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  • FIRST POST
    • Sunday Morning
    • By Sunday Morning 15th Sep 07, 9:20 PM
    • 110Posts
    • 44Thanks
    Sunday Morning
    Car Insurance - Without Drive Assist!
    • #1
    • 15th Sep 07, 9:20 PM
    Car Insurance - Without Drive Assist! 15th Sep 07 at 9:20 PM
    Is it possible to get fully comp car insurance without DRIVE ASSIST being involved! This is a company that appears to get itself involved with non fault insurance cases. By way of explanation of what they do and why I want no more dealings with them...

    We have a Vauxhall Zafira for which we arranged fully comp insurance with ZURICH UK, with a £150 excess.

    A few months ago, after my wife had parked in a road, a car went into it, causing some panel damage. There was no problem with obtaining the details or an admission of fault. We thought, with our insurance cover, it ought to be quite straightforward, and advised them of the details accordingly.

    We were somewhat surprised to be told however that we would have to pay our £150 excess to the panel beaters. Apparently, the company ZURICH UK appointed, DRIVE ASSIST, were in charge of arranging a courtesy car for us and claiming back our excess payment. Our car ended up off the road for a week.

    We were told the car we would have would be a similar make and model. Instead we had a Land Rover automatic (ours is manual) which my wife found uncomfortable and a bit overpowering to drive. It certainly guzzled petrol at a lot faster rate than our own car did.

    When the hire car was picked up again, a man looked it over, made no more comment other to say it was a lot cleaner then the ones he usually picked up, and got my wife to sign for its return on a hand held device.

    We then got a letter dated 2nd July attaching a copy of a form "for our records". Attached was the "form" signed by my wife (who only actualy signed a hand held device" ) and, among the list of many "OKs" was one for the "LHR quarter" which said "scratch". My wife was totally unaware of there being such a scratch, had not been asked to initial this and had not even been told about it. But since the letter stated "if there is any new damage shown you may be charged for this in due course", we assumed nothing further would happen.

    At the beginning of August we had a letter from them stating that they had been in contact with the insurers of the owners of the other vehicle, to claim back the hire charges and our excess, who had denied being in such an accident. The vehicle registration number they quoted for the other owner was one letter away from our own registration number! Sensing a mistake I rang them. They rang me back and advised that although the letter did have the incorrect registration number on it, they did have the right ones in their records and the owner was still denying liability. Since the "owner" was the name of a company that seemed to be based in Glasgow (we are in Herts), I again sensed that something was amiss. Having no luck with my phone calls to the girl whose name was on the letter who kept insisting their details were correct, I finally got to talk to her manager. I was curious as to where they had got the details from in the first place. It was Zurich, my insurance company, and so I wondered why they weren't taking this up with them directly. Anyway...finally....finally it transpired that yet again they were one letter out on their registration number and, having got the right number from ZURICH UK, they were finally able to sort it out.

    So...just over a week ago, more than two months after we had paid it out, we finally got back our excess.

    I vowed at that time that I would not renew my insurance with Zurich. If I have fully comp insurance I expect to deal with one company and one company only, and certainly not a company whom Zurich appoint to deal with me without my say so, especially when they appear so incompetent.

    But today, we got the coup de grace. Well over two month since they returned the paperwork too us showing the courtesy car to have had a "scratch", we had another letter from DRIVE ASSIST today advising us that £160 would be debited from us within two weeks for damage to the car!!!!!

    Apparently we have 14 days to send our queries in writing to avoid the debit being processed.

    Well, it can be guaranteed that we will query this bill.

    And it can be guaranteed that we will send a copy of that query to ZURICH UK with a note explaining why we won't be renewing our car insurance with them.

    Sorry this has been so long, but I'm wondering two things. Has anybody else had experiences of DRIVE ASSIST?

    And which Insurance Companies out there do fully comp the way it really ought to be done? I understand why and don't mind other companies are used. But I want my insurers to deal with the other companies leaving me to deal with the company I signed a contract with. For example, for the type of "no fault" accident we were involved with, I can't see why it shouldn't be my insurance company paying out in full and reclaiming from heir appointed company instead of me.
    Last edited by Sunday Morning; 15-09-2007 at 9:29 PM. Reason: spelling
Page 3
    • Jue xx
    • By Jue xx 7th Dec 07, 2:00 PM
    • 285 Posts
    • 950 Thanks
    Jue xx
    Incidentally, Sunday Morning, did you manage to find an insurance company that doesn't use Drive Assist, as my insurance is up for renewal this month and I don't want to risk having to use DA again either!

