised there’s absolutely no way you’re getting it back on the road without some major, and more importantly, expensive, repair work, then it may be time to look for something new. Get the ball rolling with Scrap Cars For Cash by either calling 08443 761 020 or using our quote generator at the top of this page and you’ll find out just how much your car could be worth in as little as 60 seconds. With free collection from almost anywhere in the country, it couldn’t be simpler.