Why won't our insurance company provide a courtesy car whilst our Peugeot 407 is repaired?

I had a fire in my Peugeot 407 which is now 13 months old. We bought it in February 2011 from the garage secondhand. We have a warranty that still has two years on it. The fire was caused by cross contamination in the fuel tank, not a mistake by us knowingly; possibly from a filling station in France with contaminated fuel. Our insurance is covering cost of repair, minus £500 excess. It says we can have a courtesy car as long as we send ours to one of their approved garages to be repaired. Peugeot said if we did not take the car to an approved Peugeot garage for repairs our warranty would become invalid (the insurance company’s garage was not Peugeot approved). We feel this is unfair.

We feel we should not have to lose 24 months vehicle warranty which could amount to thousands of pounds, whereas the price of a courtesy car would have only have been hundreds, a percentage of which I have paid for by my insurance premium. This has caused me great hardship as I work nights and weekends and the journey to work takes 25 minutes in the car, but using public transport at night and weekends takes 3 hours and that increases my travelling time to six hours a day plus a 12-hour night shift, which has been extremely inconvenient.

We are thinking of going to Trading Standards. Do you think we might have a case for the insurance company not allowing us to have a courtesy car in respect of this claim?

Asked on 11 July 2011 by LA, via email

Answered by Honest John
This is a standard term of insurance policies that car manufacturers are trying to get overturned so that owners can have their cars repaired properly and safely with the proper parts at bodyshops controlled by franchised dealers, thus avoiding the credit hire trap completely. It is incredibly stupid of insurers to penalise this, as the manufacturer schemes represent the best chance yet to clean up the whole sorry accident management and credit hire morass that insurance claims have sunk into.
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