Things to consider when lending your car

February 12, 2013

Lending your carLending your vehicle to someone is a friendly and helpful gesture, and is perfectly legal. It is important to know your responsibilities as the vehicle owner when someone else is behind your wheel. The person borrowing your vehicle needs to be aware of the serious responsibility they are receiving and ensure they take their accountability seriously. The following are some tips to keep in mind before handing your keys over to avoid potential consequences, and to be certain that the person borrowing your vehicle is trustworthy.

Remember that car insurance follows the vehicle, which means it is the insurance policy taken out by the owner of the vehicle that will handle any incidents that may occur. In most cases even if the borrower has insurance of their own on another vehicle. So hypothetically speaking, if the individual who borrowed the vehicle is involved in an accident through their negligence (they are at fault), it may cost the owner of the vehicle to pay a deductible and/or may increase their insurance rates. It may also be the owner’s insurance policy that will pay for damage to the vehicle itself through their coverage. A good reminder is this, “The owner bears the responsibility for anything that happens with their vehicle, even if they are not present”. It is vital to be certain that the person driving is trustworthy and responsible.

Always verify the following conditions before handing over your keys to ensure you are responsibly lending your vehicle:

  • Ensure that the person borrowing the vehicle has a valid drivers licence
  • Make certain that a copy of the vehicle registration and proof of insurance are in the vehicle
  • Verify on how, where, and when the vehicle will be used
  • Inspect all signal lights, brake lights and other important functions are operating correctly
  • Ensure the borrower does not let anyone else drive the vehicle
  • Check the odometer reading before lending the vehicle, this will indicate if the vehicle was used outside of what was agreed upon

If you are a driver who is trustworthy and have a clean driving record, avoid lending your vehicle to anyone who might be irresponsible as this could potentially affect your insurance quotes and rates. Having a clear understanding of your responsibility and by making proper judgement, it can avoid any potential mishaps.