The Top Tips for Lending a Car WiselyNovember 14, 2012
Lending a car to a friend may seem like a simple thing to do, and certainly a friendly gesture. But before any driver hands over the car keys to someone else, it’s important that they understand fully what the potential repercussions are. These tips for wise car lending from ComparaSave.com will ensure there are no unfortunate surprises.
Before lending a car to another driver, it’s important to think about the responsibility that falls on the car owner for whatever is done with that vehicle. “The owner of the car could wind up paying for any accident in which the car is involved, even if someone else is driving,” says Tammy Ezer of ComparaSave.com, “so it’s vital to be cautious when lending a car.”
The Insurance Follows the Car
While it’s a nice idea to check whether or not the driver who is taking the car has insurance, the fact is that in most cases their insurance won’t apply in an accident. Insurance follows the car and not the driver, and that means that if there is an accident it is the policy on that vehicle which will be expected to pay the claim.
It also means that the insurance policy on the car will see an increase in premiums due to the claim. So when lending a car, it’s important to make sure that the driver understands how costly an accident could be, and drives especially cautiously. And when shopping for car insurance quotes, if you have an accident on your record, this could mean higher insurance rates.
A License is a Must
Never lend a car to an unlicensed driver. That may seem obvious, but it’s important to be certain before handing over the keys. The fallout from an unlicensed driver being involved in an accident could be very serious. Not only are there likely to be legal consequences, but having an unlicensed driver behind the wheel violates the contract with the car insurance company. That means the company has the right to deny the claim.
Allowing an unlicensed driver to get behind the wheel is illegal and dangerous, especially if that person is inexperienced. Remember that with a graduated licensing system any driver must always be in compliance with the regulations governing their license level. If not, the consequences can be much the same as if that person had no license at all.
Make Sure Everyone Understands
Before lending a car to another driver, it’s important to make sure both sides are clear on what is expected. The owner of the car can and should provide guidelines for how and where the car can be driven, and should ensure that the driver borrowing the car understands that they as owner are taking responsibility for what happens while they’re behind the wheel.
It’s important to lend a car cautiously and wisely, and to lend only to licensed, responsible drivers who agree to the car owner’s terms for the borrowing of their vehicle. It should be clear ahead of time to everyone involved what will happen in the event of an accident or other incident with the car, and how each party will take responsibility for their actions.
Lending a car requires some thought from both parties, but the car’s owner should always have the final say. When it doubt, don’t lend your car out.