Wednesday 20 March 2013

Do you know what to do when your car breaks down?

I do and I don't.

You see things work differently here in South Africa. I know what to do in the UK but what happens here with a break down?

Two years ago my tyre blew at 120k in the outside lane on the N1, when asked by OUTsurance where I was, I said 'on the N1 driving south to Pretoria, no I can't see any signs, but I'm at a toll gate, what does it say on the toll gate?, hang on I'll take a look, it says E tags and cash only' seriously you can read that blog post here.

So yesterday I drive to the fuel station, fill up, pop in the shop, pay the bill and start the car. Dead as a Dodo, zilch, nothing. I've had a flat battery in the past so I get the jump leads out, pursuade a motorist to help, I attach the jump leads and nothing. Another motorist offers his vehicle, again, nothing. So the pump attendants try a bump start and nothing. I park up. The lights work, the electrics on the sunroof work.

I call a friend who is in a building next door as I was on my way to a meeting, she collects me and all my stuff. I leave my details with the manager and I call OUTsurance.

Now I don't want towing home then have to pay for someone to collect my car at my cost in the morning. I don't know a reputal garage I can be towed to and it's 7pm so everywhere is closed. OUTsurance inform me they'll tow my car to a compund for the night then in the morning I can let the tow company know where to take my vehicle. Well I'm still none the wiser, so the guy at OUTsurance asks me how long I've had the car for and when I reply 2 years, he says 'take the car to where you had it serviced.

So this morning I ring the garage, they can take the car, I call the tow ompany and give them the address and the car is delivered. I'm waiting now for the garage to call me to tell me what is wrong and how much it will cost to have it repaired.

So what is the problem I hear you say? Sounds just like how things are done in the UK doesn't it?

But as an expat, here with hubbies work, it's this sort of thing that we should have been given advice on when we arrived. The day I picked my car up, I drove home and thought 'bugger, car insurance, who do I use?' Can you name me a car insurance company in South Africa? and remember this was back when I didn't have a cell, landline or access to the internet. I looked out the window and saw OUTsurance written on the side of a building, I ran over, took the number down and rang them from a phone box on a street corner.

This post isn't sponsored by OUTsurance, I have had problems with them about insurance with personal cover, but that was resolved and they've rescued me twice when I had no other way of getting home.


  1. Caught your latest post on my reader. So sorry to hear you're having this trouble. People can be so insensitive.

    I don't comment very often on your blog, but I do read it. I'm rooting for you.

    1. thank you so much, i decided to remove the post as i was guilty of what i was accussing others better than that :-)

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