Motorists invest large sums of money and sometimes take out a loan to buy automobiles. In addition, they are sentimentally attached to their cars and cannot stand seeing it treated badly. You will have to make a decision when someone wants to drive your auto depending on your character, condition of your vehicle and insurance arrangements. Asking the following ten questions help you find an answer to the question of who can drive my auto?
- Can a Friend Drive my Car?
The easiest and lowest risk decision is to say no. However, you cannot say no to someone you know well and care about. Furthermore, knowing someone well enough will answer many of the questions you may have. Perhaps you have seen your friend behind the steering wheel? Then, it will be much easier to make a decision on letting a friend drive your auto and you will be more comfortable with it.
- Does He/She Have a Valid Driving License?
Generally, they will offer an explanation as to why they need your car. This will help determine if they have a driving license. It is your right to check this as it is your car and responsibility. People may lose their licenses for many reasons including not renewing it in time. Ask to see it if you have to or suspect anything out of ordinary.
- Can Someone Else Drive my Auto Under my Insurance?
Is it alright to let a friend drive my automobile with my insurance may be the first question comes to mind. You have to know arrangements for car insurance if someone else is driving your vehicle. Insurance policies go with the cars. In other words, your insurance policy will be the first port of call should something happen to it or while driving it. Also, any accident that happened in your car is your responsibility regardless of who was driving, unless it was taken without your consent or stolen.
You need to make sure that your car insurance policy covers the occasional drivers you allow. Otherwise, you will have a serious headache as to who will pay the damages and liability claims. Third parties (including the person who was allowed to drive the vehicle) can sue the owner of the vehicle for their damages and injuries even though another driver was responsible for it, as explained above.
In addition, it would be nicer that occasional drivers have their own policies that provide liability coverage for driving someone else’s car. Should your policy come up short their policy may have to step in to pay the difference. Also, they may be sued for negligence that their insurers will have to deal with.
- Can Someone Who Lives with Me Drive my Car?
It is important to differentiate between occasional drivers and the ones who live with you. If they are living with you, even temporarily, the car insurance implications are different. They need to be listed on your policy before you can allow them to drive your auto. For example, you may have house guests who are staying with you for couple of weeks, a month or longer. They are considered member of your household by some insurers and should be listed in your policy.
Again, your long term boyfriend/girlfriend who sometimes spends time in your home or stays overnight (even though he/she has his/her own place) may be required to be included in your policy especially if they regularly drive your automobile.
- Can Another Person Use my Car if He/She Is a Teen?
Age can be an issue in terms of auto insurance. Some policies may only insure occasional drivers over the age of 25. You need to check your policy carefully especially when a youngster involved. Read the terms and conditions section attentively. Also, some policies may impose higher deductibles for youngsters.
- Is the Person Who Wants to Use your Vehicle a Good Driver?
Again if you know them you probably know what kind of a driver they are. What they do with their cars is their problem as long as you are not in it with them. However, it is totally different game when they are operating yours. The laws can be fickle at times and you may be held personally liable when you facilitate a bad driver with a car.
If you know that they may text or be intoxicated while driving you really shouldn’t let such people have access to your automobile, unless you are prepared to face the consequences. What you know about your occasional drivers can be questioned to determine liability. Besides, do you really want to take a chance?
- Would You Let Somebody Smoke in Your Auto?
Some people may be sensitive to smoking and don’t want anyone smoke in their cars under any condition. The problem is that a person may habitually light a cigarette if he/she is smoking in his/her car. Furthermore, their clothes will smell and it will get into your vehicle particularly when the seats have cloth covers. So, you have to think again before letting a smoker have your car keys. If you do, you may have to be clear about smoking in it.
- Are They Likely to Eat or Drink in Your Automobile?
Naturally, you don’t want people to engage in activities in your auto that you wouldn’t do. If you are a clean and tidy type of auto owner you probably keep it nicely. You should make sure that your car will not smell fried chicken and have spilled ketchup all over. Otherwise, you may brace yourself with cleaning after them or ask them to return it as clean as they have received.
- What Is the Weather Like and Where Is the Destination?
When the weather is terrible you should consider the increased risks. As well as the icy and wet roads, people take time to get used to a new car they are driving. Keep this in mind. Also, you should check where they are planning to take it. If they are planning on fishing or camping trip and asking for your 4×4 you can have an educated guess that they will go off road. This will increase the damage risk due to bumpy, muddy and slippery roads and trees on the way.
10. When Will Your Auto Be Returned?
Essentially, you cannot use it if someone else driving it. While you are facilitating a friend or acquaintance you want to make sure that you are not left to suffer inconvenience. Ask yourself if you can trust the person to return it in good condition and in time.
In rural locations most people know everybody well and would have no hesitation to land their vehicles to each other. This may be different in big cities where it may not be essential to allow others access to your automobile. We are living in a modern world where there are plenty car hire companies in most locations and you are not one of them.
Every circumstance will be different and has merits and problems. It is not a decision that should be taken lightly. These questions will help you to make a better decision. For example, it is easier to answer the question; can a friend drive my auto if you know the person well enough. It is worth going through them in any case. Even if the answers will not affect your decision at least they will tell you what to expect as a result. You can find out as much as you need but it will be your decision at the end of the day.