Direct Line car insurance review

If you’re hit while parked and have to claim on your policy, will your no-claims bonus be hit, too? Direct Line says it'll protect you. Find out what else it offers.

Direct Line

Our verdict

Direct Line has made a selling point out of the fact it's not sold via comparison sites – but this does mean it's harder to compare its quotes with those from rivals. You'll need to put in a bit of extra leg work and go direct if you want to get a quote and then compare it with other quotes.

If you do, you'll find the brand offers a choice of 3 comprehensive policies (Essentials, Comprehensive and Comprehensive Plus) and third party, fire and theft cover. If you want just third party cover, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Get started by visiting Direct Line’s website and sign up for a policy. Or, if you have read this review and decided that Direct Line car insurance is not for you, you can also compare other car insurance policies.

Best for: High levels of customer satisfaction

Pros
  • No-claims bonus protected for a range of no-fault claims (comprehensive cover only)
  • No charge for mid-term amendments
  • Exclusive deals for existing customers
Cons
  • No 24/7 claims line (out of hours emergency line available)
  • If you want a quote, you'll have to go direct as it's not on price comparison sites
Direct Line
★★★★★
Finder score

Direct Line says it offers exclusive deals to existing customers, won’t charge extra for mid-term amendments and if you have comprehensive cover, promises to protect a no-claims bonus if you have to claim after being hit while parked. Here’s everything else you need to know about this top-rated car insurer.

Compare Direct Line car insurance policies

Name Product Courtesy car cover New car replacement EU cover Personal accident cover Multi-car discount Link
Direct Line Third Party Fire and Theft
cross
cross
N/A
Direct Line Comprehensive
tick
tick
You or your partner are covered up to the amount in your insurance agreement.
  • Guaranteed hire car as standard
  • Taxi to get you to your destination if you've been involved in a crash (T&Cs apply)
  • No-claims discount protection (Terms apply)
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Who is Direct Line?

Direct Line began in 1985 and sold car insurance from the start. Since then, it has branched out to van, travel, pet, landlord and home insurance.

This award-winning company is one of the UK’s leading car insurers.

Who underwrites the car insurance from Direct Line?

Direct Line policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.

U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by both the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

What’s covered under my policy?

Product NameDirect Line Third Party Fire and TheftDirect Line Comprehensive
Damage to your car
Damaged windscreen and window glass
Fire and theft
Personal accident cover
Medical expenses
Personal belongings
Liabilities to third parties
Using the car abroad
Alternative travel costs
No-claims discount
No-claims discount protection✓ if eligible✓ if eligible
Permanently fitted audio equipment

What are Direct Line’s different policies?

If you have more than one car in your household, you might be able to get a discount on your premiums through the Direct Line multi-car insurance cover.

Optional extras

Direct Line offers a range of additional protection to bolt onto your policy, including:

  • Breakdown cover. Direct Line offers 4 different levels.
  • Guaranteed hire car plus. Direct Line will provide you with a hire car if your car is damaged due to an accident or fire, or if your car has not been recovered after being stolen. It comes as an optional extra with Comprehensive and is standard with Comprehensive Plus. It doesn’t include windscreen claims and customer delayed claims.
  • Motor legal protection. Direct Line will provide up to £100,000 of legal costs in the event of a legal dispute following an accident. There has to be more than a 50% chance that your claim will succeed.
  • No-claim discount protection. You’ll need a minimum of 4 years’ no-claims discount and no more than 1 at-fault claim within the past 3 years for all drivers combined to be eligible for this cover.

How do I make a claim?

You can make a claim online or call the claims line on 0345 246 8811 to register a claim. This claims line is open 8am–9pm Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm Saturdays and 11am–5pm Sundays.

You will need to provide the following information in order to make a claim:

  • Your personal details and policy number
  • Details about the incident including as location, damage or injuries sustained
  • Names and contact details of everyone involved in the incident such as third parties, passengers and any witnesses
  • Crime reference number, if applicable

It’s vital that you let your insurer know about an incident as soon as possible, even if it’s not your fault. Failure to do this could result in a rejected claim later on.

What is my excess?

Your insurance excess is the amount of money you will need to pay towards a claim. Your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than this amount. A compulsory excess amount might vary depending on the age of your car and your driving experience.

A voluntary excess is on top and is normally set by you when taking out a policy. You’ll have the option of adding or increasing a voluntary excess – which should lower your premium.

You’ll find details about any compulsory or voluntary excesses in your policy document.

Direct Line car insurance customer reviews

Customers who took part in Finder’s 2024 customer satisfaction survey were positive about Direct Line, with many highlighting competitive pricing and reliability.

One customer praised Direct Line for being “contactable, with competitive prices”.

Among Direct Line customers in the survey, 78% said they would recommend the brand to a friend.

How satisfied are Direct Line's car insurance customers vs other brands'?

ResponseDirect Line customersCustomers of other brands
Very satisfied35.16%36.57%
Reasonably satisfied36.26%37.94%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied18.68%18.82%
Moderately dissatisfied6.59%5.46%
Highly dissatisfied3.30%1.21%
Source: Finder survey by OnePoll of 750 Brits

How to cancel Direct Line car insurance

You need to call Direct Line on 0345 878 6446 to cancel your policy.

If you cancel before your policy starts you’ll get a full refund. If you cancel within 14 days of starting your cover or receiving your documents (whichever is later) then you’ll pro-rata refund. If you cancel after 14 days there’s a cancellation charge of £48.16 for car insurance.

Frequently asked questions

Car insurance scores

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

Finder scores, in blue, are based on our expert analysis. We also show reviews from users, where we've received more than 10, with a score in yellow. We gather more reviews from customers every year in Finder's customer satisfaction survey.

To find out more, read our full methodology.

*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, www.consumerintelligence.com (Mar ’24). 51% of car insurance customers could save £539.54
The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.
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Written by

Editor-in-chief

Liz Edwards has been a consumer writer and editor for more than 20 years. She led award-winning teams at the campaigning publisher Which?, and has covered a range of consumer rights and personal finance topics including pensions, credit, banking and insurance. Liz has appeared frequently in national media such as The Sun, Metro, HuffPost and The Independent. She loves to cut through waffle to give consumers the real lowdown. And she loves puns. See full bio

Liz's expertise
Liz has written 106 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Consumer rights and protection
  • Saving money
  • Buy now, pay later
  • Insurance
  • Consumer trends
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Co-written by

Writer

Jason is a freelance writer and editor. He worked as a senior subeditor for Finder for 5 years and in that time became familiar with a wide range of financial products and services. Before that, he worked for Australian Associated Press. He has a BA from Macquarie University in Australia. Jason loves to help other people find new ways to save money. See full bio

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