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Breaking down on the side of the road is irritating at the best of times. Worse still when you’re not adequately prepared. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you better be prepared to sit tight and hope assistance is on its way. You do have breakdown cover, right?

When it comes to being a skilled driver, the best thing you can do is to expect the unexpected. That means preparing for any eventuality. That way, if you do find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, you know exactly how to deal with it.

Luckily for you, there are a couple of tricks you can have up your sleeve if things do go wrong. Prevention, as they say, is better than cure.

Okay, so you might not need to fill your car with tinned foodstuffs to ride out this storm. At least we hope you’re not waiting that long. It is, however, a good idea to have a few emergency items on standby. Consider putting together a checklist of the following:

Battery Accessories – One of the most common causes of car breakdowns is a dead battery. You should always keep a battery charger, booster pack and jump lead handy just in case.

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Car Fluid – You may have been a bit silly and let your fluids run dry. Always keep some spare oil and water in your car just in case. It may be worth keeping a can of petrol in the back too. Just make sure you don’t light a cigarette nearby.

Fire Extinguisher – Okay, it sounds more dramatic than it actually is. Sometimes when your engine overheats, though, flames can appear. It’s better to put it out than risk further damage to your engine, isn’t it?

First Aid Kit – Unless you’re involved in a collision, chances are you won’t need this. But if you are, you may find you need to patch up a flesh wound. You don’t want to be relying on the person that just crashed into you, do you?

High-Vis and Torch – If you break down in the dark, you’re going to need to see what you’re doing, right? Equally, people are going to need to see you. You don’t want to end up as roadkill now, do you?

Spare Tyre – There’s nothing more annoying than having to sit around for a few hours just because of a deflated tyre. Have a spare one kicking around in your boot. It doesn’t need to be expensive because, with any luck, you’ll never have to use it. The point is that it’s there. The Falken FK452 is a good budget option.

Tow Rope – You may not have to wait for roadside assistance after all. If you keep a tow rope handy, you can call on a relative or friend to come riding to your rescue.

These things, along with at least a basic grasp of car maintenance, should see you right. Make sure you keep them to hand and you’ll be home before you know it.

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