Money & Insurance > Our Reviews

Nationwide car insurance review

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
Apr 26, 2017

The Nationwide has been a feature of the UK High Street for many years and most of us associate the name with savings and loans, like any building society.

But the days of offering such a limited product range are long gone.

It now offers a whole load of financial products. Most importantly though, Nationwide now offers car insurance.

Is Nationwide car insurance any good? Read this review to find it.

The benefits of being a building society?

Well, as the Nationwide marketing material will explain, they are run for the benefit of their members – their customers.

They are free to invest profits to improve products and services. None of this means that dealing with them doesn’t feel just like dealing with any business, though.

The Nationwide’s policies are underwritten by Liverpool Victoria.

To see how Nationwide's policies stack up, compare car insurance deals from across the market. 


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Nationwide insurance's claim

Our only focus is you.”

Because it’s a mutual, it’s not surprising that Nationwide uses this to separate itself from other businesses and stresses how important customer service is.

More specifically, when it comes to car insurance, Nationwide has a simple proposition – if you have money with them, you can get a cash deal on car insurance.

It’s not an eye-watering one, though, it has to be said.

You can get a £25 discount on car insurance if you are also a “main current account holder”, which means you need to have a FlexOne, a FlexAccount, or a FlexStudent account.


What types Nationwide car insurance policy is best?

Nationwide offers the three basic types of insurance, to which, like any insurance, you add any options that suit you.

Not every insurer offers third party only these days, but Nationwide does, along with third party fire and theft and, of course, comprehensive.

Both comprehensive and third party fire and theft offer 180 days cover in EU countries and unlimited cover for in-car equipment and a temporary replacement car if yours is damaged or stolen.

Interestingly, comprehensive cover also provides up to £500 of benefits if you're physically assaulted – basically road rage cover.

Read more: car insurance explained - which type of policy do you need?


Beyond the basics: Nationwide car insurance add ons and extras

As with all insurers, Nationwide offers a wide array of optional extras, including five levels of breakdown cover, ranging from £26 a year for the most basic, up to £102 for UK and European cover. 

The company also sells its breakdown cover as a separate product unrelated to insurance.

The standard add ons are also available:

Protected no claims discount

For an extra charge you will not lose your discount in the event of a claim, in fact, any number of claims.

We like the fact that Nationwide spells out on its website that, while you’ll still have your discount, if you make a claim, your premium will still almost certainly go up, and therefore what you pay at renewal will rise if you claim.

Cost: variable.

Legal expenses

If you’re involved in an accident that’s not your fault, motor legal expense insurance will provide cover for up to £100,000 of legal expenses for you to attempt to recover your uninsured losses.

This is especially useful with personal injury claims and means that you don’t have to pay large commission fees to lawyers in the event that your claim is successful.


Increased personal accident cover

Standard comprehensive cover for you or your partner is up to £10,000 if you’re injured while travelling in or getting in or out of your car.

With extended cover, you can choose to increase this level of cover to £100,000.

Cost: £19.90.

Read more: Car insurance extras - are they worth it?


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How’s Nationwide rated?

Which? undertakes one of the most comprehensive surveys on customer satisfaction and experts’ opinions.

Nationwide achieves a joint second position in the Which? assessment of 31 insurers, along with LV and John Lewis.

Perhaps not surprising as LV underwrites Nationwide policies.

Customers surveyed gave it a score of 69%, putting it in eighth place in the Which? rankings.

But it receives an impressive 83% for its car insurance policies, putting it in second place.

Interest charged on paying for your cover by instalments is a hefty 24%, giving it just three out of five stars in the Which? rating.

If you need to make a complaint about Nationwide, get in touch with A Spokesman Said.

We're in your corner. 


Need to know

Cover when driving other cars is only for the main policyholder.

If you’re insuring a new car, like for like replacement is for 12 months


We like ….

* Unlimited cover for theft of keys
* The no claims discount protection applies to any number of claims
* No compulsory excess on fire damage, theft or accidental damage


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Last year 65% of customers didn't switch their car insurance to try and get a better deal.