When you have had an accident and you contact your Insurer, they will offer to supply you with a courtesy vehicle while yours is being repaired at their approved garage.
Contrary to popular belief, the courtesy vehicle will be supplied by the garage, not the Insurer. In all cases, it will be a very small 3-door vehicle similar to the size of a Vauxhall Corsa or Ford KA. These are known as a “Group A” size vehicle, at this point, you should consider if you will be able to cope with this size of car for the time it takes for your car to be fixed.
For example, if you have a young family there will be the issue of child seats and no rear doors to get the children in and out of. If you have two dogs, consider how they will fit in with everything else you carry.
You may think to yourself “it’s only for two weeks – I can manage”, but warned; in many cases, your vehicle may not be repaired in the specified time and there will be hold-ups in the process. It could take a couple of weeks for your Insurer to authorise the repairs, should there be queries with the claim.
On top of this, the garage will not start repairs until they have the authority from the Insurer. Then, when do start repairs, in many cases problems can usually then arise with parts not being available and/or more damage might be found behind the visible damage once the repairs have begun. As a result, the repairer may have to get a new repair authority from the Insurer and more parts ordered – causing further delays.
In a lot of cases, the garages are overloaded with repairs and your vehicle could be waiting in a queue for a week before repairs begin.
The initial estimate from the garage for a two-week repair could extend to as much as six or eight weeks and all this time you could be struggling in a two-door vehicle that is half the size of your own. If you query this with your insurer they will say “we can upgrade you to a bigger vehicle but this will be at your cost, as you are only entitled to a group A vehicle on your Insurance policy”. The upgrade could be £25 per day and if the repairs took 30 days it amounts up to a lot of money that you would be out of pocket.