Welcome everyone Sandra in Spain - FlamencoI’m Sandra Piddock, and I’m a freelance writer, dividing my time between Spain and the UK. I’ll write about anything that interests and/or challenges me, and I like to focus on the lighter side of life whenever possible.. Read more
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The chaos of getting a courtesy car from the insurers – Part 2

My Fiesta after the hit and run at the Guardamar roundabout on the CV905. Little did we know that was just the start of Stress Central!

My Fiesta after the hit and run at the Guardamar roundabout on the CV905. Little did we know that was just the start of Stress Central!

Okay, so the cliffhanger from the last post is that, after almost 3 hours in the Quesada offices of Liberty Seguros, waiting in vain for the text that never came, regarding the courtesy car we still hadn’t got, we were heading for home to wait for the text that was definitely on the way. Then we would call the lovely and very helpful Maria Jesus (MJ) who would order a taxi to take us to collect our courtesy car.

With me so far, or have you lost the will to live? I wouldn’t blame you if you had, to be honest. Anyway, we headed home to Paddy, whose separation anxiety had ratcheted up several notches, having been home alone for almost 5 hours. Neither of us had the heart to tell him he was going to be left again, very shortly. Or at least we hoped he was. Two hours after arriving home, the text that was definitely on the way must have got lost, and I was just about to call MJ to communicate the news, when she beat me to it.

Apparently, even she had given up hope of ever receiving the elusive text, because she’d taken the radical step of ordering a taxi to take us to collect the courtesy car. At last we were getting somewhere. We knew that our own car was being repaired in Almoradi – about 5 kilometres away – so when MJ said the taxi would be collecting us at 5.00 pm, we weren’t too concerned. By 5.30, we’d be back at Piddock Place, complete with courtesy car, and Paddy wouldn’t have to spend too much more time home alone. The long day was almost over.

Actually, it wasn’t. Our courtesy car was not waiting for us in Almoradi – it was in Alicante, 55 kilometres away. Not unreasonably, I wanted to know why we needed to go to Alicante, and why the garage at Almoradi couldn’t supply a courtesy car.

‘Is way it works,’ said MJ, and I could sense the shrug of the shoulders. ‘Way it works’ also included me having to ring MJ on my mobile when the taxi driver arrived, so she could tell him what he needed to do. He turned out to be a she, and she arrived at 5.15, only 15 minutes late. That’s good for Spain, isn’t it? And she clearly wasn’t expecting more than one passenger, because she had her two kids in the back – a 4 year old boy and a 9 month old girl. So our taxi driver had to shuffle the kiddy seats along a bit to make room for me in the back.

Goodness only knows what Elf ‘n Safety in England would have made of it – or the fact that our taxi driver didn’t see the need to wait until she’d finished talking to MJ to head for Alicante. After 15 minutes, when she’d received instructions and enquired after MJ’s family and passed on the latest news about her own , (turned out they knew each other) I got my phone back, with the balance seriously depleted.

Always one to make the best of any situation, I practiced my Spanish on the taxi driver (another Maria) and played peek-a-boo with the baby. The boy was a bit wary of me. One question I asked Maria was how long she had lived in Alicante. Turned out she lived in Almoradi, so the next question was, did she know where we were going? Her ‘Si’ didn’t sound totally convincing, and the fact that she drove past the railway station three times before finally deciding to ask a fellow taxi driver for directions seemed to add weight to my suspicions.

By the time we found the car hire depot, it was 6.30 pm, and the Alicante rush hour was in full swing. And I remembered that I had never, ever driven in the city centre. The nearest I’d got was the N332 coast road, because if we go into Alicante, we go on the train. In a short while, I’d be driving a strange car out into the dark, in a city I’d never driven in, at the height of the Friday rush hour. It could only happen in Spain.


4 Responses to The chaos of getting a courtesy car from the insurers – Part 2

  • david mirgan says:

    I have read your article relating to your loan car and found it very interesting.
    It seems to me you forgot the vital point No1 whos paid for the insurance policy and who does the policy belong to.
    2 you can take the car to any garage you like to get it repaired and there is nothing the insurance company can do about it you reserve the right to have it repaired anywhere….terms of policy…..
    3 having stated this to rattle the insurance company just tell them you were going to have the car repaired in the UK ……ie loan car…..
    4 or just pick a garage of your choise who would give you a courtsey car ….simples
    The insurance company will have to send a consulting engineer to veiw the damage and negociate the repairs this will be at the expence of the insurance company.
    You must dicate to the insurance company and not be fobbed off ……this was very poor customer service even in spanish terms
    At the end of the repair you should be sent a customer follow up review to complete …..air your veiws with your renewal primium ….there are other insurance companies crying out for custom ….linea direct etc…..

    I spent some 25 + years working as an automotive insurance engineer with 3 insurance companies.

    Next time give them greif for all its worth its your policy and your right to do what ever you wish.

    David Morgan A.M.I.M.I. Mech E C.A.E

    • Hello David. Thanks for that. I found out after everything was in motion that we could have chosen our own garage to do the repairs. Obviously, I hope there is not a next time, but I will be better prepared if there is!

  • Derrick Hopper says:

    Oh dear, My (New) 8 month old car got taken out on Thursday last by a hire car (and I think I have problems) who decided to move from the side of the road and do an illegal U turn onto the opposite carriageway just as I drew alongside of him. The police turned up and did all the paperwork and took some happy snaps their Grua turned up and you could see my Citroen garage sign from where we were stood (200 mtrs away). The Grua would not take it there he just pulled it into the car park which was convenient. Having phoned the insurance company and told them of the incident. I told them that the car was being taken to the Citroen garage 300 mtrs away. At the Garage I contacted the insurance company who then told me that the car had to go to Benisa (their approved garage) why did they not have the Grua take it there in the first place? So it has to be collected.

    It is now Sat pm and have heard nothing. I cannot have a courtesy car until the accessor has looked at it. A blind man can see that its not drivable. The Citroen garage do not have long term courtesy cars hence, it as to go to Benisa. I have an all singing all Dancing insurance policy, even cover for full replacement with the finance company but this is Spain but we are not dealing with spanish brokers but an english one who has been established since 1987. Have they learned nothing in all that time as to what happens when someone looses their car and their first need is a replacement. I think a policy review is needed and take it out with a company that acts on its policy statement.

    Do yourself a favour and get a Dash Cam. I fitted one two weeks ago. It shows everything in glorious colour. A great investment for €25 on amazon.es. including delivery (This is not an Advert just info).

    As of now. I don’t know where my car is or when I will be contacted next but there is going to be a lot of foot stamping and desk banging next week.

    Hope I have not bored you.

    • Hello Derrick – no, you haven’t bored me at all. Very interesting in fact, and just backs up what I have to report. Hope you are soon sorted. The dash cam sounds like a great idea.