Being without a car can be frustrating, which is why some insurers include a courtesy car when yours is out of action. But car insurance policies can cover different things as standard, and there are a few things to check are included before buying.
While some policies offer a courtesy car as standard, others only have them as optional extras or don't offer them at all.
And what's included as standard with courtesy car cover varies from insurer to insurer, so check your policy carefully to avoid any surprises when claiming. Watch out for these clauses.
- Availability Some insurers have a 'subject to availability' clause in their standard policy. This means you're not guaranteed a courtesy car, and if there are no cars available, you may find yourself carless while yours is being fixed.
- The cause If your car is written off or stolen, many standard policies won't give you a courtesy car as the clause only covers you for repairs. If you buy direct with us, we'll give you a courtesy car for up to 21 days if yours has been stolen or written off.
- Repairs Most standard policies include the clause that to qualify for a courtesy car, yours needs to be repaired at a garage approved by your insurer.
- Duration With standard policies, your courtesy car may have an 'expiration date'. Your cover may set a cap on the loan duration, for example, 3 weeks – even if the repairs last longer.
- Type If you have a basic courtesy car policy, you're likely to get a 1 litre, small 3-door hatchback as standard, no matter what car you were driving before. You may also have to pay a fuel or security deposit.
If you find yourself without a vehicle after an accident, a replacement car can be a lifesaver. With our comprehensive car insurance you'll get a courtesy car while your vehicle is repaired at an approved garage.
Or if your car is written off or stolen and not recovered, our Car Hire cover can keep you on the road for 21 days (14 days for a third party, fire and theft policy).
Author: The AA
Published 7 March 2017. Updated 2 January 2024.