£1,000 Prize for the Best Breakdown Story

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The recent cold weather has led to a 50%* increase in the number of car breakdowns - but fortunately there are some fantastic tales of people prepared to go the extra mile to help a motorist in need. To celebrate those who go out of their way to assist a stranded driver, Cornhill Direct is launching a competition - 'Britain's Brightest Breakdown' - with a cash prize of £1,000 up for grabs.

Motorists can enter the competition by simply visiting Cornhill's 'Remote Roads Navigator', marking the location where they broke down and providing a short summary of what happened and who came to the rescue - be they a friendly pub landlord, B&B owner, hotel manager, or simply a fellow driver.

Commenting on the competition, Mark Bishop, communications director at Cornhill Direct, said: "Breaking down is every motorist's nightmare, particularly if you are far from anywhere and on your own. Over the years we have heard some heart-warming stories about how people have been helped by the kindness of total strangers, and we felt that it was time to celebrate that. It's also fascinating to realise how, for such a small island, there are so many spots a long way from any sign of life. These are often places we'd love to visit as a holiday destination but being stranded there is a completely different matter."

Sarah Fallon is a mum of three from Welshpool in mid-Wales. Eighteen months ago, on a trip to visit relatives, she broke down near Penmachno, a remote village in Conwy. "It was 9 o'clock at night in the middle of winter and I had all three children with me. It's very difficult to know what to do in that sort of situation, the youngest one was only two at the time and I was at least four miles from any house, shops or pubs. It didn't help that there was no signal on my mobile phone.

"After sitting in the car for 20 minutes I was about to start walking with all the children, when a couple pulled up and helped us out. The woman stayed with us in the car while her husband drove to the nearest village to get help. Within another 20 minutes a tow truck arrived and we were on our way. I remain hugely grateful to that couple, they went out of their way to help us, in what was a horrendous situation."

The competition is open now and runs until 31st March. One lucky winner will be selected at random from all the entries. For full details, plus information and advice about how to deal with a breakdown in an isolated area or car breakdown cover, please visit http://www.cornhilldirect.co.uk/isolatedbreakdowns.

*breakdown figures provided by Allianz insurance
7 FACTS & FIGURES about the most isolated spots in the UK
1. Papa Stour in the Shetland Islands has a population of under 20, although this is an increase from the 1970s, when the island put out an appeal for new residents.
2. According to Ordnance Survey, the Britain's most remote inhabited island is Fair Isle (in Shetland Islands).
3. There is strong evidence that Berneray in the Outer Hebrides has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and possibly before. The island is scattered with ancient sacred sites, stone circles and signs of Viking inhabitation.
4. Camanreagh, 10 km east of Ballyneaner, is so remote that even the internet hasn't heard of it.
5. Bardsey Island, 10 km from the Welsh Mainland has no permanent electricity supply, with most houses relying on candles and small gas lamps.
6. The B4407 that winds south out of Cwm Penmacho in Wales, doesn't pass another village or habitation for nearly 10 miles.
7. Bryher, part of the Scilly Isles, is the smallest of the five inhabited islands of the Isles of Scilly with a population of 90.

Notes to editors:
About Cornhill Direct Insurance: Cornhill Direct is part of Allianz Insurance plc, one of the largest general insurers in the UK. Cornhill Direct is a well established and experienced UK insurance brand providing quality car and home insurance products.

For further press information, photographs or video please contact Caroline O'Donoghue, iCrossing, tel: 01273 828144 or email caroline.o'donoghue(at)icrossing.co.uk

For Cornhill Direct media enquiries please contact Mark Bishop, group communications manager, tel: 01483 552731 or email: mark.bishop(at)allianz.co.uk

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