Car Insurance with a Choice of Repairer

If you’re looking for car insurance with a choice of repairer, compare your options with Savvy today.

Written by 
Savvy Editorial Team
Savvy's content writing team are professionals with a wide and diverse range of industry experience and topic knowledge. We write across a broad spectrum of finance-related topics to provide our readers with informative resources to help them learn more about a certain area or enable them to decide on which product is best for their needs with careful comparison. Meet the team behind the operation here. Visit our authors page to meet Savvy's expert writing team, committed to delivering informative and engaging content to help you make informed financial decisions.
Our authors
, updated on August 14th, 2023       

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.

Car Insurance Banner - Windscreen repairer holding a new windscreen ready to install it in a black car.

If your car is damaged, you’ll want it repaired and back on the road as soon as possible. But who do you trust to fix it? Most car insurance policies will provide someone to mend your vehicle, but you might have another repairer in mind.

You can compare your available options for car insurance with a choice of repairer using Savvy's 100% free comparison service. You’ll be able to consider personalised quotes from leading insurers in minutes, helping you find the best possible deal from our partners. Get started with a free, no-obligation quote today.

What is a choice of repairer on a car insurance policy?

When you take out car insurance, your insurer may let you choose between using your own choice of repairer or their preferred repairer to fix your vehicle in the event of an accident or damage.

‘Choice of repairer’ means you can choose the repair shop or mechanic you want to repair your car. The other option is to go with your insurance company’s ‘preferred repairer’ – a specific authorised repairer chosen by the insurer.

Many insurers will allow you to choose your own repairer, but before you sign up, you should check the policy wording to ensure this is the case and whether there are any stipulations.

How much will it cost to choose my own repairer?

There is a chance that choosing your own repairer could cost you more than using your insurer’s preferred repairer. This may be because it’s included as an optional extra on the policy and you have to pay to get it, or because repair costs quoted by your chosen repairer are higher than what the insurer thinks they should pay. However, the exact cost depends on your policy and your circumstances, so it’s important to compare your options closely with Savvy.

What are the differences between ‘choice of repairer’ and ‘preferred repairer’?

There are advantages and disadvantages with each option, so it’s important to compare key points to help you determine the best choice for you.

Choice of repairer Insurer’s preferred repairer
Subject to insurer approval, you can use a repair shop or mechanic you trust, which is especially important if you have a vehicle that requires specialist care, such as a classic car.
As you won’t have a choice of repairer, you may end up with one that doesn’t suit you or your requirements.
You can choose a convenient location close to where you live, which can save time and effort when it comes to dropping off, checking on and collecting your car.
The repair shop chosen by your insurer may be further away and tricky to reach, making it harder to coordinate collecting your vehicle.
You may be able to save time by using a repairer who can fix your car as soon as possible.
Preferred repairers get a lot of work via insurers, so you may have to wait as they work through the backlog.
You’ll likely have to arrange the repairs yourself and negotiate the price with the repairer.
Your insurer will already have negotiated a deal with the repairer, so you may only need to drop off your vehicle.
If the price you’re quoted is higher than the price your insurer has negotiated with their supplier, you may have to pay the difference.
If you use your insurer’s preferred repairer, all costs are covered – all you’ll pay is your excess.
If your vehicle is poorly repaired and requires further attention, you may have to pay for any additional work out of pocket.
Repairs are guaranteed, meaning that if there are any problems with the work done, your insurer will cover the cost.

Are there any restrictions on the repairer I can choose on my car insurance policy?

Car insurance companies can limit your choice of repairer. Some may have a list of approved repairers to choose from, while others may have specific requirements or limitations. Generally, no repairs can be made without the insurance company’s permission, so it’s vital you inform your insurer about your chosen repairer to ensure they agree with your choice.

Your insurer may require a second quote from a repairer they’ve approved or may choose to pay a reasonable cash sum for the cost of repairs if they don’t agree with your choice, which could leave you having to pay any difference yourself. You should familiarise yourself with your policy documents to understand your insurer’s specific criteria.

Why compare car insurance with Savvy?

Types of car insurance you can choose from

What factors should I consider when choosing a repairer?

Common questions about car insurance with a choice of repairer

Is there additional paperwork when choosing my own repairer?

