Borrowing a car from somebody can be an ideal option for drivers who are without transport, whether they’re waiting for their car to be repaired, are between vehicles, or need a larger car for transporting goods, etc. However, if somebody has asked you if they can borrow your car, you might not want to let your pride and joy go so easily. After all, you probably worked hard to be able to afford your car and no matter how well you know somebody, you can never be 100% sure that they will look after it as well as you do. If you’re considering helping a friend out by letting them borrow your car, here are a few things that you should check for both peace of mind and make sure that the arrangement stays legal.
The first thing that you will probably want to know is whether or not the person borrowing your car has any driving misdemeanors or even felonies related to driving. You may not be so willing to let somebody drive your car if they have been convicted of a DUI in the past, for example. It’s up to you what you will and won’t let them off with – maybe one speeding ticket ten years ago can be let slide. Bear in mind that they might not be upfront with this information, so it’s worth searching for details about speeding tickets and other driving-related offenses. You can do this using Public Records Reviews; simply enter their name or other contact information into the site and you can find any speeding tickets or other traffic warnings that they have been issued in the past.
If you have a nice car, then you might not want to let just about anybody drive it. At the very least, you will want to make sure that they have some experience behind the wheel and aren’t going to put your vehicle or themselves at risk. It’s worth asking them how much driving experience they have and even ask to see their license if you want to check it. In addition, if you need to inform your insurer that somebody else is going to be borrowing your car, you may be charged a lot more to allow somebody with very little driving experience to take charge behind the wheel, so it’s always worth knowing this information before you hand over the keys.
There are different types of insurance policy so it’s worth noting the one that you have and any insurance that the driver you’re lending your car to has before you let them drive your vehicle. Some drivers might be covered by their own insurance company to drive other cars; in this case, you should be fine to simply lend them the car without having to inform anyone. However, this might not always be the case, and you may need to add the driver to your auto insurance policy. Be sure to have a discussion about insurance with them before you let them drive your car, and ask to see proof of their insurance policy if necessary.
You’ll also want to know exactly what your vehicle is being used for. While we’d all like to think it will never happen to us, there have been instances where borrowed cars end up being stolen cars, or worse – people have kindly offered their vehicle to a friend in need only to find that it was used as a getaway vehicle from the scene of a crime and now they are a prime suspect. You’ll want to sit down with the driver and find out exactly what they plan to use the car for. If they’re not being forthcoming with information or the information that they are giving you isn’t adding up, it might be worth thinking twice about extending your generosity to them; it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Finally, once you have decided that you are going to let somebody borrow your vehicle, it’s worth having a conversation with them and laying down some ground rules. Hopefully, the person that you are allowing to drive your car is somebody that you trust to be careful with it, but it’s always a good idea to set clear expectations and boundaries from the start. For example, you might want to tell them that you will let them drive your car on the condition that they do not exceed the speed limit, make sure that they pay for parking and only park in legitimate parking spaces, and that they return the vehicle to you with the same amount of gas that was in it when they took it.
You might want to help somebody out by letting them drive your car, but don’t let it turn into a nightmare. Keep these tips in mind to make sure that everything goes smoothly.