A simples guide

What to do after a car accident

If you’ve had a car accident – no matter how minor – it can be a real shock to the system. To help you keep your cool, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide that explains what you should do and what your car insurance provider will need to know.

Your immediate steps after an accident

Stop as soon as you can and switch off the engine.

Check that you and your passengers are okay. Don’t panic and try to stay calm – making rush decisions or scrambling out of the car without knowing what’s happened around you could cause more harm.

Get out of the car carefully and look around. If someone is hurt or vehicles are blocking the road, call the police and an ambulance.

Details and information you’ll need to collect after an accident

If another vehicle has been involved, you’ll need to exchange details. Make sure you note:

  • The registration of the other vehicle or vehicles
  • The name, address and phone number of the other driver or drivers, and any witnesses
  • The insurance details of the other driver or drivers involved. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you must notify the police – it’s against the law in the UK to drive without car insurance
  • The time and date of the accident.

Take photos of the accident scene and any injuries sustained – you might not remember all the details and they’ll help to back up your claim.

If the person driving the other vehicle isn’t the registered owner, ask who is and find out their contact details.

If you’ve hit a parked vehicle and the owner can’t be identified, leave your details somewhere visible, such as on the windscreen.

Report the accident to the police

All motoring accidents should be reported to the police within 24 hours. If you don’t inform them you could be fined, given points on your licence or end up disqualified.

Car accident

Contact your insurance provider

You should tell your insurance provider about your accident (even if you don’t want to make a claim) within a reasonable amount of time. The definition of ‘reasonable’ differs among insurance providers but will be set out in your policy documents – it can vary between two days to a couple of weeks. If you don’t report the accident within the stated time, it could invalidate any claim you later make.

You should always speak to your insurance provider before having your car repaired. Your provider might want you to use an approved garage, so taking your car to the garage down the road might invalidate your claim. Depending on your policy, you may or may not be given a courtesy car.

Get a good deal on your car insurance

If you drive a car, then you’ll need car insurance – there’s no getting out of it. But it doesn’t need to be hard work. Compare car insurance with us and you can be confident that you’re getting a deal that’s right for you.

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