When choosing your own repairer for your car insurance claim, there may be additional paperwork involved. The extent of this can vary depending on the insurance company and the specific requirements they have in place. You may need to provide a repair estimate or quote from your chosen repairer detailing the cost of repairs and the parts needed. You'll likely also need to submit supporting documentation, such as photographs of the damage or receipts for previous repairs, which are standard with car insurance claims.

What if the repair cost exceeds the coverage limit of my insurance policy?

What your car insurance covers depends on the type of policy you have.

Under a comprehensive car insurance policy, whether you’re using your choice of repairer or the insurer’s preferred repairer, your insurer may deem the car a repairable write-off and offer a cash settlement if the projected repair costs exceed the car’s value. You may still be able to get your car repaired after this, but you'll be responsible for the cost.  

If your insurer disagrees with your choice of repairer, they may offer a set cash sum for repairs instead of covering the full cost. In such cases, you would have to pay the difference.

What if repairs cost less than my excess?

If you’re in an accident but your car sustains only minimal damage, the cost of repairs may be less than your excess. In such cases, you may be refunded the difference or you may wish to cover the cost yourself rather than lodging a claim, which would also allow you to keep your no-claim bonus intact.

What can I do if I’m not satisfied with the repairs done by my chosen repairer?

If you aren’t happy with car repairs done by your insurance company’s preferred repairer, your insurer will generally organise and cover the cost of further repairs to resolve the issue. However, if you’ve opted for your own choice of repairer, you’re responsible for communicating with them and may have to pay for any additional work on your car, though you may be covered by certain warranties and guarantees under Australian Consumer Law.

If you do want to make a complaint, the first step is to contact the business to discuss the problem; if an agreement can't be reached, you may be able to complain to the industry body or lodge a formal complaint with your local state or territory consumer protection agency.

Helpful guides on car insurance

Car Insurance Banner - Woman pinches her nose in frustration while sitting at the wheel of her car.

What Voids Car Insurance?

Learn about the common factors that could void your car insurance with Savvy. Car insurance provides protection and peace of...

Car Insurance Banner - Man sitting at home on his laptop holding his credit card to renew his car insurance.

Car Insurance Renewal

Find out about the process of renewing your car insurance and what to consider in Savvy’s handy guide. Are you...

Car Insurance Banner - An exterior view of cars driving on a highway.

Unregistered Car Insurance

Find out whether you can cover your unregistered vehicle through Savvy’s informative guide today. Are you looking for insurance coverage...

Car Insurance Banner - Man squats and holds his hand to his mouth after a car accident with no insurance.

Car Accident No Insurance

Find out more about what you’ll need to do if you don’t have insurance and get in a car accident,...

Car Insurance Banner - A young couple sitting in their car checking their car insurance policy on a tablet.

How to Check Car Insurance

Learn about how to check your CTP insurance and other types of car insurance with Savvy. In Australia, car insurance...

Car Insurance Banner - A couple signing documents to purchase a new car and transfer their car insurance.

Car Insurance Transfer

Find out more about transferring your car insurance and when you may be able to do so in Savvy’s handy...

Car Insurance Banner - Couple driving in an open-top car, happy about receiving a no-claim bonus on their car insurance.

No-Claim Bonus in Car Insurance

Find out more about no-claim bonuses and how they can benefit your car insurance policy right here with Savvy. Looking...

Car Insurance Banner - Businesswoman looking at her phone while standing outside her car.

How to Change Car Insurance

Find out how to change your car insurance provider and what factors to consider with Savvy. Choosing the right car...

Compare car insurance options by make

Select your car make and find out how much it may cost to insure, read helpful guides and receive instant quotes from our partnered insurers.


Savvy (ABN 78 660 493 194, ACR 541 339) provides readers with a variety of car insurance policies to compare. Savvy earns a commission from our partnered insurers each time a customer buys a car insurance policy via our website. All purchases are conducted via our partners’ websites. The integrity of our comparison service is unaffected by our partnerships with those businesses and our effort remains to bring further brands that do not already use our comparison service onboard.

Savvy’s comparison service includes selected products from a panel of trusted insurers and does not compare all products in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy. We always recommend readers to consult the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of different policies before purchasing your car insurance.