Direct Line Car Insurance

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Written by Michael Foote, founder of Quote Goat, has over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.
Direct Line Car Insurance Review
  • TrustPilot Review
Quote Goat User Ratings 2.56 (36 votes)
Hover over the stars to select a rating or write a review below

Who is Direct Line?

Direct Line, an insurance provider in the UK, has been providing car insurance products since its formation in 1985. With more than 10,000 employees, and ten million customers, it is the largest direct car insurer in the UK.

Direct Line began life selling only car insurance products, focusing on the fact that policies were sold directly to customers, via telephone. Over the years, the product range has expanded, although the brand has maintained a strong stance on direct sales, and do not appear on any comparison website. As the company has grown, so the reputation for service has fluctuated, reflected in a wide range of ratings from online customer reviews. Despite this, Direct Line did win a Customer Experience Award at the 2016 UK Financial Services Experience Awards.

It’s always maintained a high profile in TV advertising, from the ‘phone on wheels’ logo, to the current campaign featuring the Winston Wolfe character from the film Pulp Fiction. Direct Line is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The brand’s mission?

“To make insurance easier and better value for our customers”

What does Direct Line charge?

Direct Line has made a strategic decision to not appear on any price comparison websites, instead opting to deal directly with the customer. It’s a policy which, they say, allows them to pass savings onto their customers through not paying commissions to these comparison sites. To see how much other insurance providers charge, you can get a car insurance quote with us.

However, like all car insurance providers, the price of each policy is dependent on specific criteria personal to the customer. This might include the age of the driver, type of car, driving convictions, or location. This makes assessing the costs of its insurance products difficult, although Direct Line is generally competitive, versus the main competitors.

DrivePlus is Direct Line’s telematics-based ‘Black Box’ scheme for drivers under the age of 25. This uses a plug-in box in the car to analyse driver behaviour, allowing it to offer better price terms to safer, lower-risk young drivers. Compare young driver car insurance quotes here.

How is their Direct Line customer service?

Customer feedback for Direct Line seems to be very much a mixed bag of good and bad, with online reviews covering the full spectrum of 1 to 5 star ratings.

The brand was rated 9th overall by Which? in July 2017, while the customer score of 66% was the 7th best out of the 31 companies reviewed.

However, Insurance Age reported that Direct Line received the most customer complaints (1,447) of any UK insurance provider in the first half of 2017, over 400 more than any other company.

On TrustPilot, the company receives a poor 1/5 rating from the 365 reviews on the site, with a range of customer quotes from very bad to very good, such as:

“They say you only know how good your Insurance company is until you need them and I can vouch that direct line are awful.”

“Awful customer services. Wiggle out of every claim at our expense”

“I bought direct line product because they were cheap but I learnt pay £10 extra but never buy direct line products.”

“I can honestly say that everyone I have spoken to has been lovely and they have really guided us out of a devastating experience. I have had some bad experiences with insurers in the past but this has been perfect. I would recommend them wholeheartedly.”

What policies does Direct Line offer?

Direct Line offers three main policies when it comes to car cover:

  • Car Insurance

A choice of comprehensive or 3rd party fire and theft, offering features such as: used car replacement, medical expenses, personal belongings, windscreen damage, uninsured driver no claims protection, and £0 excess on accidental damage.

  • Multi-Car Insurance

Providing cover for more than one car, while keeping details separate so that any claim on one car does not impact the driver on another car.

  • Drive Plus Black Box

Telematics technology to monitor driving behavior via a plug-into-car box. For drivers under 25, with discounts offered to safe drivers.

Direct Line in Summary

Direct Line is a leading name in the UK car insurance market, and offers a competitively-priced range of products, which generally stand up well to those of their rivals. Not appearing on comparison sites means that you speak directly with the company, rather than via a 3rd party.

However, while the products and policies are generally well-received, in particular their car insurance for young drivers, online customer feedback suggests that there is room for improvement from the company when it comes to handling customer queries and claims.

Insurance Provider Reviews

7 thoughts on “Direct Line Car Insurance

  1. Claimed on my super fully comprehensive policy because a car undertook me on a roundabout colliding with and damaging my car on exit. A witness statement supporting me was provided I and was advised to go ahead with the repair and that if I paid the excess to speed up repair, they would refund it to me from the claim against the other driver. Went ahead but did not make use of the courtesy car as I did not need it. Surprise surprise I had to call Direct Line to check progress and was told that they were sorry but as the witness had decided against attending court they were in effect going to collude with the other party’s insurer on a knock for knock basis, that I need not worry as my no claims bonus was protected. They also advised that although they would not fight my corner they had no objection to me employing my own solicitor to do it. Arguing that I was paying them to do it was ignored. Sure enough when renewal came round my NCB was not affected but the accident reflected in the basic premium increasing it approx. 25%. Direct Line only appear to support their clients when there is zero financial risk to them. Another little ploy to be aware of – The garage they nominated for repairs (Ford) specified that their assessor would check my car on his own which caught my attention. Being curious I stayed with the gent doing it regardless and guess what? The first thing he checked was the tyre tread depth, not the damage. It doesn’t take much to work out this must be done to ensure DL doesn’t miss any opportunity to wriggle out of paying IMHO. My advice is to use a garage of your own choosing and stay well clear of Direct Line car “insurance”.

