Getting home

The problem of how to get home if your car breaks down has become much less of a trauma than once it was. In what are popularly referred to as the 'good old days' one might reasonably have expected help from other motorists when you stood thumbing beside a raised bonnet. Not any more.

Fortunately, all manner of 'get-you-and-your-car-home' schemes are available in these enlightened days. They are a Godsend, or should I say a St Christopher mercy, to women driving alone, those with young children or animals in the stranded vehicle, to the infirm, the aged, even just to those in a hurry. I am sure Motoring Which?, or whatever it is called, has done a useful survey of these rescue organisations, with practical experience of them, so that you can know where to lodge your subscription.

I have had only one such experience, writes he with crossed fingers. One Sunday in the backwoods of very rural Wales the Ford Sierra decided to misbehave. I had omitted to read the security instructions, perhaps because I was born in an age when citizens did not always lock up their house when they went out or their cars if they left them for short periods. Returning to the car I somehow got the alarm siren to go off, and couldn't stop it. No one drove a car across my bows to prevent escape, or in fact even looked at the wailing Sierra. After a while I got the thing to stop but found that the ignition was inoperative.

It was then that I remembered I carried a Ford/RAC/Extra-Cover card. Without much optimism, for it was a Sunday, in a remote area of Mid-Wales, I rang the number. It was answered immediately by a lady who, on receiving the reference, said: "You are Mr Boddy, with a Ford Sierra 4x4. I can get someone out to you in half-an-hour." To bring this anecdote to a close, I managed to get the engine to run before anyone arrived, so rang again to say, if the mechanic hadn't left, not to bother! The lady thanked me for ringing again, saying not everyone troubled, thus giving their chaps wasted journeys. It was all very reassuring. So, once again, full marks to Ford and the RAC.