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A guide to hire car cover

How to get around even when your car is off the road

Somebody handing some car keys to another person

If you've been involved in an accident where just your pride and your car take a knock, you'll know how frustrating it is to be without your wheels. Guaranteed hire car cover can help you stay mobile.

What is a hire car?

A hire car is a replacement car provided by your insurance company when your car is in for repair following an accident.

Whether you get a hire car included with your car insurance depends on the type of policy you have. So check the detail carefully as you may find a hire car is only available with comprehensive cover.

If a hire car is offered as standard with your policy, it may be 'subject to availability' and therefore not guaranteed.

With LV= you can choose to add guaranteed hire car cover to your comprehensive policy from £19.90.

Is a courtesy car different to a hire car?

Yes…and no!

The insurance industry uses many ways to describe how they provide a replacement car: courtesy car, guaranteed courtesy car, hire car, enhanced courtesy cover, credit hire. It can be quite confusing.

But as a general rule of thumb, the garage that's repairing the car usually provides a hire car. If they have limited cars available and your hire car cover is subject to availability, then you may not get a replacement car at all.

That's why LV= offer a guaranteed hire car. If a replacement car is not available from the garage doing your repairs, we'll arrange a hire car for you.

But as a general rule of thumb, the garage that's repairing the car usually provides a hire car.

What type of hire car will I get?

This depends on the type of cover you have. As you'll hopefully only need the car for a few days, hire cars tend to be small hatchbacks, like a Ford KA.

If you need a larger vehicle or you want a like for like car, for example a van or people carrier, then you can sometimes upgrade your cover or pay extra towards hiring a more suitable vehicle.

When do I get a hire car?

Hire cars are not automatically available in all accident situations. Again, it depends on the type of cover you have.

Insurance companies like to use 'approved' garages to make repairs to damaged cars, so they can monitor costs and quality. If you use an approved garage to repair your car, and your insurance cover offers a hire car, then the garage will provide one, or you may get a hire car if a garage hire car is not available.

It's less clear-cut if your car is written off in an accident, or it's stolen. Some hire cars are only available if your car is in for repair.

With LV= hire car cover, you'll receive a small hatchback within eight working hours of telling us about your accident. And you're also eligible for a hire car if your car is stolen or written off.

You can keep the hire car for as long as your car is being repaired. If your car is stolen or it's a write off, you can keep the hire car for up to 21 days, or until four days after we've issued payment for your vehicle, whichever is sooner.

Things to check when you get your hire car

  • Give the hire car a once over when you first get it. Go round it with someone from the company and make a note of any existing dings and scratches. You don't want to be charged for repairs that weren't your fault.
  • Check whether you're insured to drive the hire car under your insurance cover. The garage or hire car company may provide their own insurance if you're not covered.
  • If you have breakdown cover as part of your insurance policy, the breakdown company will need to know that you're driving a different car. Alternatively, the garage or hire company may have a breakdown company they prefer you to use.

Buying LV= car insurance is quick and easy