If your car’s damaged in an accident, your motor insurance can cover you for a courtesy car while it’s being repaired.
A courtesy car is a replacement car that you can use if your own vehicle is involved in an accident and needs to go into the garage for repairs.
Courtesy car cover may be included as standard in your car insurance policy, depending on the level of cover you have. Or you can add it as an optional extra to some policies.
According to Defaqto, 92% of 325 comprehensive car insurance policies included a courtesy car as standard during repairs. A further 6% offered it as an optional extra.
It’ll usually be a condition of your policy that you use one of your provider’s recommended and approved repairers to be eligible to use a courtesy car.
If you’re involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault and your car needs to go into the garage for repairs, you may be able to get a courtesy car and claim for it on the at fault car’s insurance.
A car can be an absolute necessity for a lot of us. Perhaps you commute to work every day, take children to school, or rely on your car because transport links in your area are poor. In these circumstances, if your car is off the road for any period of time, it can be a real inconvenience.
Courtesy car cover can help bring peace of mind that, should your own car need to go to the garage for repairs, you’ll be given the use of an alternate car to carry out all your usual and necessary journeys until you get your car back.
Terms and conditions of courtesy car cover vary between policies, so do read wording carefully. Typically, standard courtesy car cover will have limitations like:
Some providers offer enhanced courtesy car cover or guaranteed courtesy car options at extra cost.
This higher level of cover offers benefits such as:
With most standard courtesy car cover, you’ll usually only get a courtesy car if your vehicle is repairable and is taken to the insurer’s approved garage to be fixed - not if your car’s stolen or declared a write-off. That’s because courtesy cars are often provided by the insurer’s nominated repairer.
If you have an accident in your car that’s your fault and make a claim, you’ll usually lose two years of your NCB if you haven’t protected it. Similarly, if your car is stolen or you’re hit by an uninsured driver, any claim you make will affect your NCB.
With courtesy car cover, many policies won’t offer a replacement if your car is beyond repair or stolen and not recovered. Hire car cover is sometimes available to buy as an optional extra and it will cover you if your car is written off or stolen.
Whereas courtesy car cover usually supplies you with a small hatchback, car hire cover may supply you with a vehicle that’s a similar type and size to your own.
It’s included as standard on some fully comprehensive policies, but if you need to add it as an optional extra, it will depend on the insurer and the level of cover you require.
It depends on your provider. But in many instances, where a courtesy car is included in your insurance, you’ll be insured to drive it under the same terms as your current car insurance policy. This should apply to any named drivers on your policy, too.
However, it’s really important to check with your insurer. Sometimes, even if you have comprehensive cover, your insurer will only provide third party cover for you to drive a courtesy car.
It depends on the policy. Some will allow you to have the courtesy car the whole time that your own car is in the garage. Others will limit how long you can have it even if the repairs take longer.