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There’s no escaping it. The nights have well and truly drawn in, and temperatures have plummeted…  Winter has arrived, music to the ears of anyone who loves warm fires, hot chocolate and chunky jumpers, not such good news for your car.

Car failure can happen at the worst possible moments and be incredibly stressful, not to mention expensive for motorists who don’t have cover arrangements in place. We experience a significant increase in Motor Breakdown cover over the winter months.

We’re ready to come to the rescue of policyholders in trouble but would much rather motorists avoid the stress of a breakdown in the first place. Luckily, there are many ways of preparing a vehicle for the cold, damp winter months, here are six top tips that could prevent the chances of a breakdown occurring.

Tread carefully

It can take a car up to ten times longer to stop completely on snowy roads, so it’s essential that tyres are not worn or damaged. Experts recommend changing a tyre when the tread reaches a depth of 3mm to maintain the safest stopping distance.

Light the way

During the winter, muddy, salted or gritted roads can kick up a lot of grime, particularly on motorways. This can add a layer of muck to headlights, seriously decreasing their luminosity, making it harder for you to see ahead, but also for other cars to see you coming. Before setting off, make sure you give them a wipe with a damp cloth if you don’t have headlamp washers.


Battery issues are the number one cause of breakdown call-outs in the UK, and this risk increases substantially in cold, wet weather. It’s important to look out for warning signs of a flat or faulty battery, these could include; the engine turning over more slowly than usual when starting the car, loss of power to electrics or dashboard warning lights.

Freeze things happen

Water in the engine’s cooling system can freeze quickly in colder temperatures and cause serious internal engine damage. Make sure your antifreeze mixture remains topped up throughout the winter to prevent damage and risk of breakdown.

Service please

Getting your car serviced can feel like an expensive chore, particularly if the car is running well with no problems. But, a proper service can identify potential risks lurking under the hood. Cars usually require a service every 12,000 miles or 12 months, but all vehicles are different. If you haven’t had your car serviced for a while, now is the perfect time to book your car in for its annual check-up.

Prepare for the worst

There’s nothing worse than being stranded at the roadside in the freezing cold. It’s advisable to have an emergency kit with you at all times, just in case you find yourself stranded. Some warm blankets, a torch (and spare batteries!), warning triangle, and practical footwear could make all the difference during an incident.

Our holistic Motor Breakdown service supports motorists in getting back on the road without the worry of additional costs or hours spent waiting on a cold roadside. Our policyholders benefit from:

  • Roadside call out costs for up to 60 minutes per breakdown, including roadside repair or cost of recovering and transporting the vehicle to the nearest garage.
  • Home assistance call out costs, including repair in situ or arrangements to take the vehicle to a local garage for repairs
  • Alternative travel costs of up to £250 to enable journey completion if repairs cannot be carried out on site
  • Emergency overnight accommodation of up to £150 for a lone traveller, or £75 per person whilst the vehicle is being repaired
  • Recovery and repatriation service to assist recovering or repatriating the vehicle back to the UK if the vehicle cannot be repaired

James Waddy, Head of Partnerships & Development, Arc Legal Group

Our Motor Breakdown insurance also covers customers with non-standard vehicles, including horse boxes, larger vehicles, trailers and electric vehicles. To find out more please contact your Partnerships Manager or email







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