    I'm with Budget at the moment, who definately DOES use Drive Assist, and apparently Marks and Spencers insurance do too, because a friend of mine uses them and has also been through the now familiar DA story, so that's two to cross off the list.

    Does anyone use an insurance company that doesn't use Drive Assist?
    • Sunday Morning
    • By Sunday Morning 8th Jan 08, 7:25 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    Sunday Morning
    Incidentally, Sunday Morning, did you manage to find an insurance company that doesn't use Drive Assist, as my insurance is up for renewal this month and I don't want to risk having to use DA again either!

    I'm with Budget at the moment, who definately DOES use Drive Assist, and apparently Marks and Spencers insurance do too, because a friend of mine uses them and has also been through the now familiar DA story, so that's two to cross off the list.

    Does anyone use an insurance company that doesn't use Drive Assist?
    Originally posted by Jue xx
    Sorry to be so long in coming back.

    I recently received my renewal quote from Zurich UK and so went looking to see where I could get a better quote. The first place I tried was Direct Line which I thought would give me a good indication of what was out there.

    Now I'm not sure that Direct Line don't use Drive Assist themselves, but that was something to inquire about if I got a quote which was near the Zurich one. You see, I was determined to pay even a little bit more for my insurance if it meant I would not have dealings with Drive Assist again.

    However... lining up the quote on Direct Line's website to match the details of my renewal....DL's quote came up over 60% dearer!!! Over 800 as against just under 500!!

    Now I regard myself as a man of principles...but I also regard a wise man as being one that does not bound himself by his principles! So, assuming Direct Line's quote would represent a competitive one among any other company I tried, I have decided, despite all my ranting and raving about this issue, to swallow my pride, eat the whole humble pie and declare that I will after all stick with Zurich UK. :rolleyes:

    Only next time...should I need another courtesy car for whatever reason, I shall make sure that I capture the processes of collecting the car and returning it on video
    • Sunday Morning
    • By Sunday Morning 15th Jan 08, 6:16 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    Sunday Morning
    Just backtracking on my last response. I thought Direct Line would be representative of other quotes, but it turns out to be nigh on double a lot of them.

    I went into moneysupermarket and found cheaper quotes than the one i had. What surprised me was that a quote never came up from Zurich, my own company, because of the number of convictions involved.

    I checked the renewal notice only to find they had neither me nor my wife down for any previous convictions, despite the fact that I am absolutely sure they had the information before!

    Lesson one....check the renewal notice thoroughly! When I informed them of the convictions we both had (two SP30's each) it cost me another £10 for the remaining two weeks of this year's cover and an additional £56 on my quote!

    Lesson Two... inform the insurance company of any SP30s when they are received not when renewal is up!

    Above all...Lesson three....trust Martin, he's knows what he's saying. Now I find that there are some companies out there who will offer me insurance on similar terms at upto £200 cheaper.

    Not made my mind up yet, but certainly looks like I won't be staying with Zurich....and so will, potentially, be getting away from Drive Assist!

    Funny thing is...were it not for Drive Assist and my experience with them, I probably would have not bothered looking around for other quotes and stuck with Zurich!
  • zokes
    I have just dealt with Drive Assist, and just had the car picked up. I've just received an e-mail from them detailing that fuel was almost empty (actually 1/2 way between empty and 1/4, as per delivery, but initial report says 1/4 full), and that the inside and outside are dirty. I cleaned the inside myself, and considered it to be more than satisfactory. The outside was no dirtier (bar the odd seagull dropping that had happened since I cleaned the inside, and since i'd arranged for collection). I'm guessing at the very least they're going to try to sting me for fuel at a ridiculous rate, and probably cleaning too.

    Is it likely to be a long and fruitless fight, or should I just put up and shut up?
  • jennik
    drive assist - please help
    2 weeks ago i had my car written off whilst it was parked outside my house. Drive assist provided me with a vehicle until the insurance companies sorted out compensating me. when drive assist delivered the vehicle i was shown on a hand held pda all the damage that was on the vehicle - this happened very hastily and the drivers words were:

    'it's peppered with marks, scratches and chips, dont worry it's all on here and will be on the paperwork that comes through to you, sorry i've not had chance to wash the car but the carwash at the garage was broken'. i signed for the car. i used the car to travel 8 miles a day (to and from work) for 6 days.

