Last updated: 12 October 2020
Return to invoice GAP insurance is a way of getting more money back if your car’s written off. It’s also known as RTI GAP insurance.
If you write-off your car, or it gets stolen, your regular motor insurance will only pay the car’s current market value. This could be a lot less than what you paid for your vehicle because car values depreciate quickly.
RTI insurance means you’d get back what you paid for your car. When it comes to GAP insurance, return to invoice means you’ll get the full amount of your invoice back if the worst happened.
Return to invoice GAP insurance covers the difference between what you paid for your car, and your motor insurance payout.
New cars can go down in value by up to 70% in the first three years. This means that even if you spent £10,000 on a brand-new car, your insurer might only pay out £3,000 if you wrote it off three years later. You’d only have £3,000 for your new car, and wouldn’t be able to buy a brand-new vehicle.
With RTI GAP insurance, you’d get the full £10,000. So RTI insurance could save you thousands of pounds when it’s time to buy another car.
It’s not a legal requirement, unlike motor insurance, which is. But having RTI gap insurance means that you could replace your written-off car with a vehicle of the same value yours was when you first bought it. GAP stands for ‘guaranteed asset protection’.
You might like to have return to invoice GAP insurance if …
If you had a brand-new car before, you’d be able to afford another brand-new car, by combining the payouts from your motor insurance and RTI gap insurance. You couldn’t do this with just your regular motor insurance payout, as it wouldn’t pay you enough. So, if you’re someone who appreciates the shiny beauty of a brand-new car, then being able to replace your car with another new one may be important to you.
You should also think about getting return to invoice GAP insurance if you bought your car with finance. That’s because if you wrote off your car, you could be stuck making repayments for several years for a car you don’t even have anymore. The outstanding balance when you write it off could even be more than what you paid for the car. Your regular motor insurance payout wouldn’t be enough to clear your debt.
If you bought your car outright, you’d lose out on a sizable chunk of money if you wrote it off and received small payout compared to what you spent. This is another reason to invest in RTI gap insurance.
There might also be reasons why you wouldn’t need return to invoice GAP insurance. For example, you might not need it if:
you’re already covered. There are some car insurance policies that cover you for a replacement in the first year of owning your car. You could take out return to invoice GAP insurance and defer it for a year, but not all insurers offer this option.
you can afford to make up the difference. If you could pay the difference yourself, you might think it’s not worth paying for return to invoice GAP insurance.
you’re not fussed about getting a brand-new car. If you’re happy to replace your car with a second-hand car using your motor insurance payout, you might not need RTI gap insurance.
you’ve got a second-hand car. GAP insurance isn’t as useful for second-hand cars, because they don’t lose their value as quickly as brand-new cars. You can buy specific GAP insurance policies for second-hand cars, though.
You won’t be able to get GAP insurance unless you’re 18 or over, and the named driver of the car.
Yes, you’ll still be covered, even if the incident that left your car a write-off was your own fault. Most policies contain some exclusions. You won’t be covered if you’re driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, for example. Check your return to GAP insurance policy carefully so you fully understand it.
To get the best return to invoice GAP insurance, there are several factors you should be looking at. These include:
Cover amount: This is the maximum amount you can claim on your return to invoice GAP insurance policy. For example, this could be up to £50,000.
Length of cover: This is how long your policy will last for. You could choose to buy cover for up to five years.
Type of purchase covered: Some insurers only cover cars bought through dealerships.
Length of ownership: Most GAP insurers will only cover your car if you’ve owned it for a short time. Some insurers stop offering it when you’ve had it two months. Others go up to 12 months.
When you know what cover you need, compare as many RTI gap insurance quotes as possible to find the best policy at the cheapest price.
As with any insurance, finding cheap RTI insurance mustn’t be your priority. It’s most important to find the right policy to cover your needs. Then you can look for the best deal on the right policy.
To find the best deal, you should shop around. Remember that buying your RTI insurance from the car dealer isn’t usually the cheapest option.
You can also usually choose to pay for your policy in monthly instalments. This usually makes the policy a little more expensive overall, but it can make it more manageable.
Yes, there are different types of GAP insurance available to choose from. They’re all designed to bridge the gap between your motor insurance payout and what you paid for the car.
Return to invoice GAP insurance. This tops up the difference between your car insurance policy’s maximum payout, and the price you paid for the car. It ensures you can recover what you spent.
Return to value GAP insurance. This tops up the difference between your car insurance policy’s maximum payout, and what the car was worth when it was brand-new. It’s a good option for second-hand cars.
Vehicle replacement cover. This tops up the difference between your car insurance policy’s maximum payout, and the cost of replacing it with a car the same. This means the same manufacturer, model and specifications. Sometimes, an identical car will cost more than what you paid for it. Vehicle replacement cover means you wouldn’t have to pay the difference.
Finance GAP insurance. This tops up the difference between your car insurance policy’s maximum payout, and what you owe on the finance agreement when your car’s written off. It would help you clear your debt, but wouldn’t give you funds to buy a new car.
No, you should compare GAP insurance quotes online first because it is usually much cheaper when you buy direct from the insurer.
You can only make an RTI GAP insurance claim if your car has been declared a total loss (written off), by your car insurer first.
Yes, you still need car insurance if you buy return to invoice GAP insurance.
Most policies will cover the excess you pay to your car insurer up to a set amount, for example £250.
Yes, some policies are designed for cars bought on finance or lease. They will pay off anything you owe after your car insurance has paid out.
Yes, but it will normally cost you more because insurers usually charge interest if you choose to pay monthly.
It depends on the insurer, most cover cars, motorbikes and vans, for other vehicles you may need to speak to a broker to find cover.