Direct Line magazine

Replacement car checklist - five questions you should ask

Updated on: 14 September 2021

a man drives a car, filled with the hues of the setting sun

When you’re buying car insurance and considering a hire car or courtesy car, do you know what questions to ask? This handy checklist may help you to choose.

This is based on standard car insurance policies, where a courtesy car or hire car is provided as part of the policy. Many insurers only provide a car if your car is being repaired. You might have to organise and pay for your own transport if your car is written off or stolen.

1. Can you choose your own repairer?

Unfortunately, many insurers won’t provide you with a courtesy or hire car if you choose to use your own repairer.

2. If you can’t drive your own car, will you be carless before repairs start?

Many insurers say they’ll only provide a courtesy car while your car is being repaired by their chosen repairer. So, you might not get a car before the repairs begin.

3. Will a replacement car always be available?

Some insurers say courtesy cars are subject to availability, meaning you can’t be certain their repairers will have a car available for you to use.

4. When you get a replacement car, what condition will it be in?

Depending on who’s supplying the replacement car – a repairer or a hire car company, you can’t be sure of the condition of the car until you get it.

5. How long will you have it for?

It’s worth checking how long you’ll get a courtesy car for. Many insurers say they’ll give you a hire car while your car is being repaired. Meaning, you’re unlikely to get one before the repairs start or not at all if they say your car is not repairable. Other insurers only provide courtesy cars for a set period of time, usually up to 14 days.

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