If your car’s damaged in an accident, your car insurance can cover you for a courtesy car while it’s repaired.
If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident or had your vehicle stolen, you’ll know how inconvenient it is to not have access to your car.
Your car insurance might include courtesy car cover while repairs are being done. If not, you can add it as an optional extra for a fee.
Not all insurers offer it though. According to Defaqto, 346 out of 363 comprehensive car insurance policies included a courtesy car as standard during repairs. A further eight policies offered it as an optional extra.
But you might prefer to go for your own choice of repairer, because you trust them to do a good job or simply because they’re local to you.
You’ll need to check your policy documents to find out exactly what you’re covered for, as each insurer will use different terms for things and offer different options. For example, the type of car or duration of courtesy car cover you’ll get can vary.
Here’s what you can do to keep costs down:
Don’t assume that you’ll have the same level of cover on a courtesy vehicle as you had on your own car - you might only be provided with third party cover, even though you had a comprehensive policy on your car.
Some car insurance policies won’t cover you to drive a courtesy car, even if the policy offers you one.
According to Defaqto, although 346 of the 363 policies checked provided a courtesy car, only 78 included cover to drive one as standard.
If your own insurer doesn’t cover you, you’ll instead be provided with cover by the courtesy car company.
If you have an accident in the courtesy or hire car, the insurance you’ve got to cover it will treat it just like any other car, so you’d just need to pay the excess.
The excess will be refunded later if it's decided the accident wasn’t your fault, and you should still be able to get another courtesy car to drive if needed.
Check with your insurer, or the courtesy car company, who’s actually insuring you.
Last checked 27 August 2019