Read on to find out
Your car is likely to be one of your most valuable expensive assets. Lending a car to someone is no small gesture, and it could have repercussions for both you and them if anything goes wrong. If you are considering lending your car to someone, then there are five things you need to consider. Read on to find out what they are:
Consider the driver you’re lending the vehicle to – what sort of driver are they? Are they skilled and responsible? If you’re not sure, then go for a test drive with them. Ask yourself, what do you know about their driving history – do you know of any accidents they’ve had or cars they’ve written off? Also, ask to see their driver’s licence, check it is valid and ask about their insurance details too. If you’re not sure about any of the above, then don’t lend your car to them. Remember, if you lend your car to someone, you are taking responsibility for them. If they drive your car without a valid licence, any insurance you have would be invalidated; you would face footing any subsequent repair bill if they were in an accident and you could face further sanctions too.
2. Your expectations
If you do decide to lend your car, then be clear about your expectations. You should explain clearly and explicitly how, when and where you are allowing them to drive the car. You’ll also need to explain your expectations regarding the condition of the car on its return, from leaving the vehicle tidy to filling up on petrol, it is best not to leave these things to chance and to make your feelings clear from the word go.
3. The purpose
Before you agree to lend your car to someone, you’ll need to establish the purpose for which they’ll be using your car and where they’ll be driving it. If they’re taking it on a trip abroad are you covered? If they’re using it for work – would your insurance cover it? Most insurance policies don’t cover the use of cars for commercial or business use. Is it a case of dire emergency – to visit a sick relative in a hospital or for something much more mundane? The purpose of the trip will influence the ease with which you can get insurance, with some intentions being viewed more positively than others, which brings us to the next point.
A key factor you need to consider when lending your car to someone is: does your insurance cover someone else driving your vehicle? If you’re not sure, then you need to examine the small print of your policy and give your current insurance provider a ring to check. Don’t just assume that your insurance covers family and friends using your car. If someone uses your car and you’ve given them permission to do so, but you’re not insured, then you could face a huge fine and penalty points on your licence. Remember insurance covers a vehicle, not a driver, so if the person driving does have an accident, it’s likely to be your insurance that covers it. Even if the driver has insurance, it’s only likely to pay for additional expenses like subsequent medical expenses, but your insurance would be likely to foot the majority of the bill. It could affect your insurance records for years to come, as well as your no claims bonus and your premiums moving forward.
If you need advice regarding what’s the best insurance for you to take out when lending your car to someone, then contact a short-term car insurance broker. They can help you sort out insurance for anything from a single day right up to 28 days. A simple phone call and a few details about your car and the driver should be sufficient to find out what insurance options are available to you. The key here is that the prospective driver is over 18 years old, is a UK resident and has had a valid UK licence for at least six months, plus they must have your permission to drive the car. A number of factors can lead to the insurance being more expensive; one important factor is the age of the driver, as insurance for younger drivers is more expensive due to their lack of experience. Also, if a driver has a history of accidents, claims or convictions for motoring offences, this too would make insurance more difficult.
All in all, though, short term insurance can work out extremely economically for a short period but remember you can’t keep renewing short-term insurance. It’s now illegal to repeatedly renew short-term insurance in place of annual car insurance. If you’re likely to be lending your car to this particular person on a regular basis, then you should consider having them added to your regular insurance policy in the long term.
5. The impact on you
When considering lending your car to someone consider the impact their actions could have on you. Remember, it is illegal for someone to drive a car without insurance and the onus lies with the vehicle owner to provide valid insurance. It is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle is driven legally. Allowing someone else to drive your car without insurance is an IN12 offence and could lead to you being given six to eight points on your licence and a fine of £5,000. Ultimately you could be disqualified from driving.
What’s clear is if you are considering lending your car to someone, then you need to think it through thoroughly first. Suffice to say you need to have a clear picture of what and where your car will be used, be certain that the driver has a valid driving licence and that your insurance covers them. So if you are going to lend your car to someone give it due consideration first and don’t do it lightly unless you can be sure everything you need is in place.