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Admiral car insurance review

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Although not as old as some other insurers – it was founded in 1993 – Admiral is now one of the biggest car insurance providers in the UK.

In fact, Admiral Group as a whole, which also includes brands like Veygo and Elephant Auto, is the UK’s biggest car insurance company full stop. It has also been voted the Best Motor Insurance at The Personal Finance Awards for every year since 2015.

Read on below for our Admiral car insurance review, including which policies it offers, how people feel about its customer service, and how it compares to its competitors.

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What car insurance cover is offered by Admiral?

While Admiral has a wide range of car insurance policies, it has six main products, including Third party, Third party, fire and theft, and four levels of comprehensive cover, Admiral Essential, Admiral, Admiral Gold, and Admiral Platinum.

None of these policies include no claims bonus protection or hire car cover as standard, but they can be included as optional extras for an additional cost.

Third party

Third party car insurance is not only the most basic policy Admiral provides, it’s also the legal minimum cover you need to have to drive on UK roads. It includes:

  • Third party cover: this means if you get in an accident, Admiral will pay out for the other driver, but not any damage to your own car
  • 24 hour emergency helpline: regardless of when you have an accident, you can ring Admiral’s helpline
  • Drive other cars: if eligible (you must be at least 25 years old), you can drive other cars on your insurance, but with third party cover only

For an extra cost, you can also include optional motor legal protection, roadside breakdown cover, and repair and replace windscreen cover.

Third party, fire and theft

Admiral’s third party, fire and theft insurance includes everything covered by third party only insurance, as well as:

  • Fire damage: if your car is damaged by a fire, you can make a claim for the costs
  • Theft: if your car is stolen, or damaged by an attempted theft, Admiral will cover the costs
  • Courtesy car cover: you will get a temporary replacement vehicle if you take your car to an Admiral-approved garage after an accident
  • European car cover: you can drive your car in Europe for up to 90 days, and have your own car costs covered if you’re in an accident
  • Aftermarket stereo cover: any stereo devices fitted by third-party sellers are covered (as well as manufacturer fitted parts as standard)
  • Replacement lock cover: you can get your keys or locks replaced, up to a maximum of £500, if your keys are stolen from somewhere that isn’t your car

As with third party cover, you can also add-on motor legal protection, roadside breakdown cover and windscreen cover.

Admiral Essential

Admiral Essential is the most basic level of the insurer’s comprehensive cover policies. This means it covers:

  • Damage to your own vehicle: if your car is damaged in an accident, or through an act of vandalism, you can claim for the costs
  • Third party damages: Admiral will cover the costs of the other driver’s damages if you get in an accident
  • Fire damage: if you car is damaged in a fire, you can make a claim
  • Theft: if your car is stolen, or damaged during an attempted theft, you can make a claim
  • 24 hour emergency helpline: call Admiral anytime following an accident
  • Courtesy car cover: if your car needs to be repaired following an accident, you can receive a courtesy car to drive while you wait for it to be fixed
  • Replacement lock cover: if your keys are stolen from anywhere that isn’t your car, you can claim up to £500 to change the locks or replace your keys
  • £5,000 personal injury cover: you can claim up to £5,000 for death, blindness, or loss of limbs resulting from an accident for you and your partner
  • Child car seat cover: you can get a replacement car seat if yours is stolen or damaged

You can also choose to add-on motor legal protection and roadside breakdown cover.

Admiral

The insurer’s Admiral policy includes everything found in the Admiral Essentials policy, as well as:

  • Windscreen cover: you can get your windscreens replaced or repaired if they are damaged, although your excess will apply
  • European cover: you can drive for 90 days in Europe, without taking out a new policy, and be able to make a claim for any damages to your car
  • Drive other cars: you may be able to drive other cars on your Admiral third party policy, subject to eligibility (minimum age 25 years old)
  • Aftermarket stereo cover: you can replace a stolen or damaged aftermarket stereo (manufactured parts are covered as standard)
  • £200 personal belongings cover: you can claim up to £200 to help replace any personal belongings that are stolen or damaged while in your car
  • New car replacement: if your car is up to 12 months old, and you are the first registered owner, you can get a like-for-like replacement if it is stolen or written-off

You can also choose to add-on motor legal protection and roadside breakdown cover.

