What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down, and You Have No Money?

A vehicle could break down in the middle of the journey even if it was in a perfectly healthy condition before you had set out on the journey. As it is, a vehicle breakdown is a piece of terrible news; however, the tension and anxiety increase manifolds if you have no money to repair your damaged vehicle.

Hundreds of things can go wrong with a vehicle. The clutch, the brake, the accelerator, and the engine may stop working optimally and need a replacement or a repair. Most drivers panic when they have a damaged vehicle and no money to get it repaired, but if you have roadside assistance coverage, then you need not worry at all.

6 Steps To Take When You Stranded On The Road And Have No Money

1. Do Not Panic

Most people panic when their vehicle breaks down, and they also have no money to tide over the situation. But you must remember that there is always a way to get out of a sticky situation, and if you are calm, you will easily be able to get out of a problematic situation.


2. Take Help From The Insurance Company

If your vehicle has breakdown insurance coverage, then you need not worry if your vehicle breaks down and you also do not have money. Many drivers do not buy a breakdown cover because they think that breakdowns are rare and buying a policy cover would be wasteful. However, most people fail to realize that breakdowns are quite common, even with new vehicles.

If you want to get comprehensive coverage, you have to be very careful while buying the insurance policy. The first thing to check is whether the insurance policy provides 24X7 service. This is crucial because if a vehicle breaks down in the middle of the night, your insurance cover must come to use.

It is also essential to buy a policy that covers a large geographical area. For instance, if you are traveling from California to New York in your own vehicle, then your insurance policy should be helpful in the entire continent and not be restricted to just one city or state.

The insurance policy should cover all the costs for the replacements. It is your job to read the fine print and ensure that the policy covers all parts like the brakes, engine components, clutch, accelerator etc.

Most insurance policies cover the cost of towing. When you are buying a breakdown insurance cover, then you should get all the information about the towing services that the policy will cover.

It is vital to note the distance for which the vehicle will be towed. Most companies tow up to 50 kilometers from the site of the breakdown. Whatever the maximum limit, you should ensure that the distance covered is adequate to reach a garage or a mechanic’s shop.

Also, have a word with your insurance agent about the kind of towing available. Towing can be of many types like tilt tow, boat tow etc. Hence you should take such an insurance cover which offers you a comprehensive towing service.

Most insurance companies tie up with towing companies that have a license to operate, and hence you can rest assured to get a professional service.

3. Take Help From A Public Helpline

If your vehicle breaks down suddenly and you have no money, then you can contact a public service helpline. Public service helplines have simple three or four-digit numbers, and they are easy to remember. Traffic police personnel also advertise their helpline numbers at distinct locations so that stranded drivers can contact them.

The traffic police of an area are responsible for maintaining a smooth flow of traffic in their area. Hence, they can get you in touch with a towing service or a mechanic so that your vehicle does not lie in the center of the road.

You will eventually have to pay the towing company and the mechanic for their services, but reaching out via the traffic police buys you time.


4. Take Help From A Friend

Most people contact a friend if they need immediate help; hence if you are stranded on the road and have no money, you should contact a friend. A friend can come and pick you up. He can also give you some money so that you can pay the towing company or the mechanic. Thus, it is vital to have the phone numbers of your friends in speed dial so that they can rescue you from any trouble that you might land up in.

5. Seek Help From People On The Road

When you are stranded on the road, the easiest thing to do is to take help from the other people on the road. Some people will definitely be helpful, and they will help you with money or guide you with directions to the nearest garage. However, you need to be careful before seeking help from strangers.

Some people are genuinely kind and want to help you, but there are others who might want to harm you or steal your vehicle. Hence, taking help from strangers on the road should be the last option if you cannot get help from any other source.


6. Park The Vehicle In A Safe Place

It will take some time for your friend or the traffic police to arrive at the spot where you are stranded. Meanwhile, you should try to park the car on the side of the road. Apart from this, you should also switch on the hazard light so that other vehicles know that your vehicle is damaged and it cannot move.


It is always a good idea to carry extra cash when traveling alone. It is also prudent to get your vehicle checked from time to time. However, emergency situations arise despite taking all sorts of precautions. If you ever get stuck after a vehicle breakdown, you should not panic and try to get out of the situation calmly and patiently.

About Carolyn Lang