Roadside vehicle technician

A roadside vehicle technician


Roadside vehicle technicians provide a roadside service to motorists whose vehicles have broken down or have been damaged in an accident. When a breakdown happens, they must quickly find the cause of the fault, using fault-finding equipment.

Roadside vehicle technicians typically do the following:

  • on arrival, diagnose the fault with the vehicle
  • carry out repairs, where they can
  • possibly use a laptop or tablet to obtain technical information and guidance
  • explain to the vehicle owner what they are planning to do
  • transport the vehicle to a garage, if they can’t repair it at the roadside.

The sort of repairs that can be carried out at the roadside include:

  • battery faults
  • wheel changes
  • drive belt problems
  • ignition parts.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to roadside vehicle technician:

van recovery technician
heavy vehicle roadside technician
coach roadside technician
PCV roadside technician
bus and coach roadside technician
LGV roadside technician
automotive recovery technician
truck recovery technician
bus roadside technician
vehicle recovery technician
mobile auto mechanic
car recovery technician
light vehicle roadside technician
mobile vehicle mechanic

Minimum qualifications

To become a roadside vehicle technician, a prior significant experience as a vehicle technician is highly recommended. A high school diploma is often required for this role.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Roadside vehicle technician is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Roadside vehicle technician career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to roadside vehicle technician.

vehicle maintenance attendant
vehicle technician
vehicle electronics installer
refurbishing technician
restoration technician

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of roadside vehicle technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of roadside vehicle technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

aeronautical information service officer
aeronautical information specialist
garage manager
performance rental technician
motor vehicle shop manager

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of roadside vehicle technician.

  • Car controls: The functioning of specific car equipment such as how to operate and handle the clutch, throttle, lighting, instrumentation, transmission and the brakes.
  • Types of vehicles: Field of information which distinguishes rental agency classification systems, containing types and classes of vehicles and their functioning and components.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of roadside vehicle technician.

  • Communicate with customers: Respond to and communicate with customers in the most efficient and appropriate manner to enable them to access the desired products or services, or any other help they may require.
  • Maintain vehicle records: Maintain vehicle records by accurately recording service operations and repairs.
  • Drive vehicles: Be able to drive vehicles; have the appropriate type of driving license according to the type of motor vehicle used.
  • Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
  • Perform technical tasks with great care: Avoiding possible risks and unwanted outcomes by watching carefully over all parts of a machine, device or vehicle and executing processes of production, maintenance or repair with great care.
  • Carry out repair of vehicles: Provide repair for vehicles and routine level checks, such as engine tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotation and changes, wheel balancing, replacing filters, repair engine failures; repair mechanical and electrical systems malfunctions; replace parts and components; repair body damage.
  • Follow given instructions: Follow instructions to achieve goals and meet deadlines.
  • Carry out repairs and maintenance of vehicle bodies: Execute repair and maintenance tasks to damaged vehicle bodies; follow customers’ individual requests and instructions.
  • Respond to customers’ inquiries: Answer customers’ questions about itineraries, rates and reservations in person, by mail, by e-mail and on the phone.
  • Perform manual work autonomously: Show the ability to pursue basic manual tasks without the help or assistance of others, not needing supervision or guidance, and taking responsibility for one’s actions.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of roadside vehicle technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Types of vehicle engines: Types of car engines in road and racing cars, inclusing those with emerging technologies like Hybrids and electric motors, and how they work.
  • Electronics: The functioning of electronic circuit boards, processors, chips, and computer hardware and software, including programming and applications. Apply this knowledge to ensure electronic equipment runs smoothly.
  • Electrical wiring plans: Pictorial representation of an electrical circuit. It shows the components of the circuit as simplified shapes, and the power and signal connections between the devices. It gives information about the relative position and arrangement of devices and terminals on the devices, to help in building or servicing the device. A wiring diagram is often used to troubleshoot problems and to make sure that all the connections have been made and that everything is present.
  • Mechanics: Theoretical and practical applications of the science studying the action of displacements and forces on physical bodies to the development of machinery and mechanical devices.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of roadside vehicle technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Ensure customer focus: Attitude that puts customers at the centre of the business in all cases.
  • Fix minor vehicle scratches: Fix minor vehicle dents and scratches with touch-up paint.
  • Read maps: Read maps effectively.
  • Operate towtruck: Attach the vehicle to the towtruck. Ensure safe movement of the vehicle while driving the towtruck. De-attach the vehicle from the towtruck at the destination.
  • Repair vehicle electrical systems: Use appropriate tools, machinery, and equipment to solve problems related to components of the electrical system of vehicles, such as the battery, alternator, or starter.
  • Maintain vehicle appearance: Maintain vehicle appearance by washing, cleaning and performing minor adjustments and repairs.
  • Use automotive diagnostic equipment: Use diagnostic equipment to perform test on motor vehicles, components and systems to detect defects.
  • Adapt to new technology used in cars: Adapt to new technology integrated in cars; understand systems operation and provide troubleshooting.
  • Ensure compliance with warranty contracts: Implement and monitor repairs and/or replacements by the supplier in compliance with warranty contracts.
  • Perform minor vehicle repairs: Repair/replace non-essential vehicle parts such as turn signals, lights, fluid hoses, etc.
  • Perform road testing: Perform road tests with vehicles; ensure that all functions are working safely and correctly; test vehicle in extreme weather and road conditions.
  • Operate GPS systems: Use GPS Systems.
  • Carry out repair of motorcycles: Carry out repairs and routine maintenance checks for motorcycles such as engine tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotation, tire changes, engine failures and mechanical system malfunctions. Replace parts and components.
  • Provide customer information related to repairs: Inform customers about necessary repairs or replacements, discuss products, services and costs, include accurate technical information.
  • Advise customers on usage of vehicles: Provide advice to customers related to the types of cars for sale, such as engine types and different fuels (hybrids, diesel, electric) and answer questions about gas mileage and the sizes of engines.
  • Issue sales invoices: Prepare the invoice of goods sold or services provided, containing individual prices, the total charge, and the terms. Complete order processing for orders received via telephone, fax and internet and calculate the customer’s final bill.
  • Perform defensive driving: Drive defensively to maximise road safety and save time, money, and lives; anticipate the actions of other road users.

ISCO group and title

7231 – Motor vehicle mechanics and repairers

  1. Roadside vehicle technician – ESCO
  2. Roadside technician – Job role – Careers Wales
  3. Featured image: Photo by Tim Samuel from Pexels
Last updated on September 22, 2022

What do you want to do with this job?

Requires a business account

Requires a business account

Thinking about your next career move?

Answer a few questions about your jobs and education, and we’ll give you suggestions about your best possible career move. It’s completely free!