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How to let someone borrow your car for an extended period?
March 31, 2009 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Traveling overseas; how can my friend legally borrow my car for 9 months?

I'm looking to travel overseas for 9 months later this year, and was wondering what I would have to do in order to allow my friend to legally borrow the car for that time. The car is paid for, there is no lien against it, it's insured and runs well. I just don't want to sell it, as I know I'll need a car when I return.

What would I have to do to ensure that, if he's pulled over, he wouldn't get carted off to jail? Also, what about insurance?
posted by txubergeek to Law & Government (13 answers total)
 
I guess you are in the US?

This question depends on your insurance company I think and you should call them on this since it'll be an easy question.

I think it comes down to you adding them to your policy as an occasional driver and have them pay you whatever the additional premium cost is.
That's it.
posted by zephyr_words at 12:48 PM on March 31, 2009


Unless it's reported stolen, the cops won't care if you're driving someone elses car.
posted by nitsuj at 12:49 PM on March 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Car insurance follows the car not the driver. Make sure your car insurance carrier is cool with you allowing someone else to drive your car. Usually they ask you to register someone.

However, if your car was stolen and that driver got in an accident, your insurance would be paying the damages.
posted by redandblue at 12:55 PM on March 31, 2009


I think it comes down to you adding them to your policy as an occasional driver and have them pay you whatever the additional premium cost is.

This.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:05 PM on March 31, 2009


Sorry, I meant to say more there. It's important to make sure that your insurance company is aware that your friend is an authorized driver. Fortunately this is not terribly difficult, nor is it horribly expensive. Even in Massachusetts, which is an auto insurance nightmare, it's pretty easy to add another authorized driver to the policy (presuming the driver has a decent safety record).
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:07 PM on March 31, 2009


In what state will your friend be using the car? The insurance questions will depend on the state in which the car's owner lives. If you loan the car to your friend, and he's involved in an accident in another state, will both you and he be covered?

If you loan your car to your friend, consider that he's got a free car to use for nine months without any of the responsibilities--insurance, upkeep, etc. You'll be paying for nine months of insurance on a car you aren't driving. If he's involved in a collision, that may affect your rates.

You might consider simply selling the car to your friend, with the agreement that you'll buy it back from him for the same amount when you return, provided it's in good condition. This way, he'll be the legal owner and he can pay for the insurance, repairs, and any damages if he's involved in a collision.
posted by mattdidthat at 1:08 PM on March 31, 2009


Seconding the fact that the cops don't care who is driving your car as long as it's not stolen. My husband is a police officer and confirms this. If your friend is driving and is given a ticket for a moving violation, the ticket will be written in the friend's name. If it's a parking violation, the ticket will reflect the car's registration information but your friend can go pay the fine himself (hopefully you trust him to do so, because if he doesn't it'll come back on you).

If you're feeling really paranoid about making sure that law enforcement authorities know your friend has permission to drive the car, you could always write up a note saying something along the lines of "I, txubergeek, give permission to friend so-and-so to drive my such-and-such vehicle" (add additional information if you want to) and have it notarized. He can keep it in the glove box along with the insurance and registration.
posted by amyms at 1:21 PM on March 31, 2009


A friend once left a car with me for a year. At one point, when my wife and I briefly needed an extra car, we simply added it to our insurance and drove it for a month, with the permission of its owner.

I do like the idea of selling it with a buyback clause so your friend will be more inclined to treat it well. The car we had on loan was sporty, and we drove it like a rented mule.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 1:27 PM on March 31, 2009


I borrowed my friends car for a summer a long time ago. I got pulled over for two (separate) speeding tickets and the cops didn't really care who the car belonged to. And even thought I wasn't named on the insurance, it didn't matter (I don't really know the details but as long as the person driving the car doesn't also reside in the same household, then it's ok for their name not to be listed).
posted by special-k at 1:43 PM on March 31, 2009


piggy-back question (sorry)

what if a friend borrows my car for a day or two and got in to an accident?

a) My friend has his own car with liability only insurance and
1) If I only have liability only insurance and it's my friends fault, will insurance pay the other damaged party?
2) If I have comprehensive insurance and it's my friends fault, will insurance pay damages for my car?

b) My friend does not own a car and
1) If I only have liability only insurance and it's my friends fault, will insurance pay the other damaged party?
2) If I have comprehensive insurance and it's my friends fault, will insurance pay damages for my car?

posted by WizKid at 2:29 PM on March 31, 2009


Call your insurance company WizKid. This type of question differs from company to company, policy to policy.

Under most cases if you are covered with liability and or collision whoever gets into an accident using your car your insurance company will still cover.
If it's a person that is driving it a lot or in the same house hold it's best to put them as an occasional driver though.
posted by zephyr_words at 3:02 PM on March 31, 2009


@zephyr_words
Thanks for the reply.
posted by WizKid at 3:12 PM on March 31, 2009


Car insurance follows the car not the driver.

It's not that simple.

1- Insurance on the car (collision and theft) follow the car. Because it is what it being insured.

2- Liability insurance follows the driver. Because their actions are what's being insured.

3- Most policies have various levels of "incidental" use provisions. If I let a licensed, but uninsured, driver borrow my car, he is sort of grandfathered into my policy. But that probably doesn't count for 9 months worth of use. Probably what you'd have to do it add him into your policy as a user of the vehicle.

3b- Similarly, if I am an insured driver and I borrow a car that has no insurance whatsoever going on, my liability will be covered by my policy. But that car will not be covered.

4- If the car is going to be "living" with him, you might need to update your policy to show where its garaged location is.
posted by gjc at 5:23 PM on March 31, 2009


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