Admiral Gold

Admiral Gold includes everything found in the Admiral plan, as well as:

  • Motor legal protection: if you have an accident, and it isn’t your fault, you can claim up to £100,000 in legal costs
  • Onward travel: if your car breaks down, you can claim for alternative travel, and overnight accommodation if needed
  • £300 personal belongings cover: you can claim up to £300 for any personal belongings stolen or damaged while stored in your car

You can also add roadside breakdown cover as an optional extra.

Admiral Platinum

With Admiral Platinum, you get everything offered by Admiral Gold, as well as the inclusion of roadside breakdown cover as standard.

Other Admiral car insurance products

Admiral car insurance policies at a glance

 Third party Third party, fire and theft Admiral Essential Admiral Admiral Gold Admiral Platinum
Age range All All All All All All
Level of cover Third party Third party, fire and theft Fully comprehensive Fully comprehensive Fully comprehensive Fully comprehensive
Injuries to other people Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Damage to other people’s property Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Theft No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fire damage No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Repairs to your own car No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Legal costs Optional Optional Optional  Optional Yes Yes
Your medical expenses No No Yes Up to £5,000 Up to £5,000 Up to £5,000
Driving other cars Yes (must be 25 or over, third party cover only) Yes (must be 25 or over, third party cover only) Yes (must be 25 or over, third party cover only) Yes (must be 25 or over, third party cover only) Yes (must be 25 or over, third party cover only) Yes (must be 25 or over, third party cover only)
Breakdown cover Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Yes
Courtesy car cover No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hire car cover Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional
Windscreen replacement Optional Optional No Yes Yes Yes
Personal belongings No No No Up to £200 Up to £300 Up to £300
Replacement locks and keys No Up to £500 Up to £500 Up to £500 Up to £500 Up to £500
Protected no claims bonus Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional
Cancellation fee £25 (within 14 days) £25 (within 14 days) £25 (within 14 days) £25 (within 14 days) £25 (within 14 days) £25 (within 14 days)
£60 (after 14 days) £60 (after 14 days) £60 (after 14 days) £60 (after 14 days) £60 (after 14 days) £60 (after 14 days)

Admiral car insurance optional extras

With your Admiral car insurance policy, you should normally be able to choose some optional extras for an additional cost. These can include:

  • Motor legal protection (included with Admiral Gold and Admiral Platinum as standard)
  • Roadside breakdown cover (included with Admiral Platinum as standard)
  • Windscreen cover (included with Admiral, Admiral Gold and Admiral Platinum as standard)
  • Personal injury cover (included with Admiral Essentials, Admiral, Admiral Gold and Admiral Platinum)
  • Protected no claims bonus
  • Hire vehicle cover

How to claim with Admiral car insurance

If you want to make a car insurance claim with Admiral, you should follow these steps:

  • Make sure you and any other parties involved are safe following the incident.
  • Contact Admiral as soon as you can after the incident. You have a maximum of 48 hours to do so, regardless of whether or not you want to make a claim. This might be online, or over the phone (0333 220 2033).
  • Confirm whether or not you are making a claim, and what kind of claim you want to make. For example, whether you’ve been in an accident, or that your car has been stolen.
  • Admiral will arrange the relevant course of action for your claim. This may involve contacting the other driver if you have been in an accident.

How to cancel Admiral car insurance

If you want to cancel your Admiral car insurance, you will need to get in contact over the phone, via email, or using its live chat service.

When cancelling your Admiral car cover, you will need to pay a fee. Admiral’s cancellation fees are as follows:

Cancellation period Fee
Within 14 days of taking out the policy £25
After 14 days £60

How to make changes to Admiral car insurance

If you want to make changes to your Admiral car insurance policy, such as altering your name or address, it will cost you £13 if you do it online and £26 if you do it over the phone.

How to contact Admiral car insurance

You can manage your Admiral car insurance policy by logging into MyAccount.

If you need a bit more help, and want to contact Admiral, you can use the following options:

  • Phone: 0333 220 2000 (8am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm Saturdays, 9.30am to 4pm Sundays)
  • Live chat (8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm Saturdays, 9.30am to 4pm Sundays)
  • Admiral Virtual Assistant (AVA)

Admiral car insurance customer reviews

Admiral has an ‘Excellent’ Trustpilot rating of 4.4 out of five stars, based on over 42,900 reviews (as of 14 November 2023).

