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Drivers could be left underwhelmed and underinsured by courtesy car cover

08 April 2015 urges drivers to check their cover before heading out in a replacement vehicle.

Courtesy car cover offers drivers reassurance that they’ll be able to carry on life as usual should their car need to be repaired following an accident. However, Car Insurance can reveal that in many cases courtesy car cover could fall short of what customers expect.

In a study of 226 comprehensive car insurance policies, Car Insurance found that while 9 out of 10 (93%) say that they offer a courtesy car as standard, less than half (45%) guarantee that drivers will actually receive one.

For larger families or those who need extra room in their vehicle it’s worth considering that 87% of insurers will only provide a small hatchback as a replacement vehicle. While this may be fine for commuting to work, this could cause problems if you have a particularly large school run, or are going on a trip with luggage. Only one in ten policies offer an enhanced courtesy car as standard.

While most insurers will offer a courtesy car as standard, the vast majority (80%) of policies will not cover the temporary vehicle provided. The insurance on a courtesy car is typically provided by the car hire company who own the vehicle, and not your insurer. This means the level of cover on your replacement vehicle may not be the same as your existing policy.

Matt Oliver, car insurance spokesperson at said; “If you are unfortunate enough to need a courtesy car, check that the insurance on the vehicle offered is suitable for your needs and that you’re aware of any excesses that may apply before you head out on the road.

“Common misconceptions are that customers will be offered a like-for-like replacement car and that their existing insurance policy will cover them on the vehicle. However, most of the time, this is not the case.

“The insurance for a courtesy car is usually arranged by the car lease company who own the vehicle. This means that while you’ll have some degree of insurance, you shouldn’t assume that you have the same level of cover as on your existing policy.

“Likewise, the cover provided may come with additional restrictions not in your regular policy. For instance, lease companies will often have a minimum age limit on who is allowed to drive their vehicles. As such, younger drivers who are regularly insured on your existing policy may not be covered to drive your courtesy car.”

For more information on courtesy car cover, has put together a courtesy car cover guide.


Notes to editors

* Defaqto Matrix of 226 car insurance policies - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto (correct as of 23rd February 2015)