Car insurance

Understanding your rights to a courtesy car

If you have an accident, normally you’d expect to receive a courtesy car while yours gets fixed. However, alongside Volkswagen servicing specialists, Vindis, we set out the laws, rights and industry standards that surround courtesy cars…

General pointers regarding courtesy cars

Generally, you’ll find that a courtesy car is including in comprehensive insurance policies. You may receive one of these vehicles if you’re involved in an accident too, but your set of wheels can get repaired. You’ll usually be able to make use of the vehicle up until your car is fit to be driven again.

You must be aware, however, that your courtesy car entitlement can often depend on taking your car to a garage that is approved by your insurer. What’s more, an insurer may not give you access to a courtesy car if they have the opinion 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

Talking to MoneySuperMarket, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) provided their views on where they stand in regards to an industry standard being in place for courtesy car provision.

There are three circumstances to bear in mind, according to the organisation:

  1. Have an accident on the road with no other driver involved and your entitlement to a courtesy car while your own vehicle is being repaired will come down to the provisions set out within your insurance policy.
  2. In the case that you have an accident on the road where another driver was involved and you are at fault, you will be unable 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. Just take note that it must be a reasonable claim, which means you must look for a courtesy vehicle that is similar to your own.

The importance of checking a policy’s details

It’s understandable that the provision of a courtesy car is likely to differ between insurance companies.  As a result, it’s vital that you avoid getting an unwelcome surprise if you have a road accident by checking through your motor insurance policy when taking it out to ensure that it provides you with the exact cover you’re looking for.

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

If you find that you’ve taken your car to a garage who aren’t able to provide a courtesy car despite a prior promise being given, online complaints tool Resolver has acknowledged that the garage should therefore cover your expenses until your vehicle is fixed. This may include paying for the costs of you taking out a hire car or reimbursing you for any taxi fares.


Hopefully this guidance will help ensure that you never need to encounter stress in the event you need to make use of a courtesy car.