    on wednesday (21st may) i requested that drive assist collect the vehicle. the 2 drivers spent nearly 40minutes going over the car finding damage that had not previously been recorded. they noted that the damage will cost £658 but that i'll only be liable for £250 - the excess that i wasn't told about. i have certainly not caused any additional damage

    i spent the afternoon in tears - on teh roadside with the drivers collecting the vehicle and most of teh evening - i am now beginning to realise that this seems to be their way of operating and a way of generating revenue.

    does anyone have any advice as to how to approach this issue?


    for info: the use of drive assist by insurance companies and brokers will be a criteria that i use in future when obtaining insurance as i want no future dealings with this company.
    Last edited by jennik; 23-05-2008 at 2:31 PM.
  • stevie19uk
    Hi guys i am very interested with all your posts, some being quite a while ago.
    Firstly drive assist do not get a kick out of taking money from you.
    We would like to give you the best service as possible so if in an accident a second time, you would be happy to deal with us, and us happy to recover costs back from third party insurance companies.

    We attepmt to arrange a vehicle out for you and recover the costs back, and this is what we do.
  • poormansfoot
    Drive assist and ACM (ULR)
    Please to have found this thread.

    Been in a no fault shunt. Drive Assist very keen to provide me with a car (unlikely)

    More intriguingly, The repair company (ACM ULR) want me to sign a Credit repair agreement to get the car fixed - which states that if after 50 weeks they are unsuccessful in recovering the monies from the third party then I have to pay for the costs (plus the cost of credit) which seems very strange

    Anyone come across this before?
  • Higsta
    Oh dear !!
    I currently have a car from drive assist and was just thinking to myself it all sounded a bit dodgy that they wanted a credit card from me and that they wanted me to take out insurance of 4 a day whilst i had the vehicle incase of any damage and also a one off insurance of 25 to cover the cost of hire of the vehicle incase they couldnt recover it from the 3rd party that had admited liability. I thought what a scam trying to get more money out of me and declined.

    I was wondering would i be within my rights to get the people who come to collect the drive assist car to sign some sort of acknowledgement that they are collecting the car in the same condition that it was delivered.

    It concerns me that they will collect the car and then they have to drive it 70miles to Newport in South Wales back to their base and any damage it incurs on that journey will probably be credited to me.

    I was alos thinking along the lines of getting the camcorder out when they come and following them round on the inspection and asking is everything ok beofre i sign their PDA.

    Any ideas or advice:confused:
  • angelvsdevil
    Drive Assist
    I have just returned a car to Drive Assist following hiring of their car after a non-fault accident.
    When I hired the car they also requested daily fee to protect me against any damage to the car. Thinking i'd better be safe than sorry I decided to pay these fees and they took my credit card details for weekly payments to be deducted.
    I contacted drive assist to collect their car, the car was cleaned inside and out and was immaculate.
    On collection their driver confirmed there was no additional damage and I requested the driver sign to this effect but he refused under company policy!!! Then he was unable to get his PDA to connect, and due to this and that I couldn't see what I was signing I refused to sign his machine.
    Today I get a letter from them stating there was additional damage to the vehicle and the interior was dirty and also any additional damage I will get charged for.
    My point is - what did I pay the damage waiver for? what is the situation as I did not sign their machine? how can they get away with telling complete lies about the damage and how unclean the car was?
    Last edited by angelvsdevil; 26-08-2008 at 8:18 PM.
  • mikos
    Drive Assist
    Hi, thought I would document our experience. My wife was run into by a van. We rang our insurance company, Nationwide, who referred us to Grehound Ford, Accrington for repair and we were told we would have a courtesy car. The garage rang and said they would pick up the car and that a company would ring to arrange the courtesy car. Drive Assist rang, wanted a 250 excess and would charge us 4 per day if we wanted to avoid this. Also said that if other party did not admit liability we would be responsible for all hire charges. Something did not seem right so I rang Nationwide who said, no, I should be getting a garage courtesy car. They rang the garage for me and then the garage rang to offer a courtesy car! Obviously Greyhound Ford referred our details to Drive Assist, getting a bit of commission. I was told by the garage that by having the courtesy car I could not be guaranteed a car similar to mine (ford focus). I said I would rather have that than all these extra costs! Interestingly the garage never gave me the option of the courtesy car until my insurance company rang them.

    Anyone else had similar experiences?

  • Reeny27
    Help Please!
    Hi, I've just joined as I usually lurk but don't post but wanted to share my ongoing saga with Drive Assist and see if anyone can give me any advice.