It is important to note, however, that these reviews are for the Admiral brand as a whole, and not just its car insurance products.

Of those related to car insurance, many of the brand’s five star reviews mention the quality of the company’s customer service, and the value for money of new quotes. These five star reviews make-up 67 per cent of Admiral’s rating.

However, of the 19 per cent of reviews that are rated one or two stars, a repeated complaint is the jump in renewal premiums.

“Very helpful and thorough agent helped me set up my daughter’s car insurance, checking throughout the process as what she did need and seeing if any savings could be included. Competitively priced and we are able to manage most things now online via the portal. Very good customer service, which we have found sadly isn’t always the case. We would definitely recommend Admiral.”

“Helpful and friendly customer service. Recently, I didn’t have to wait too long on the phone in the queue either. They offer comprehensive insurance on the best prices. I would definitely recommend them.”

“Renewal for car insurance due next month after one year with no claim. 60 per cent increase. Called and was offered a 5 per cent discount off the new rate. Very disappointed. Lost a customer that would have stayed indefinitely if there was a reasonable uplift but 60 per cent is an insult.”

How does Admiral compare to its competitors?

Provider name Trustpilot score Defaqto score
Admiral Insurance 4.4 stars 5 stars (4 stars for Telematics, 3 stars for Essential)
Aviva 4.0 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Third party, fire and theft)
Direct Line 3.7 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Third party, fire and theft and Essentials)
Hastings Direct 4.1 stars 5 stars (4 stars for Third party, fire and theft, 3 stars for Telematics, 2 stars for Essential)
AXA 4.3 stars 4 stars (5 stars for Plus)
LV= 4.5 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Third party, fire and theft)
esure 3.3 stars 5 stars (4 stars for Third party, fire and theft)
Ageas 4.1 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Essentials, and Telematics)
NFU Mutual 4.4 stars 5 stars

All scores are correct as of 14 November 2023.

Conclusion

Thanks to the range of its policies, Admiral allows you to pick the right level of cover for your needs.

Admiral Essentials might be of interest if you are looking for a basic level of fully comprehensive cover (although it only has three stars on Defaqto). At the other end of the spectrum, the Platinum level is an option if you want a feature-rich policy.

Its ‘Excellent’ Trustpilot score, and the repeated positive mentions of its customer service, suggests Admiral will be able to help you if you have any problems. Yet it might not be the best provider when it comes to renewals, based on the mentions of high premiums for existing customers.

Admiral car insurance FAQs

With an ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot, multiple five star rated policies on Defaqto, and the largest market share of any provider, there is plenty of evidence that Admiral is good for car insurance.

However, given that so much of your car insurance premium is based on you and your driving history, you should always compare car insurance providers before deciding on a policy.

Admiral insurance is part of Admiral Group PLC. Other brands under the Admiral Group banner include Admiral Money, Apparent Insurance, Balumba, Bell and Veygo.

Connor Campbell

Finance Writer

Connor Campbell is an experienced personal and business finance writer who has been producing online content for almost a decade. 

Connor is the personal finance expert for Independent Advisor, guiding readers through everything they need to know about car insurance and home insurance. From how much it costs to the best insurance providers in the UK, he’s here to help you find the right policy for your needs. 

In his capacity as writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet, Connor explored a number of topics close to his heart, such as the impact of our increasingly cashless society, and the hardships and heroics of British entrepreneurs. His commentary was featured in sites such as The Mirror, the Daily Express and Business Insider

At financial trading firm Spreadex, meanwhile, his market commentary was featured in outlets such as The Guardian, BBC, Reuters and the Evening Standard

Connor is a voracious reader with an MA in English, and is dedicated to making life’s financial decisions a little bit easier by doing away with jargon and needless complexity.

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.

Amy’s work covers topics ranging from home, interior and garden design to DIY step-by-steps, planning permission and build costs, and has been published in Period Living, Real Homes, and 25 Beautiful Homes, Homes and Gardens.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Amy manages homes-related content for the site, including solar panels, combi boilers, and windows.

Her passion for saving tired and inefficient homes also extends to her own life; Amy completed a renovation of a mid-century house in 2022 and is about to embark on an energy-efficient overhaul of a 1800s cottage in Somerset.