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  2. An awful awful experience with Direct Line regarding a motor claim.
    Car accident 2 weeks ago, not my fault.
    My car was written off without my consent within 24 hours.
    Still within 24 hours, Direct Line changed my insurance cover from comprehensive to third party cover and they did not bother to inform me. And they arranged an automotive recycling company to collect it.
    How I discovered all this ? When I called them to understand why they have transferred some money to my account.
    I have to mention here I did not agree with the valuation they made for my car. But, they didn’t care, within 24 hours, they decided to write off my car I had for nearly a decade.
    Inddeed, I have this car for more than 8 years and it is insured with Direct Line for same duration.
    Not only, I had an accident I was not even responsible, Within less than 48 hours, I was no longer owning my car I had for nearly a decade and I feel like I been treated not as a human being but an object.
    I have logged a claim with them, they are telling me that I have to pay back 40 pounds if I want to keep my car.
    I do not definitely recommend at all this insurance company.
    Such a horrible and traumatic experience.
    For my next car, I will go to another insurance company.

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  3. Do not even try to get a quote from Direct Line Insurance if you value your sanity.
    Unfortunately, I realised the extent of dissatisfaction of their customers and potential customers when I read the comments of their customers. This was after I tried to get a quote from them and to my horror they declined to give me a quote! Then patronised me by saying that of course I can apply again when my circumstances change.
    When I asked them what circumstances had to change, their unbelievable answer was that their decision is based on their underwriting criteria and I was not allowed to know the factor or factors that resulted in their decision!
    In other words I can reapply when these factors personal to me which are secret to me change. No doubt any sane and reasonable person can see the ridiculous, unfair and stressful position forced on the unlucky people who try to get a quote from them.
    Whilst I accept that they have a right to offer insurance (Or not) to whoever they prefer, it is their total disregard for the impact of their decision on their potential customers and their refusal to concede that people should be able to ask on what basis a decision has been made that may have potential impact on their future insurance application.

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  4. We have four cars and the house with Direct Line

    Direct Line are at the low price end especially for new drivers. The only problem is with the DLG Auto Services body shop owned by Direct Line. Quality controll is non existant. Do not agree to use them, go to a manufacturer accredited independant body shop. They will still pick up the bill.

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  5. i would put zero star if there was an option to do so. just spoke to the person dealing with my claim Elizabeth Scherer utterly rude and awful customer service. my claim havent been sorted out and theres no clear evidence that a key was used to steal my car from the cctv footage i’ve seen. they will not help but say theres nothing more they can do. i leave my car in a car garage for some repairs and it gets stolen and now nothing is being done about it. she said the car was not hacked into. without any evidence. nowadays cars can easily be hacked into and stolen. now its been over 3 months and am still left without my car. what was the purpose of buying comprehensive cover? PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THIS USELESS INSURANCE COMPANY.

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  6. Avoid

    Had accident and it was my fault, no 3rd party involved, i was asked to give statement and evidence which i did, i request my car should be repaired on my own choice of garage but they refusing to send instruction to my garage and offer me to take my car on my own expensive and ask the garage to give estimate, even DL know that they have to instruct the garage first but refusing it. now they refusing to give me hire car and refusing to instruct my garage and the case handler(Jennie) told that if i called or complaint that should be directed to her, she said that i am not allowed to speak to anyone apart from her even she lied and gave me wrong information, now she is bulling me saying that under which law it says that no one can go though my belonging without my consent.
    I made complaint and that complaint went to her to investigate and she will not stop bullying me until the claim is settle but at later DL might compensate me.
    She knows what she is doing is wrong but she can not say it and she has been pushed by someone in DL to do that such as, not give me hire car, not send instruction to the garage to repair the car, give me wrong information, let the garage to go through my belonging, delay the claim, refused to speak to someone els, etc.
    Even if i call to ask for DL t&c my call will be transfer to her and then her words are their t&c. Basically she has to tell me who i can speak to and who i can not, she has to decide what i can have and what i can not. For now i can not speak or complaint to anyone and i can not have anything.
    I have comprehensive insurance with DL from 5 years, paid guarantee hire plus,
    Under their t&c says if i choice to repair my car with my own choice of garage i will have hire car for 21 days, she refused to send the instruction to my garage until now and she saying that i had my car for 21 days because i chose to use my own garage so now still she will not send instruction to the garage and she will not give me hire car.
    Better stay away from this company and it will be my last year with them even i paid yearly

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