When you book a car, you're covered by our comprehensive insurance policy. If you are responsible for damage, and you haven't breached an important term of the member agreement (e.g. by driving off road), then the most you would need to pay is your Damage Cover Liability amount (DCL).

The DCL works like an insurance excess, capping the amount you need to pay if you are responsible for damage to a car you borrow.

How much is my Damage Cover Liability amount (DCL)?

The standard DCL is $2,000. You can reduce it to $500 by:

  • joining as a Heavyweight member, for $19 a month; or
  • paying an extra $1.50 an hour or $18 a day when you book a trip.

You'll have the chance to choose either of these options when you book a car, or you can switch to the Heavyweight plan at any time.

When would I be responsible for damage?

Short answer:

You are responsible for any damage that happens to the car from the time you pick it up until the time you drop it back. You are also responsible if you damage a third party's car.

Your responsibility includes:

  • Damage that is no-one's fault, such as a branch falling on the car.
  • Damage caused by an unidentified person, for example if someone scratches the car while it is parked or does a hit-and-run. If you get the details of the person at fault so that our insurer can get them to pay for repairs, then you won't need to pay anything.
  • Damage caused by someone else driving the car during your booking. If someone else drives the car during your booking, and they are not a member of Car Next Door, then there is no insurance cover and you will be responsible for the full costs of any loss or damage.
  • Damage to someone else's property - e.g. if you are involved in an accident where you are at fault and you damage a third party's car.
  • Damage where you did not take clear photos at the start and end or your trip - if damage is reported, we will ask everyone who borrowed the car in the past 30 days to send us their photos. If you don't have photos to show that the damage was either there when you picked it up, or was not there at the time you left the car, then you may be held responsible.  

Protecting yourself against damage costs

It's a good idea to:

  • Reduce your Damage Cover Liability Amount (see above 'How much is my Damage Cover Liability Amount' above)
  • Always take clear photos of every surface of the vehicle before you drive AND when you end your trip, and keep them for at least 30 days after your trip ends. You will be able to use these photos to prove that damage did not occur during your trip. 


If damage is discovered after your booking and you can't provide us with photos showing it did not occur during your booking, you may be liable and responsible for the cost of repairs.

See also: Are there any exclusions to the insurance cover?

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