Budget Car Insurance Review: The Right Price for You?

Budget Car Insurance Review: The Right Price for You?

Budget insurance car cover can be a good option to consider for those looking for the most important features at a decent price, but beware you can't reach customer service over the phone.

Good for

  • UK call centre open 7 days a week
  • Good features for the price point
  • Underwritten by wide range of top insurers
  • Good reviews

Bad for

  • Cancellation fees a bit high

Editor's Rating


The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

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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

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:

  • Comprehensive
  • 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 that we found on their comprehensive plans, but since they work with a number of underwriters make sure to check the features on any policy they offer to you as they may differ.

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 IncludesDoes Budget Deliver?Budget Comprehensive Coverage
"Must Have" Features
WindscreenFull repair or replacement
thumbs up
red x
Up to £150
thumbs up
thumbs up add on
Up to £500 for theft only (add on available for higher limit, including loss and for other keys like house, business, etc.)
Protected NCD2 times in 3 years (standard or optional extra)
thumbs up add on
If you buy the add on
Car recovery after accidentIncluded
thumbs up
Courtesy car (repairs)Minimum 14 days
thumbs up
Repairs guaranteed12-month guarantee
thumbs up
Repairs guaranteed, but no information as to how long
"Should Have" Features
New car replacementTheft or damage at least 60% of list price; cars up to 12 months old
thumbs up
If damage is more than 50% of list price at time of damage
Stereo and satellite navMarket value for manufactur fitted
thumbs up
Unlimited for manufacturer fitted; up to £500 for other permanently fitted equipment
Alternative transport & Hotel after accident£250+
question mark
Up to £100 per person for alternative transportation and/or emergency accommodation (max £500 total)
24-hour emergency helplineStandard
thumbs up
Courtesy car (total loss or theft)Standard or add-on extra
thumbs up add on
Courtesy car in case of theft, if you buy the add on
Motor legal expensesStandard or add-on extra
thumbs up
Breakdown coverStandard or add-on extra
thumbs up add on
If you buy the add on
"Could Have" Features
Same cover in EUStandard or add-on extra
thumbs up
Up to 60 days (longer with approval)
Child car seat replacement after accident, theft, fireIdeally replaced even if no visible damage
thumbs up
Up to £300 per claim even if no visible damage
Larger/premium courtesy carStandard or add-on extra
thumbs up add on
If you buy the add on
Uninsured driver NCD protectionStandard
thumbs up
Cancellation feeNo more than £50
red x
£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:

  • Ageas
  • Covea
  • Aviva
  • Coop
  • Zenith
  • Lv
  • Axa
  • Sabre
  • Zurich

Budget Insurance Customer Service Reviews and Ratings

Budget Insurance Ratings & Customer Reviews
Trustpilot customer service rating4.4 out of 5

Budget Insurance TrustPilot

Over 13,000 customers have rated Budget Insurance with 4.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with 72% 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. Keep in mind that some of these complaints are just people not knowing how car insurance typically works, e.g. 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:

"Did a search for insurance and budget seemed the best value for money and extras like legal etc."

"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 we also think Budget offers a good product with robust features.

"Decided to use Budget Insurance for the first time as their quote was significantly better than my existing insurance company. The cover appeared better too. It's early days, but so far I'm impressed!"

"Good experience with first class service and prices."

"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.

Cancellation Fees

Budget Insurance cancellation fees used to be a touch higher than we'd like, and there's a charge even if you cancel during the 14-day cooling-off period—BUT they actually REDUCED their cancellation fees in 2023 (e.g. it used to cost £60 to cancel after the 14-day cooling off period but now it's £45, which is in line with the rest of the market):

Budget administration fees
Amendment fee£25
Intermediary Services Fee (for all new and renewing policies)£40
Cancel during 14-day cooling-off period£30
Cancel after 14-day cooling-off period£45
Failed Payment Fee£20

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 Policies0344 871 0099
Renewals0344 412 2115
Customer Services0344 412 2118
24 Hour Helplines
Claims0344 412 2127
Autoglass0330 018 3242
RAC Breakdown service (if you bought the add on cover)0330 332 8468

Policy Documents

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.

Other Car Insurance Reviews

If you'd like to compare Elephant to other car insurance companies, see our other car insurance reviews below:

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the Founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.


The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

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