A lot of people don't realize the trouble they can get into when lending a car to a friend. Specifically, your car and insurance
If you are sporting a squeaky clean car and insurance record, then take some advice from this writer: "Don't Lend Your Car" You may think, why not? My friend is insured? What can go wrong?
Killer Insurance rates, that is what can go wrong.
When you lend your car, you are in fact lending your car and insurance.
Car Insurance Policy
My Story: I live in Canada, so this will pertain to Canadian Car Insurance, but no matter what country you live in, you should check your car insurance policy with regards to your car and insurance and lending your car. You may find it to be a similar situation. Read on:
We have a pickup truck, and a friend asked if he could borrow it, as his own vehicle was in the shop. We don't use this pickup truck every day, so my husband, couldn't see the harm. He had known this friend for over 15 years, and had worked with him. He is a good driver, with no problems.
I took a copy of his drivers license, and told him, he had our permission, but that only HE should drive it. "No problem" he said, he was very thankful and grateful that we were able to help him out. This way he would not have to leave his wife and 5 kids at home with no car, (which is what he would have been doing had we not lent him our pickup truck) They lived in the rural areas and one of their children had Type I Diabetes, she needed to be able to get to the school in a hurry if there were any problems. Note here, that we knew him quite well, but not his wife.
He drove our pickup truck to work, while she was able to keep their van. It was suppose to be for a few days, but a few days turned into one week, as his car in the shop was delayed with parts.
Finally my husband gets a call at work, from his friend's wife.. asking where we want them to tow the truck. He say "why" and she said she had had an accident. After talking to her, he finds out, that SHE had been driving the truck, as she had things to pickup for her farm, and had put 2 car seats i
She had been out on an errand for her farm, and on a back road with loose gravel, the back tire blew and she lost control and rolled our pickup truck 3 times. I was almost sick... somehow after police, ambulance and fire showed up, they all got out with just a few bumps and bruises.
After we made sure they were OK, we then started firing questions.. she said don't report it, it was my fault, and we will pay for the truck. I said "police, ambulance and fire don't just show up without writing it down!" At this point, this is all verbal from her, I finally make the decision and call the police to see if a report had been submitted, of course it had.. and on top of that, because she was not the owner, our insurance company was automatically notified! I am now trying to answer questions, from our car and insurance agent, as to why a mother and two babies were driving our pickup truck!
Your car and insurance policies are your responsibility. She tells me, if you lend your car/vehicle then you are lending your insurance.
I thought if the friend carries car insurance of their own, then they are covered. It turns out, YES they are covered for all their medical expenses, but YOU are responsible for the vehicle and any damage it does. Meaning your car insurance will pay out for the car and any property damage if it was the drivers fault or single vehicle accident like this one and it will reflect on your own record, not theirs.
Our pickup truck was worth about 3500 dollars, in good condition, we did not carry collision, so our friends had said they would pay for it, therefore there was absolutely ZERO money to be paid out by our car and insurance company, but guess what? It still counts as a "at fault accident" on OUR record, because there was a police report. So, even though they didn't have to pay out one cent, we are now in possession of a "not so clean insurance record"
My car and insurance agent, basically reprimanded me for lending my truck. I told her I did not lend it to his wife, but she said once I gave permission to our friend, that we are still responsible for it. I would have to report she stole it, to get out of this mess. Which of course, we did not.
Needless to say, these are no longer friends. We thought we were helping out, it turns out while his car was in the shop, she found our pick up truck to be perfect for doing farm chores compared to her own van. That is why she was driving around in it with two car seats. I personally do not believe a one bench pickup truck is safe for babies.. but she was not charged with anything. It was simply a freak accident.
Her car and insurance were not affected at all, we will bare this black mark on our insurance for 5 years, plus much higher premiums. We were very lucky that the things she was carrying in the back of the truck did not hit anyone or anything when they flew out, as we (our car and insurance company) would be responsible for property damages as well.
I am forever grateful that her and her children were not hurt, but feel that our generosity was abused.
If you lend your car out to friends, then take note of "my story" this can come back to bite you. According to my agent, your friend is an extension of you when they borrow your car. Anything they do, including lending it out further, will affect your car and insurance policy. In our case, we knew the driving record of our friend, but was unaware of his wife's record. We did not lend it to her, and it was not his to lend out. But at the end of the day, you made the decision to let that car/vehicle off your driveway and out of your hands, it is still your responsibility.
So, if you feel like you want to be charitable? Find a charity and donate some money, don't lend out your car to ANYONE! It may come back to bite.
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