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Vehicle insurance if the accident wasn't your fault

If your vehicle is in an accident, you may want to make a claim on your motor insurance to get it repaired. This page tells you what you can do if the accident wasn’t your fault and what you need to think about before your vehicle is repaired.

If the accident wasn’t your fault

If the accident wasn’t your fault, you can use a credit hire company instead of making a claim through your insurance company. A credit hire company pays for the cost of you hiring a replacement vehicle while yours is being fixed, and pays for the cost of repairs. The company then claims back these costs from the insurance company of the other driver who is at fault in the accident.

Why would I use a credit hire company?

If you use a credit hire company, you won’t have the pay the excess on your policy. The credit hire company liaise with your insurance company and give you replacement transport. They may also offer services to organise repairs and help with claiming compensation for other injuries or losses because of the accident.

Your insurance company will need to know about the accident for their information, even if you don’t claim through them. The credit hire company may offer to contact your insurance company for you, or ask you to let them know.

What do I need to be aware of if I use a credit hire company?

Make sure you check the small print before signing up to use a credit hire company. There should be detail in the agreement about the cost of the hire car per day. They will also include an amount which says what you will have to pay if you don’t cooperate with the company or mislead them in any way.

Some credit hire companies may also ask for a small payment as an insurance policy which guarantees you won’t end up paying the bill if the insurance company of the other driver doesn’t pay up.

You also sign to say any costs will be in your name and may be asked for financial details. This is in case the insurance company takes the credit hire company to court, because they think they have charged too much. In this case you will have to give evidence in court. You may need to prove you needed the hire car and couldn’t pay for it without the help of the credit hire company. If this does happen, get legal advice.

If you’re not sure about using a credit hire company, and the other driver has admitted the accident is their fault, you can ask their insurance company to arrange car hire and repairs. More often, the other insurer won’t say who is to blame for the accident straight away, and then you’ll need to claim through your insurance company.

How do I find out about credit hire companies?

You may be referred to a credit hire company by your insurance company or garage.

  • You can also find out about credit hire companies from the Credit Hire Organisation website: www.thecho.co.uk

Paying excess for a car accident that isn’t your fault

When you pay the excess for a car accident which isn’t your fault, you may need to claim this back from the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident once the claim is settled, if you don’t have legal expenses cover to pay this for you. If you have trouble getting your money back, you can take the insurance company or driver to court.

If your insurance company have dealt with the claim, they should claim the excess back for you. If you have a no fault accident, a credit hire company can also make a claim on your behalf.

Next steps

Other useful information

Find out more about making a claim against an uninsured driver from the Motor Insurers Bureau at: www.mib.org.uk.

Tel: 0845 165 2800

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