Who is Direct Line?
Since its launch in 1985 Direct Line's aim was to make arranging insurance simpler by cutting out all the forms and jargon involved with arranging insurance. Direct Line started life by offering a single product, car insurance with one way of purchasing this product, over the phone.
Direct Line now offers a full range of insurance products with new business, renewals and claims all carried out online, however, they have elected not to appear on insurance comparison sites.
Direct Line car insurance policies
Direct Line offers three main car insurance policy types:
Single car insurance
Car insurance cover for a single car with one or more drivers either Comprehensive or Third Party, Fire and Theft cover.
Multi-car insurance discount
A car insurance discount for insuring more than one car registered at the same address. For complete flexibility, separate insurance policies are issued with separate payment dates if needed as well as individual No Claim Discounts.
Black box insurance for young drivers (DrivePlus)
DrivePlus is a car insurance policy aimed at drivers under the age of 25 and who drive a car built in 1966 or later. DrivePlus policyholders agree to have a black box fitted to their car that will monitor their driving skills and provide feedback and potential discounts upon renewal. If you have already passed your test an upfront discount will reduce your premiums.
How does DrivePlus with Direct Line work?
- when you take out a DrivePlus policy you will be sent a plug-in device which is simple to install in your car
- this device transmits data that Direct Line will use to analyse your driving style
- factors such as speed, acceleration/braking, type of roads you drive on, length of journey and time of day will be analysed
- drive safely and attain a high score and you could be rewarded with a discount when renewing your insurance
- download the DrivePlus app and get feedback on your driving and view summaries of your journeys.
Direct Line car insurance extra benefits
Guaranteed Hire Car
When your car is being repaired by a Direct Line approved repairer then you will be supplied with a small hatchback type hire car until your car is repaired.
Alternatively, if you prefer to use your own choice of garage or your car has been written off or stolen then you will be supplied with a hire car for up to 21 consecutive days.
This benefit is only offered with Comprehensive cover policies and excludes windscreen claims or customer delayed claims.
If you have been involved in an accident and your car is unroadworthy you, together with other passengers, pets and belongings will be provided with a taxi to one destination in the UK.
This benefit is only offered with Comprehensive cover policies.
Fair Claim Commitment
Your No Claim Discount is protected if you submit a claim for any of the following:
- damage to your car caused by potholes or poor road maintenance
- theft of your car possessions
- theft of your car
- flood damage
- if you hit or are hit by an animal
- if you are hit by an object or debris (excluding vehicles)
This benefit is only offered with Comprehensive cover policies.
No Claim Discount Protection
Once you have accrued a minimum of 4 years no claim discount, with no more than one fault claim within the past three years, you will be eligible to purchase No Claim Discount Protection. Having No Claim Discount Protection means that your No Claim Discount (NCD) will not be affected by:
- one claim made during the current period of cover, or by
- two claims arising in the three preceding years of insurance
In partnership with Green Flag, Direct Line offers four choices of breakdown cover that start from £25.
Motor Legal Protection
If you are involved in an accident where you were not to blame, motor legal protection cover will provide up to £100,000 of legal cost to help you to claim. Your claim must have a better than 50% chance of succeeding and not be covered under any other policy.
Guaranteed Car Hire Plus
For an additional premium, a hire car that is similar in size to your own is provided
- if you choose a Direct Line approved repairers then you can keep the hire car until your car is fixed
- if your car is written off or stolen and you would prefer to use a garage of your choice then you will get the hire car for up to 21 consecutive days
- if your car is stolen or you have an accident abroad, an allowance of up to £50 a day (max. of £500) will be paid over the 21 days following your claim (so long as you have extended your cover to that country)
The following table is a summary of the extra benefits available for each Aviva policy type
Direct line policy summary
|Third-Party Fire & Theft||Comprehensive||Comprehensive Plus|
|Car Hire||No||Yes (small hatchback)||Similar car to own provided|
|No Claim Discount Protection||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Breakdown Cover from £25 p.m.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Motor Legal Cover||£100,000 optional extra||£100,000 optional extra||£100,000 included|
|Removable electronic equipment||£500||£1,000||£2,000|
The above table provides a summary of the extra benefits available for each policy provided by Direct Line.
How do Direct Line extra benefits compare with other insurers?
To provide a comparison between Direct Line and other similar car insurance providers, we have selected three insurers in the comparison table below that are a 'Recommended Provider' by Which? in their survey Best and worst car insurance
|Direct Line||LV||NFU Mutual||Aviva|
|Guaranteed Hire Car||Yes||£9.90 for small hatchback, £29.90 for similar car to own||Limited to 1 litre hatchback||Yes|
|Transport after accident||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|No Claim Discount Protection||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Breakdown Cover||From £25 p.a.||From £26 p.a.||From £19.99||Individual cost calculation|
|Motor Legal Protection (£100,000)||£28 p.a.||£25.99 p.a||Free||£29 p.a.|
|Black Box available||Yes||No||No||No|
|Admin fee for policy amendments||No||£15||No||No|
|Available on comparison sites||No||Yes||No||No|
What factors will impact my Direct Line car insurance quote?
