Motorists pay an average of £215 in excesses for accidents that weren't their fault.

Have you been left bruised after an accident? It seems that more than a third of motorists have been left out of pocket after being involved in a traffic collision that was not their fault.

That's according to new research from breakdown specialists the RAC, who conducted a survey of more than 2,000 motorists that found 36 percent said they were left financially worse off after a crash.

The vast majority (21 percent of respondents) were forced to pay their insurance policy excess, while eight percent claimed they had to pay for travel expenses such as car hire while their vehicle was off the road.

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According to the RAC, the average amount paid by motorists to cover excesses was £215, while those who also incurred travelling expenses had to pay an average of £588. Those who had to fund their own personal injury claims were hit hardest, though, having to fork out an average of more than £2,000.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, six in 10 (60 percent) of those surveyed claimed to have legal expenses insurance in place. Nearly half of those drivers (48 percent) said that they had taken out the cover because it gave them peace of mind, while 40 percent said it was a cheap way of recovering any costs.

RAC Legal Services’ general manager, Paul Evans, said: ‘Many people believe that the at-fault party’s insurer will cover all the costs following a collision, but this is not the case. Even in the best scenarios drivers still have to pay their excesses, which could easily be £150 or more. Add in to that travel expenses, loss of earnings and the cost of making a personal injury compensation claim and it must surely be wise to make sure you have legal expenses cover.