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Does Budget Insurance car insurance provide a good set of features? Find out what's covered and learn about how existing policyholders rate Budget's customer service.
In This Review
- Budget Car Insurance: Overall Review
- Customer Reviews and Ratings
- Cost Comparison and Discounts
- Phone numbers and policy documents
Budget Car Insurance Overall Review
Budget insurance car cover can be a good option to consider for those looking for key car insurance features (e.g., courtesy car after an accident if yours is in for repairs) at a decent price, but check out the customer reviews before you commit. While Budget Insurance gets quite good customer reviews online overall—we read many mentions in customer reviews of helpful customer service when you need it and extremely competitive prices for policies offering the best set of features compared to other options at that price range—there are also complaints.
In terms of coverage, customers can choose between the following traditional types of cover:
- Third Party, Fire
- Theft Third Party Only
It's always best to buy a comprehensive plan if you can, as it offers the widest coverage including damage to or theft of your car. Budget comprehensive policies are loaded with some great features, including a courtesy car, key cover, windscreen repair, personal injury cover, motor legal, stereo cover and cover in Europe. Those looking for breakdown or premium/extended hire car cover (a premium courtesy car, including if yours is stolen or written off after an incident) can add these features for an additional premium. Here is an overview of features on their comprehensive plans.
The only "must have" category (according to the Money Advice Service) that Budget Insurance doesn't deliver on is the amount of cover for Personal Belongings—but they still offer £150 of cover (vs. recommended £200+) so the red x below isn't a huge deal in our opinion.
|How Good is Budget Insurance Car Insurance?||A Good Policy Includes||Does Budget Deliver?||Budget Comprehensive Coverage|
|"Must Have" Features|
|Windscreen||Full repair or replacement||Included|
|Belongings||£200+||Up to £150|
|Keys||£300+||Up to £500 for theft only (Add on available for higher limit, including loss and for other keys like house, business, etc.)|
|Protected NCD||2 times in 3 years (standard or optional extra)||If you buy the add on|
|Car recovery after accident||Included||Included|
|Courtesy car (repairs)||Minimum 14 days||Included|
|Repairs guaranteed||12-month guarantee||Repairs guaranteed, but no information as to how long|
|"Should Have" Features|
|New car replacement||Theft or damage at least 60% of list price; cars up to 12 months old||If damage is more than 50% of list price at time of damage|
|Stereo and satellite nav||Market value for manufactur fitted||Unlimited for manufacturer fitted; up to £500 for other permanently fitted equipment|
|Alternative transport & Hotel after accident||£250+||Up to £100 per person for alternative transportation and/or emergency accommodation (max £500 total)|
|24-hour emergency helpline||Standard||Included|
|Courtesy car (total loss or theft)||Standard or add-on extra||If you buy the add on|
|Motor legal expenses||Standard or add-on extra||Included|
|Breakdown cover||Standard or add-on extra||If you buy the add on|
|"Could Have" Features|
|Same cover in EU||Standard or add-on extra||Up to 60 days (longer with approval)|
|Child car seat replacement after accident, theft, fire||Ideally replaced even if no visible damage||Up to £300 per claim even if no visible damage|
|Larger/premium courtesy car||Standard or add-on extra||If you buy the add on|
|No fault NCD protection||Standard||No included|
|Uninsured driver NCD protection||Standard||Included|
|Cancellation fee||No more than £50||£38 during 14-day cooling-off period; £60 afterwards|
Who Underwrites Budget Insurance?
Budget Insurance works with a panel of insurers, including some of the largest car insurance companies in the UK:
Budget Insurance Customer Service Reviews and Ratings
|Budget Insurance Ratings & Customer Reviews|
|Trustpilot customer service rating||4.4 out of 5|
Budget Insurance TrustPilot
Nearly 8,000 customers have rated Budget Insurance with 4.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with 70% awarding Budget Insurance with an "Excellent" rating. However, 1 in 12 customers reported a "Bad" experience, with the following common complaints: charges to make a change or for missed payments, annoyance/cost trying to contact customer service and some customers report high renewal rates. That said, administration charges are relatively common in the industry so that alone doesn't exclude Budget from being a good option. Here's a sample of real customer comments which we've pulled out after reading hundreds of online reviews:
"Over priced to make changes..."
"Cannot contact Budget unless you phone which costs money as your (sic) kept hanging on the phone."
"Typical insurance company, first year the price was good, then it went up massively. What really annoyed me was that you cant cancel the renewal online, they say: 'Unfortunately it is not possible to decline or cancel your renewal online at the moment. If you would like to cancel your policy from renewal, please contact one of our Customer Service Representatives who will be able to assist you'."
That said, most customers report a positive experience with Budget and frequently remark on a good selection of features included for a good price, providing solid value for money—which is not really a surprise as Budget car insurance has also earned a 5-star rating from defaqto.
"Easy to apply. Prompt service. Good price."
"Online support is fab. You can update details & make changes to your policy online, which is a plus. Definitely would recommend this company to anyone seeking insurance at a competitive price with lots of benefits."
"Great price with all the cover I need & more if required, and easy to arrange."
"I thought I only had 6 yr no claims, but when budget insurance checked my application they kindly told me I actually had 9 yrs. They changed my no claims Which reduced the cost of my policy and they refunded the difference. What amazing customer service."
Budget Car Insurance Quote Comparison
Budget insurance typically offers reasonable prices and is available on comparison sites, so it's easy enough to compare prices against comparable policies in the marketplace. Existing customers have mentioned their good value for money in online reviews—but insurance rates can vary significantly depending on the day, where you live, your car, etc. so it's always good to compare prices for a reality check—a company that is usually "cheap" might not be cheap for you and your profile.
Budget Insurance cancellation fees are a touch higher than we'd like, and there's a charge even if you cancel during the 14-day cooling-off period:
|Budget administration fees|
|Cancel during 14-day cooling-off period||£38|
|Cancel after 14-day cooling-off period||£60|
How Accessible are Budget Car Insurance Customer Service and Helplines?
Budget car insurance customer service team is available Monday to Friday 8am-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 10am-4pm—it's good they're open on Sundays as many "budget" car insurance companies are closed Sundays, and sometimes Saturdays, too.
|Hedgehog Car Insurance Contact Numbers|
|New Policies||0344 871 0099|
|Renewals||0344 412 2115|
|Customer Services||0344 412 2118|
|24 Hour Helplines|
|Claims||0344 412 2127|
|Autoglass||0330 018 3242|
|RAC Breakdown service (if you bought the add on cover)||0330 332 8468|
Customers can read about the nuances of their Budget cover in their policy documents, while potential customers need to read through the website to learn the ins and outs of Budget cover.
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