Age and driving experience
Statistics show that the more experienced the driver the fewer claims they will have when compared to newer drivers. Those drivers under the age of 25 and those over the age of 80 are also more likely to be at fault if they have an accident.
Where you live
The area in which you live will also impact your premiums as some areas show a higher incidence of claims than others. Increased traffic levels, the number of pedestrians and local crime levels can all be contributing factors.
What you do for a living, the time you travel and the amount of driving you do on a daily basis can increase the likelihood of an accident.
Vehicle age, make and model
The type and model of the vehicle you drive could increase the risk of it being stolen or increase the cost of repair if damaged. High-performance vehicles driven by inexperienced drivers will increase the risk of an accident.
How much the car is worth
If your car is written off in an accident the value of the vehicle to be insured will affect the premium.
Simply put, the more miles you drive on an annual basis the more likely you are to be involved in an accident.
When applying for car insurance you will be required to provide details of any driving convictions which can increase your premiums.
When applying for car insurance you will need to provide comprehensive details of any accidents you have been involved in and any claims made against you.
No Claims Discount
If you have accrued any NCD with another insurer this can be applied to a new Direct Line car insurance policy to reduce the premiums. NCD can also be swapped between the policyholder and their spouse/partner, provided that the spouse/partner has held their licence long enough to accrue that level of NCD and lives at the same address as the policyholder.
There are two types of excess applied to Direct Line policies, voluntary and compulsory. The voluntary element of the excess is set at £350 but this can be adjusted with a lower chosen excess increasing your premium. The level of compulsory excess depends on the policyholders' personal details and the car they drive.
How much does Direct Line car insurance cost?
As with all motor insurance policies the premium paid will depend on a number of factors such as the driver's age and driving record together with the make model and age of the car to be insured.
Typical cost of Direct Line car insurance by car make
|Age 35||Age 45|
|Ford Focus 2.0||£588.60||£481.60|
|Vauxhall Insignia ES200 SRI||£795.20||£687.68|
|Mercedes Benz A-Class||£614.88||£448.00|
Each quote was calculated using the following details:
- comprehensive cover
- voluntary excess of £350
- no accidents in the last 3 years
- no motoring offences in the past 5 years
- premium paid annually (monthly payment available with representative APR of 24.1%)
- year of car manufacture 2018
How to make a claim with Direct Line
What you need
In order to make a claim with Direct Line, you will need the following information:
- Your policy number and documents
- Your vehicle registration number
- Details of what happened and when
- Details of any other vehicles, people or property involved
- Contact details for any witnesses
- Crime reference number if applicable
How to contact Direct Line
- Chipped or cracked windscreen - If you’re claiming for a chipped, cracked or smashed windscreen, you can contact the windscreen repairer Autoglass direct and they will repair or replace your windscreen, as well as handle your claim.
- If your car is stolen or has been broken into - If your car has been stolen or broken into in the first instance report this to the police and them for a crime reference number - you will need this when making your claim.
- Any other claim - For all other car-related claims you can start a Direct Line claim by completing an online form or by telephone on 0345 303 1714. If you’ve been in an accident and your car is not driveable then you should call the recovery helpline as soon as possible on 0800 269 015.
If you have been involved in an accident involving someone else the make sure you collect as much information as you can to determine who is responsible for the accident and inform Direct Line even if you have no intention of making a claim.
What happens next?
If your car is damaged, Direct Line can arrange for an approved garage to repair it for you. If you’re happy to use them, they’ll contact you to confirm all the arrangements.
If you’re arranging the repairs yourself, your chosen garage will need to review the damage and give an estimate. Direct Line will need to discuss any proposed work before it goes ahead.
Direct Line will keep in contact with you until your claim is settled.
Direct Line customer reviews
Direct Line is rated as 'Excellent' on Trustpilot with a score of 4.3 from 6,650 reviews. 65% of reviews rate Direct Line as 'Excellent' and 11% as 'Great' citing a quick and simple online quote process and competitive premiums as the best features.
Why does Direct Line not appear on comparison sites?
Comparison sites for car insurance are driven by cost as most people will look for the cheapest option to insure their car. Direct Line will not appear on comparison sites as they feel the additional features and benefits they provide should be taken into account when customers select the car insurance best suited for their needs rather than focus on cost in isolation.
Direct Line is one of the biggest car insurers in the UK and offers a wide range of policies with additional optional extras. Direct Line caters for younger drivers with its DrivePlus 'black box' insurance policy as well as offering a multi-car discount for households with more than one car. Direct Line does not appear on comparison sites as it wants its products to be considered based on the features and customer service rather than just cost in isolation. It is rated as 'Excellent' on Trustpilot and is a Which? 'Recommended Provider'
Looking for a financial adviser near you?
Do you need financial advice? An independent financial adviser can show you how to make the most
of your money. Find your nearest qualified and regulated adviser using this VouchedFor search tool.