Considerations Before Lending Someone Your Car

December 12, 2022

Lending your car to someone is a leap of faith and requires a lot of trust in a person. Vehicles are costly, so lending yours merits serious consideration before handing over the keys.

 

Liabilities

When you lend your car to someone, you are at risk for liabilities even if you are not driving the car. Your car insurance is directly linked to the vehicle and not to whomever is driving.

So, even if your friend or family member is driving the vehicle, your insurance provider will be responsible for any damages in accordance with what your policy stipulates, and you will end up paying any deductibles as well as the difference for car parts that need to be replaced and have depreciated.

 

You may be able to make a claim if your friend was involved in an accident but not at fault. Make sure you have read the fine print in your insurance policy with regards to third parties driving your car.

What to Consider Before Lending Your Auto

There are several things you need to factor into the decision to lend your car to another person.

 

  • Is your auto insurance up-to-date and valid?

Before even considering lending an auto, you need to ensure that your insurance coverage is valid and up to date. If you think you will be sharing your car or lending it often, consider getting comprehensive coverage that will insure your car against liabilities connected to third parties or against damages inflicted by whoever is driving the vehicle.

 

  • Does this person have a valid driver’s license?

Never let anyone behind the wheel who does not have a valid state driver’s license.

 

  • Is this person a good driver?

It’s common sense to lend your car to someone with a good driving history. Why lend an expensive auto to someone with a bad driving record? You’d only be asking for trouble.

 

  • Will the person you are lending the car to pay if there is an accident?

No one expects to be involved in an accident or purposely tries to be involved in one. Still, someone who is serious will assume responsibility, even of a financial nature, in the event of a car accident.

 

  • What does the driver intend to use your car for?

Does your friend or family member need the auto for an emergency or an important commission or appointment? In these cases, it would be a nice gesture to make your vehicle available. If your friend wants to go shopping, for a business or work-related activity or even for ride sharing, you may want to decline. Remember that insurance policies have clauses that revoke coverage in cases where the auto is used for something other than its intended use.

 

  • How often will your family member or friend use the car?

Are you lending your auto for a one-time appointment or for an extended period. If you are lending the vehicle for a time, find out what it will be used for. The more often the car is driven, the more chances there are for an accident to take place. Even a small fender bender can ruin your NCB-No Claim Bonus. So, be aware what the risks are before handing over your car keys.

 

  • Is your family member or friend tidy?

This may seem like an afterthought, but it shouldn’t be. You don’t want your car returned dirty inside or out.

Other Considerations When Lending Your Car to Someone

Inspect your car for the general condition of the vehicle. Electricals, tires, and the car’s mechanics should all be checked so that you know it is functioning and in good condition. Check the car’s odometer before you lend so you have an idea if the car is being used for what was agreed upon, or if extra miles are being put on, exposing your vehicle to increased risks.

 

Let the person you are lending to know the kind of gas your car uses and any type of maintenance that they should be aware of especially if it will be borrowed regularly.

 

Will your insurance policy cover lending your car? If you need to lend your car for an extended period or on a regular basis you may want to consider adding this person’s name as a driver onto your insurance policy. In this way, your friend will have insurance protection when driving your car. Talk to your insurance provider honestly about what’s best for you and your vehicle.

 

Remember to keep copies of the car registration and the insurance card or information inside the vehicle and inform the person driving where these are stored. In the event of an accident or simple traffic stop, these documents will be crucial to whomever is driving.

 

When you lend your vehicle to someone, you are lending them an expensive possession and your insurance policy with deductibles and benefits. Even for a family member or best friend, this is not a decision to be taken lightly.

 

 

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