General Queries

What type of vehicles can Alton Cars repair?

We repair cars of all makes and models and light commercials vehicles up to a weight limit of 7.5 Tonne, which are no bigger than a standard long wheelbase, high roofline van.

Should I report the incident to my insurance company?

It depends on the severity of the damage and who was at fault. If you are unsure then contact us first and our Customer Service Advisors can advise you potentially saving you a great deal of money & stress. If your vehicle is mobile you may want to get a free of charge quote first – once you know the repair costs you can decide on the best option. If the accident wasn’t you fault, why not use our non-fault service? non-fault service?

Can I choose where I have my vehicle repaired?

Yes. Your insurance company may prefer you to use a repairer from their approved network, but ultimately you are free to choose where your vehicle is repaired. So don’t settle for second best and contact your local Alton Cars repair centre.

If Alton Cars repair my vehicle will it invalidate the manufacturer warranty?

No. Any repair carried out by trained personnel, using equipment fit for purpose and following the manufacturer’s repair procedures does not affect the warranty of the vehicle. Every Alton Cars repair centre is BSi Kitemark approved, ensuring that skilled ATA accredited technicians use the latest repair technology & manufacturer methods to fix your vehicle.

Can I be confident that Alton Cars will repair my vehicle to a high standard?

Every Alton Cars repair centre is BSi Kitemark approved, the highest standard that can be attained within the body repair industry. Our repair centres are also multi-manufacturer & insurer approved. Stringent & regular audits are undertaken to check that we continue to work to the very highest standards, with all our work guaranteed for a minimum of 3 years.

What belongings should you remove from or keep in the vehicle?

Please remove all personal belongings from the vehicle, as you may need them throughout the course of the repair, whilst it minimises the risk of items being damaged or lost. Please also ensure that you leave items that we may need when repairing your vehicle such as the locking wheel nut, key codes, radio codes, etc.

Replacement Vehicle Queries

Am I entitled to a courtesy vehicle?

If we are an approved repairer for your insurance company and you have courtesy car cover then you will be entitled to a courtesy car. If we are not an approved repairer for your insurer or it is a private job then we can still provide a courtesy car subject to availability. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you might be entitled to a free like-for-like hire vehicle upgrade, just contact our non-fault specialists for more details on 01226 209615.

Who insurers the courtesy vehicle?

You do. In most cases your insurance will automatically transfer onto our courtesy vehicle. If we are not an approved repairer for your insurer or it’s a private job then it’s your responsibility to arrange suitable insurance cover.

What do I need to provide prior to being given a courtesy vehicle?

Please ensure you bring driving license photo card ID. This applies to any other named drivers on the policy that intend driving the courtesy vehicle. If you are self-insuring the vehicle then we will need to see a cover note prior to releasing the vehicle.

Is there any charge & do I have to pay a deposit for the courtesy vehicle?

No, courtesy cars are supplied free of charge. However, we may request a swipe or details of a debit or credit card to cover any potential charges. Typical examples include the vehicle being returned in poor condition or with visibly less fuel. A summary of these fines can be found on your hire agreement.

What happens if I have an accident in the courtesy vehicle?

You will either need to pay for the repair privately or submit a new claim to your insurance company.

What type of fuel does the courtesy vehicle use?

Nearly all our courtesy vehicles use unleaded petrol. If you're uncertain then just give call your local Alton Cars repair centre or check the inside of the petrol cap as the fuel type should be clearly marked.

Can I use the courtesy vehicle for holidays abroad or extended travel?

No, none of our courtesy vehicles can leave the UK. Likewise, once your vehicle repairs are complete you’re expected to return the courtesy vehicle within 24 hours. If there are significant delays with this then you run the risk of being charged an additional daily cost.

Booking In & Repair Process Queries

Will you collect my vehicle & deliver it back?

Yes, we do offer a free of charge collection & delivery service (and deliver or collect a courtesy cars where applicable) for insurance customers, up to a 30 mile radius dependent on your policy entitlement. This service is subject to a first-come-first served policy whilst immobile vehicles also take priority.

Can my booking in date change?

Yes, it is possible. This is usually due to limited courtesy car availability, limited collection or delivery facilities or parts being on back order. On the rare occasion that we do have to change a booking in date, we will advise you at the earliest opportunity and suggest alternative arrangements.

How long will it take to repair my vehicle?

Repair durations vary as every job is different. In most cases, our engineers have to obtain authority from your insurer prior to carrying out repairs. If and once repairs are authorised, we can then order the parts required. Delays can be experienced in both these areas, should the vehicle need a physical inspection or if parts are on back order, and whilst we have little control over these factors, we will manage the situation as best we can. Once repairs have been authorised and we have parts onsite our Customer Service Advisors will then provide you with an Estimated Completion Date – this is the date we will aim to have repairs completed by. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee this & it’s not a delivery date.

Why can delays arise during the repairs process?

A number of unforeseen problems can delay repairs. Typical examples include the discovery of further damage once your vehicle is stripped down, the requirement of extra parts, or a Road Test or Quality Check failure as the vehicle would then go back into the workshop to be rectified. If we do experience delays when repairing your vehicle our Customer Services Teams will endeavour to keep you informed.

Can Alton Cars repair damage that is unrelated to the accident?

Yes, our engineers can provide you a free of charge quote. We can offer big discounts on additional bodywork repairs and can usually get the work completed in tandem with other repairs being carried out - meaning you benefit from big savings & no extra delays or hassle.

Who decides if the vehicles a write off and what happens next?

If the vehicle is deemed a write off your insurance company will contact you to offer a settlement figure. Depending on the severity of damage, you may also have the option to retain the vehicle and we might be able to put a contract repair quote together for you to have the vehicle fixed privately. If you decide not to retain the vehicle, then we recommend you pick up any personal belongings as quickly as possible.

Repair Completion Queries

What happens when my car is ready?

Our Customer Service Advisors will contact you when vehicle repairs are complete. Where possible, we’ll make collection or delivery arrangements with you too. If we cannot get hold of you, we will leave a voice mail or send a text. Please ensure you respond within 24 hours to ensure you avoid any loan vehicle charges.

Will my vehicle be cleaned before its returned?

Your vehicle is washed & vacuumed inside.

Do I have to pay for the repairs ?

It depends on several factors. If it’s a private job then you will be liable for the full cost of repairs, which will have been agreed upfront. If it’s an insurance claim, then your insurer will cover all repair costs. However, an excess may apply and if you are VAT registered, VAT on the full repair cost is charged. Payment methods include cash, card (2% charge for credit card) or BACS payment, but we do not accept cheques. It’s our company policy not to release the vehicle until after payment has been received.

Is the work undertaken guaranteed?

All our workmanship is covered for a minimum of 3 years, whilst new parts fitted are covered by the standard manufacturer warranty.

What if I have a problem or complaint?

If you have any questions or concerns at any point before, during or after the repairs then please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our customer services team. If you remain unsatisfied you can escalate things to our dedicated complaints team on 01226 209636.