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. 

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

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 for damage is set out in the Member Agreement and Damage Policy. It 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 and our insurer can get them to pay for repairs, then you won't need to pay anything. We may charge you your DCL so we can get the repairs started for the Owner, and we'll refund it once we've recovered the cost of the repairs from the third party or their insurer.
  • 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 and upload or email them to us within 48 hours - if damage is reported, we will check the photos that have been uploaded by Borrowers who drove in the past 42 days. If you have not uploaded or emailed to us (within 48 hours of the trip ending) 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 will be held responsible.  

A separate DCL applies for each incident - so in the unlikely event that you were to damage a car at several different times during your trip, you would need to pay a DCL for each of those damage events. 

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 and the interior of the vehicle before you drive AND when you end your trip, and upload them through the app or website. 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.


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