What Are Your Rights Regarding A Courtesy Car?

Volkswagen Golf courtesy car

In the event you have an accident when driving your vehicle or must put your car into a garage to undergo repairs, there’s a good chance you’ll have access to a courtesy car to temporarily get from A to B. There are laws, rights and industry standards in place when it comes to courtesy cars though, as a VW dealer details in this guide.

Some general pointers about courtesy cars

A comprehensive insurance policy generally includes details about courtesy cars. 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.

However, it is likely that you’ll have to take your car to a garage that your insurer has approved of for you to be entitled to a courtesy car. 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.

Volkswagen Polo courtesy car

Industry standards

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) have given their views on their stance regarding industry standards for courtesy car provision when interviewed by MoneySuperMarket. According to the organisation, there are three circumstances to bear in mind.

  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.

VW Golf GTi Courtesy Car

Why it’s important to check your insurance policy’s details

As we have discovered so far in this guide, the provision of a courtesy car will change depending on the insurer. 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.

Getting a courtesy car when taking your vehicle into a garage

Have you taken your car into a garage and realised that the owner will be unable to provide you with a courtesy car, despite a promise being given prior to your visit? In this scenario, online complaints tool Resolver has acknowledged that the garage should cover your expenses while your vehicle is being repaired. This may include paying for the costs of you taking out a hire car or reimbursing you for any taxi fares.

We hope this guide will help you to make best use of a courtesy car with minimal stress should you ever have the need for a vehicle if your car is off the road for any period of time.

Photographs courtesy of Volkswagen AG

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