    I was involved in a car accident which wasn't my fault and so was offered a hire car via my insurance company Halifax who forwarded my details onto Drive Assist. I arranged through Drive Assist to have a hire car and, like the others, was given the option of the 4 a day insurance to cover for any damage but decided to decline. I was told I would have to give my bank details to secure the hire car which I thought was a little strange but having not had a hire car before thought it was the norm. I was also told there would be a 250 max fee for any damage to the car.

    The car was dropped off as normal and I had the car for about a week in total and made sure I looked after it with my life and even put 10 of petrol in the day before it was collected even though the guy had said to put a fiver in. The same guy came to collect the car and asked me how it had been and a bit of idle chit chat. He spent around 10-15 mins checking the car inside and out, I said to the guy "is it all alright then?" and he said "yeah everything is fine, just sign this" and so I signed the handheld device and off he went. I felt happy that everything was over and done with and I could get back to my own car.

    Imagine to my horror when two days letter I recieved an invoice to the amount of 205 for damages to the hire car with 'payment recieved with thanks' at the bottom and my signature from when I signed the car over so it looks as though I have agreed to the fact that I damaged the car when all I did was sign to release the car or so I thought. It also stated that the car was dirty inside and out and that the petrol tank was empty which I know isn't true as I'd put 10 in the day before. It took me a few moments to realise that this had actually come out of my own account already. The invoice stated that there were two new bits of damage which had been added to a long list of damage already on the front of the car prior to me having it. I was in total shock as I know for a fact I had not damaged the car and plus the driver who picked the car up checked the car over and said it was fine so how can they say I damaged the car? Surely he should have pointed out any damage whilst he was with me? How am I to know if there is any damage at all? They've provided no proof whatsoever that there is in fact any new damage.

    I got straight onto Drive Assist who said I would have to put everything in writing in order for them to deal with the matter. I put it all down in writing and sent it off to which they acknowledged and said they had 28 days to respond. Fast forward 28 days and I didn't hear anything from them so again got in touch with them to say I was still awaiting a response. They then replied saying the matter was taking longer than originally thought and they would be in touch again soon. That was around two weeks ago and I've still heard nothing and when I try to ring them they say the dispute team don't speak to people on the phone only in writing! I've written to them again saying I'm still waiting and over a week has passed and still nothing.

    Can anyone suggest what action to take next? I just really want all this sorting out and to hear from them either way so I know whether or not to take the matter further.

    Thanks for listening.
    • leybald
    • By leybald 22nd Sep 08, 4:04 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    leybald
    Drive Assist - a different angle to the usual problem.
    My son who was 18 at the time had minor RTA at a roundabout with my old runabout an S reg Corsa in May 2007, it was his fault and as we had a 500 excess for him we settled direct with the other parties insurance.

    I thought no more of it until I had a letter from drive assist in December 2007, they were trying to claim uninsured losses for the other party namely the costs of 3 days hire car use. They were asking for payment of 158.97 for their clients hire car. This at first seemed a reasonable request until I examined the copy of the hire agreement they'd attached.

    Miles out - 25 (must be a new car)

    Miles in -25

    Miles Driven - 0

    Basically they wanted me to pay for a hire car that was never used! I sent a rather curt reply back that I was not paying for a hire car their client had not driven. I thought that was the end of it until recently in September 2008 I received another letter from them saying their client had used the car for 3 days and had clocked up 121 miles. They did not sent copies of documentation to support this claim.

    This appears to be another ruse to extricate money from motorists. I've written back to them asking for proof of the vehicles use. If it comes to it my son can pay it back at 5 per month as he is a poor student!

    The trouble is it's my son's name that'll be on the county court summons which I think we can successfully defend but it's the last thing I want to trouble him with whilst he's studying 200 miles away.

    Any thoughts suggestions?
    • raskazz
    • By raskazz 22nd Sep 08, 4:22 PM
    • 2,832 Posts
    • 1,284 Thanks
    raskazz
    I do believe that in law they can claim the cost of the replacement car even if it isn't actually used. For example, consider the case of an elderly driver who really only keeps their car for a weekly shopping trip and for emergencies. I think we would all agree that if their car was off-road for repairs, they have a right to claim a replacement car from a negligent third party, even if they don't actually use it. They have the right to have a car available to them should the need arise.

    Personally I would pay it off and end the matter, if they can provide documentation to back their claim up. £158 seems reasonable for 3 days.
    Last edited by raskazz; 22-09-2008 at 4:27 PM.
    • leybald
    • By leybald 22nd Sep 08, 4:28 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    leybald
    I do believe that in law they can claim the cost of the replacement car even if it isn't actually used. For example, consider the case of an elderly driver who really only keeps their car for a weekly shopping trip and for emergencies. I think we would all agree that if their car was off-road for repairs, they have a right to claim a replacement car from a negligent third party, even if they don't actually use it. They have the right to have a car available to them should the need arise.

