How do I get my car's damage assessed and repaired?

Budget Direct has a national network of around 150 preferred repairers (a mixture of ‘direct’ and ‘partner’ repairers) who can assess your car’s damage and/or repair it; as well as seven dedicated assessment centres.

How do I book a time to have my car's damage assessed?

You can book a damage assessment when you lodge your claim either over the phone (1300 139 591) or via your online account.

If you’re not sure what your schedule looks like at that point, you can book the assessment later.

Where must I take my car for its damage assessment?

If your damaged car is driveable, we’ll ask you to take it to one of the following, depending on your location:

  • one of our preferred (‘direct’ or ‘partner’) repairers, who will also be able to fix your car; or
  • one of our vehicle assessment centres – in Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane; or
  • a local repairer (if there isn’t a preferred repairer or assessment centre near you).

If your car is assessed by a local repairer, we’ll ask them to send us a repair-cost estimate and images of your car’s damage.

We’ll then decide whether to assess your car remotely or to send one of our own assessors to inspect your car’s damage.

What if my car’s not driveable?

If your damaged car is not driveable, call us on 1300 139 591 and we’ll arrange for it to be towed to a safe location for an assessment.

Note that residents of Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula, Geelong and Adelaide are required by law to call an ‘allocation centre’ or ‘centralised operator’, who will arrange the tow on their behalf.

What exactly does a motor-vehicle assessor do?

A motor-vehicle assessor evaluates the extent of the damage to your car before deciding whether it’s economical to repair or a total loss (i.e. a write-off).

If it’s repairable, they’ll determine the best way to fix the car and how much it will cost.

Who will repair my car?

After your car’s damage has been assessed and we’ve authorised the repairs, we’ll – for your convenience – appoint a repairer and manage the whole repair process on your behalf.

Our preferred repairers use the latest equipment and methods and are required to carry out each repair to a high and safe standard.

All repairs authorised by us are guaranteed for as long as you own the car.

Can I choose my own repairer?

How quickly can I expect my car to be repaired?

Each repair job is different, so it’s difficult to say for certain how long each job will take. Some can take a few days, others up to two weeks or more, depending on the severity of the damage.

Your repairer will give you an estimate of how long the job is likely to take and keep you informed of progress.

How do I get my repaired car back?

Normally, you would collect your fixed car directly from the repairer.

If that’s not possible, please contact us to discuss alternative arrangements.

Do you guarantee repairs to my car?

Yes – repairs authorised by us are guaranteed for as long as you own the car.

Can I choose my own repairer?

You can choose you own repairer, as long as we’re satisfied the repairer:

  • intends to use an efficient repair method that will restore your car’s safety and utility, and
  • has the equipment and skills necessary to carry out the repairs to our quality standards, and 
  • provides a competitive quotation to repair your car.

If the repairer fails to meet any of these conditions, we will:

  • arrange to have your car repaired by another repairer chosen by us; or
  • pay you the reasonable cost of a satisfactory repair, as determined by us.

Can I make repairs to my car myself?

Except for essential repairs of up to $500 to make your car driveable following an accident, all repairs must be authorised by us.

My car's a total loss, or write-off – what happens now?

If we decide your car is a write-off, we’ll negotiate with you to either:

  • pay you the value for which your car is covered; or
  • offer you a new car replacement, if you purchased the car new or as a demo model and it becomes a total loss:
    • within two years or 40,000km (whichever comes first) of the original registration (Gold Comprehensive Car Insurance)
    • within one year or 20,000km (whichever comes first) of the original registration (standard Comprehensive Car Insurance).

If your car is financed, we’re obligated to pay the finance company any money you still owe them.

We’ll arrange and pay for your written-off car to be towed away from the repair shop and disposed of.

Get a car insurance quote online