Understanding your rights to a courtesy car

Many drivers will have access to a courtesy car in the unfortunate case that they have an accident in their own vehicle or if their set of wheels must go in for repairs. However, join Audi dealer Vindis as they clearly set out the laws, rights and industry standards that surround courtesy cars…

General pointers regarding courtesy cars

A comprehensive insurance policy will generally include a courtesy car. If you’re involved in an accident it’s possible that you’ll receive one of these vehicles, you’ll usually be able to make use of the vehicle up until your own car is in a fit state to be driven again.

You have to be aware though that it will likely be down to you taking your vehicle down to a garage approved by your insurer that will determine your entitlement to a courtesy car. An insurer might not give you access to a courtesy car if they believe that your vehicle is a write-off. If you don’t have hire car cover — something that isn’t often included within even a comprehensive policy but an add-on instead — you may even be left without a single car in the event of a bad accident.

ABI’s notes on industry standards

In an interview with MoneySuperMarket, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have provided their views on where it stands regarding an industry standard being in place for courtesy car provision.

According to the organisation, there are three circumstances to bear in mind:

  1. If you have an accident where no other driver is involved then your entitlement to a courtesy car lies solely on the provisions set out in the insurance policy.
  2. When you’re at fault on the road and cause an accident with another driver involved you’ll be not be able to claim against the other motorist for repair of your vehicle or indeed to replace the car. When it comes to claiming on your motor insurance policy, the same parameters will apply as detailed above if you have an accident with no other driver involved.
  3. In the case that you have an accident on the road where another driver was involved and they are at fault, you have the opportunity to claim against the other motorist’s insurer for a courtesy car in the time it takes for your vehicle to be repaired. Take note that you must be making a reasonable claim, meaning that your courtesy car has to be similar to your own car.

The importance of checking a policy’s details

The provision of a courtesy car will vary from one insurer to the next. It’s key that if you check through your motor insurance policy when taking it out to ensure that it provides you with exactly the cover you need so that you don’t get an unwelcome surprise.

A note about courtesy cars when taking a vehicle into a garage

If you take your car to a garage and find out they’re not able to give you a courtesy car even though you got a promise of one, the online complaints tool Resolver has acknowledged that the garage you chose should cover your expenses until your vehicle is repaired. This may include paying for the costs of you taking out a hire car or reimbursing you for any taxi fares.

With this guidance, hopefully you’ll never need to encounter stress in the event you need to make use of a courtesy car.