    Personally I would pay it off and end the matter. 158 seems reasonable for 3 days.
    Originally posted by raskazz
    I'd consider paying it's the deceit I don't care for. One letter with the hire agreement copy details no miles, the next one quotes 121 miles. I'll wait and see if I get an explanation as to why it's changed.
  • Reeny27
    Good news!
    Hi all,

    Just wanted to let you know that I've got a full refund on my dispute with Drive Assist. If you have been deceived by them as I was, please persist with it and see it through to the end as I very nearly gave up. I've even got a full letter of apology from them, so it just goes to show that they can't always get away with conning innocent people.

    Reeny
  • grumblegrrrl
    Only today my Dad received a letter from Drive Assist statingt hat there was damage to the car he'd returned in pristine condition to them. They were due to collect the car on the saturday morning so my Dad and I took the car to Tesco and jet washed it and vaccumed on the Friday evening. When my Dad got back home about 30 minutes later, DA were there waiting for him to hand the car back a day early!

    Like everyone else, he was told all was OK and signed the PDA. Todays letter said that the car was dirty inside and out and that it had scratches down to the metal. Absolute lies. His signature was on the sheet apearing that he had signed and agreed. This was not the case.
    I DA instatly and was told I would be contacted by the disputes department.
    I decided to check the internet to see if anyone had problems with DA. Well...... surprise suprise, they seem to try this trick on everyone. I called my credit card supplier straight away(as I'd given my details to DA) to check if they had taken a payment. They had not. I told my credit company about the website stating this problem had been on watch dog. They said i couldnt stop any payment but if one was taken i was to infrom them and they would reverse it.
    I cant wait to hear what the disputes dept have to say. My dad spent time cleaning and vaccuming the car. They have tried to dupe the wrong Dad! This Daughter will not allow this to happen! Crooks
    Last edited by grumblegrrrl; 04-12-2008 at 10:21 PM. Reason: spelling
  • Crowmanuk
    Somebody ran into the back of our car just before Christmas and we had a car off this lot, if only i'd known eh?
    Driver shows up and delivers the car and asks me to have a look round it, I only noticed 2 bits, a very small paint chip by the back door and a scuff on the wheel arch "thats already been reported he says" and there on the pda he points to where it says "scuff mark", happy with that we have the car and on collection a couple of weeks later they say that its new damage and the scuff was on the bumper, I disputed this with them and didnt sign to agree with the condition of the car. We'd even washed and hoovered the damn thing. Couple of weeks later they say they've investigated and I must have done the damage, when I ask if they spoke to the delivery driver they said they'd spoken to the transport manager at the depot and he vouched for him. So much for a thorough investigation!
    I then received a letter saying they'd be taking the 175 in the next 14 days so I phoned them up and they said they'd put the payment on hold while the compliance team investigate and that they would get in touch.
    Fast forward to today and I get a phone call saying my bank had refused payment to them (sodall in the account), when I asked why the compliance team hadnt got back in touch I was told they'd sent a letter which I never got. Theyre also trying to tell me that the damage would cost over 260 quid to put right, it was a scuff on the arch and If I'd done it I would have got it put right myself which would have come nowhere near 175 or this mystical 260 figure they've given me.
    I've been in touch with a few different places but has anybody got any ideas on how to deal with them.
  • Atermis
    just a little light reading about another CHO, Accident Exchange.. All the same though.


    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2008/aug/02/motoring.consumeraffairs
  • Crowmanuk
    Got in touch with the Financial Advisory Service about these rogues, theyre looking into it now, I'll be referring them to these very similar cases on here.
  • stevie19uk
    Intriguing
    It suprises me that you are all moaning about Drive Assist's services

    At the first point of contact, when the vehicle is being booked, you are explained fully what Drive Assist do.

    Drive Assist is a credit hire service, which means that they will endevour to recover the costs back from the third party or their insurer. Their aim is not to recover it from you!

    As you can also understand with the vehicles being brand new, then drive assist dont want scratches etc on their vehicles, and that any damage caused to the vehicle should be paid for becuase these vehicles are brand new.


    You are told at the time of booking to check all the information and terms and conditions and rental agreement to make sure you understand and agree with it all - yet you do not look at all of this information and then complain that you wern't aware of it.
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