A non fault accident courtesy car is essential to most people after accident to allow them to continue to go about their daily lives.
In the UK, a non-fault accident refers to a vehicle accident where you, as the driver, were not the primary cause of the incident. This could occur in various scenarios such as when your parked car is hit by another driver, or when you’re stationary at a traffic signal and another vehicle collides with you from behind. While dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be stressful, understanding your rights concerning courtesy cars can alleviate some of this stress.
What is a Courtesy Car?
A courtesy car is a temporary replacement vehicle provided to you so you can remain mobile while your own vehicle is being repaired. This service is usually offered by insurance companies, garages, or accident management firms, ensuring that the disruption to your day-to-day life is minimised.
Your Entitlement to a Courtesy Car after a Non-Fault Accident
If you are involved in a non-fault accident, you are typically entitled to a courtesy car. Here’s how it usually works:
- Legal entitlement
Under UK law, if you suffer a loss because of someone else’s negligence (in this case, the at-fault driver), you have the right to be put back in the position you were in before the accident. This means you’re legally entitled to a replacement vehicle if yours is off the road due to a non-fault accident.
- Claiming from the at-fault party’s insurance
If the accident wasn’t your fault, the cost of a courtesy car can often be claimed from the at-fault party’s insurance. Accident management companies can facilitate this process, ensuring that you’re provided with a vehicle comparable to your own. Using an accident management company also means you will not lose your no-claims bonus or your excess.
- Through your own insurance policy
Many comprehensive insurance policies in the UK offer a courtesy car as a standard feature or an optional add-on. However, this generally applies while your car is being repaired by one of the insurer’s approved repairers. It’s essential to review your policy details to understand the specifics. Going this route often leads to you losing your no-claims bonus and/or your excess.
Things to Consider
While securing a courtesy car seems straightforward, there are some nuances to be aware of:
Duration: The period you can have the courtesy car may be limited, often only for the duration of repairs to your vehicle. If your car is declared a total loss, some vehicle insurance policies might only provide a courtesy car for a few days post-declaration.
Vehicle Type: Not all courtesy cars are like-for-like replacements. Depending on your policy or the provider, you might receive a smaller or different class of vehicle. If you need a specific type or size of car, it’s vital to specify this when making arrangements. An accident management company will ensure you are in a car similar to your own – not a smaller 2-door, for example, if yours is a larger vehicle.
Being involved in a non-fault accident in the UK can be distressing, but the provision of courtesy cars offers some relief, ensuring continuity in daily life. Familiarising yourself with your rights and policy details can empower you in these situations, making the road to recovery smoother.