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

Budget Direct has a national network of around 180 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?

If your damaged car is drivable, 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 network 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 network 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 assessing your car's damage and authorising the repairs, we can appoint a repairer and manage the whole repair process on your behalf.

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

Alternatively, you may be able to nominate your preferred 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.

The 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 nominate your preferred repairer as long as your policy includes the ‘Choice of Repairer’ benefit.

The following table shows whether the benefit is optional or automatically included in your policy:

If you got the quote for your new policy… ‘Choice of Repairer’ is…
On or after 28 February 2019 Optional
Before 28 February 2019 Automatically included§
If your policy renews…  
On or after 28 March 2019 Optional#
Before 28 March 2019 Automatically included§

§ Automatically included until your next renewal, at which time it will become optional.
# If you wish, you can remove ‘Choice of Repairer’ from your policy either via your online account or by contacting us; your premium will be adjusted accordingly.

If you nominate your preferred repairer, we’ll ask you to provide us with the repairer’s quotation for the repairs so we can determine whether:

  • the quotation is competitive, and
  • the proposed repair method is satisfactory.

If either of these criteria is not met, we may decide not to authorise the repairs and, instead:

  • have your car repaired by an alternative repairer chosen by us, or
  • pay you the reasonable cost to satisfactorily repair your car, as determined by us.

Note that, if we authorise your nominated repairer to undertake the repairs, we’ll guarantee the quality of the repairs but not the time it takes to complete them.

Can I arrange for repairs to my car myself?

Except for essential repairs of up to $500 to make your car driveable following an accident, all repairs must first 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 amount your car is insured for (market or agreed value); or
  • replace your car with a new one of the same make, model and specification 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 obliged to pay the finance company any money you still owe them first. We'll then pay you any residual from the insured amount.

We’ll also 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