A simples guide

What to do after a car accident

If you’ve had a car accident – no matter how minor – it can be really stressful and a real shock to the system. To keep things cool, we’ve put together this guide which will help explain step by step what to do if you are involved in an accident.


Immediate steps after an accident

Firstly, check you and your passengers are ok, 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.

Switch the engine off and take a look around and assess the damage. If someone is hurt or vehicles are blocking the road, then you’ll need to call the police and an ambulance. It’s important to stay calm– the main priority is to stay safe and minimise further damage.

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

If the other driver does not have insurance, always notify the police – it’s against the law to drive without car insurance.

What details and information will I need?

If another car has been involved then you’ll need to swap details, make sure you note:

  • The registration of the other car or cars
  • The name, address and phone number of the other driver or drivers and any witnesses
  • Car insurance details of the other drivers involved
  • The time and date of the accident

Take some photos of the accident scene and any injuries sustained – this will help you remember details and also back up your claim. If the person driving the other car isn’t the registered keeper, ask who is and find out their contact details.

If you’ve had an accident with a parked vehicle and the owner can’t be identified, then you should leave your details somewhere visible – such as the windscreen.

What shall I do if my car is stolen or vandalised?

You should contact the police who will give you a crime reference number – you’ll need this when you talk to your insurance provider. If your car’s been vandalised then try and take some pictures, as heart-breaking as it may be, it might help with your claim.

car accident

When should I contact my insurance provider?

You should always tell your insurance provider about an accident – even if you don’t want to make a claim. The time you have to report the accident to your insurance provider will depend on your provider so make sure you check your policy as it can vary between a couple of days to a couple of weeks. If you don’t report the incident within that time, then it could invalidate any claim you later make.

You should always speak with your insurance provider before taking your car to a garage to fix. Some insurance providers want you to use certain garages so taking your car to the local one down the road might invalidate your claim. Depending on your policy, you may or may not get a courtesy car.

Being insured

If you drive a car, you’ll need car insurance – there’s no getting out of it. But getting insurance doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t need to cost the earth. Use our car insurance comparison service to compare your options and find a deal that’s right for you.

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