Courtesy car insurance cover

If you depend on your car to get around, then you’ll want to know you have access to a replacement if yours is being repaired. That’s where courtesy car insurance comes in. Here’s what you need to know about it.

If you depend on your car to get around, then you’ll want to know you have access to a replacement if yours is being repaired. That’s where courtesy car insurance comes in. Here’s what you need to know about it.

Alex Hasty
Insurance and finance expert
minute read
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Posted 5 JANUARY 2022

What is a courtesy car? 

A courtesy car is one provided by your insurance provider or garage while yours is being repaired.

Will I get a courtesy car if mine is in the garage? 

If you have fully comprehensive car insurance, then it’s likely – but not guaranteed – that you’ll get a courtesy car while yours is off the road. If you’re not sure, check your policy documents to find out.

Does courtesy car insurance come as standard? 

That depends on your policy. Some insurance policies feature courtesy-car cover as standard. On others, it’s an add-on feature. However, you’re more likely to have cover if your policy is fully comprehensive

Third-party, or third-party, fire and theft insurance doesn’t usually cover courtesy cars. But again, it depends on your policy – some might do, so it’s always worth checking.

Will I get a courtesy car if the accident was my fault? 

Assuming your policy covers it, then yes, you should still get a courtesy car if the accident is your fault. However, you may want to call your insurance provider to check.

What happens if the accident wasn’t my fault? 

If you’re in a car accident that isn’t your fault, you may be able to claim for a courtesy car on the other driver’s insurance. But, if your own insurance includes courtesy-car cover and the accident wasn’t your fault, you should be able to claim for one on your own policy, if you need to.

Will I get a courtesy car if my car is written off or stolen? 

If you’re involved in an accident, your insurance provider may well provide you with a courtesy car while your own is being assessed for repairs. However, you may find you then have to give it back if your car is then written off. 

Not all insurance providers will give you a courtesy car if yours is stolen (although some will ). If your policy won’t, you can look into getting hire car cover, or add a replacement car extension to your policy. That way you’ll have access to a rental car if yours is stolen or written off.

What do I need to know about getting a courtesy car? 

Some insurance providers will only give you a courtesy car with certain conditions attached. These might include: 

  • Getting your car repaired at one of their approved repair centres.
  • A ‘subject to availability’ clause in your policy. That means you won’t get a courtesy car if there isn’t one available.
  • Excluding certain vehicles from cover, such as classic cars or camper vans.
  • Expecting you to return your courtesy car with the same amount of fuel as when you were provided with it.
  • You may find your courtesy car has mileage restrictions.

Will my courtesy car be insured? 

If your insurance provider is lending you the courtesy car, you should find your usual policy covers you at no extra cost. But if it’s the garage lending you the car, you may have to call your insurance provider and temporarily add the car to your policy.

If I have an accident in a courtesy car, can I make a compensation claim? 

It’s possible you’re at greater risk of an accident in a courtesy car – after all, you’re driving a vehicle you’re not used to, with different pedals and controls. 

But if you’re involved in an accident that’s not your fault, which took place in the past three years, and you’re fully insured, there are solicitors who’ll help you make a compensation claim.

Is it worth paying extra for courtesy car cover? 

Whether it’s worth paying for extra cover depends on your personal circumstances and how much you need your car. It’s worth working out how much it would cost you to rent a car while yours is in the garage, and then comparing that with the price of extra insurance.

How do I get a quote that includes courtesy car cover? 

Start a quote with us, telling us a bit about you, your car and what level of cover you’ll need. Our online comparison service will give you a range of competitive quotes. You’ll be able to check the details of each policy and see if they offer a courtesy car.

Frequently asked questions

What kind of courtesy car will I get?

Many courtesy cars tend to be basic saloon or hatchback models, like a Ford Ka, Kia Picanto, or Nissan Micra. You’ll sometimes see these referred to as ‘Class A courtesy cars’. If you want something more souped-up, or a like-for-like model, you may have to pay extra.

How long will I get a courtesy car for?

Usually, you’ll only get a courtesy car for as long as it takes for your car to be repaired. With any luck, this should be within a few days, but some insurance providers do attach time limits, such as 14 or 21 days.

Will I have to pay for a courtesy car?

If your insurance policy includes courtesy-car cover, then no, you won’t need to pay for it unless you’re charged an excess. On top of that, you should only have to pay for the fuel you use.

Will my resident parking permit cover a courtesy car?

If you live in an area with resident parking bays, you’ll need to contact your local council to let them know you have a courtesy car. Most boroughs will give you temporary cover that lets you park your courtesy car in a controlled parking zone.

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