Optional extras for car insurance

Find out more about additional extras for car insurance, the average cost of popular add-ons and how to save money on your car insurance.

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
Updated 11 February 2022  | 4 mins read

Do you need extra cover?

Features included as standard on car insurance cover vary. If your policy doesn’t have an aspect of cover that you need, you might be able to buy it as an optional extra.

Check with your insurance provider to see what’s included in your policy and what extras you can buy.

Checklist before buying an optional extra

  • Do you need it?
  • Have you read the terms? Does it offer the cover you need?
  • Do you have equivalent cover from other insurance, or a bank account?
  • Can you get a better deal by buying the cover separately?

Types of optional extras

Here are some of the most common policy extras available:

Legal protection

Legal protection pays for the legal fees resulting from a car insurance claim.

It can arrange for a solicitor to pursue a personal injury claim and recover the excess, medical or earnings losses.

Legal protection can also help recover uninsured losses (such as lawyer/solicitor fees) from the other driver’s insurance company if you’re involved in a no-fault accident.

Breakdown cover

Just like car insurance, levels of breakdown cover vary, but it commonly includes:

  • Recovery/relay

    If your car can’t be fixed at the roadside or locally, you and a set number of those travelling with you can be taken to any UK mainland destination.
  • Home start

    Repair or recovery if you break down at home or nearby.
  • Onward travel

    If your car isn’t easily fixable, you’ll be provided with a hire car, overnight accommodation or reasonable onward travel expenses.
  • European cover

    You’ll be covered if you breakdown when driving in Europe, for up to 31 days per trip and 90 days in total per year.

Check with your insurance company to find out exactly what your breakdown policy covers and think carefully about whether you should couple breakdown cover with your car insurance, or buy them separately.

Driving abroad and green cards

If it’s not already included in your car insurance, driving abroad cover could be a useful add-on if you need to take your car on a road trip.

Driving abroad policies might only provide third party cover, so double check with your insurer.

for some countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, you'll need to ask your insurer for a green card a few weeks before you travel.

A green card is an international insurance document that proves you have the minimum cover in the country you’re in and you'll need to keep a physical copy of it in your car.

Before you travel, research what cover and documents you need for the countries you’re visiting.

Courtesy car

If your car is written off or you’re unable to use it, a courtesy car can be provided until yours is returned, or for a pre-determined time until you find a new car.

  • Just because you’ve been given a courtesy car, it doesn’t mean you’re actually insured to drive it. Ask whoever’s providing the courtesy car if you’re insured to drive it and what that insurance covers.

Certain restrictions and exclusions will apply, so read over your policy documents if you’re unsure.

Personal accident cover

This additional cover will pay out if you’re injured or killed as a result of a car accident.

The pay-out you get depends on the seriousness of the injury and what kind of personal accident cover you choose.

Don’t assume that you’ll have personal accident cover just because you’ve got comprehensive car insurance – it’s not always included as standard.

Windscreen cover

Windscreen cover will pay for repairs to your windscreen if it’s chipped or cracked, or a replacement windscreen if it’s not fixable.

This might be included as standard in your comprehensive cover, but not always, and an excess usually applies.

Other car insurance extras

As well as those mentioned above, you might also be interested in these additional extras:

Average costs of optional extras

We searched our panel of insurers to find out the average cost of five popular optional extras.

Add-on Average cost[1]
Legal cover £26
Breakdown cover £42
Courtesy car £23
Personal accident £20
Windscreen cover £34

See if you can save on your car insurance

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[1]Average price paid for optional extras from our insurance partners in November 2022.