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What happens when I loan my car to someone?

Image: Loaning your car - Understand the implications and responsibilities. Learn more in our informative article.

Understanding the Implications and Responsibilities

Just think what might happen when you lend your car to someone. You hand it over to another person, hoping for tender loving care, but you’re afraid of the outcome. What if they scratch it? What if they get into an accident?

If you lend your car, you’re allowing someone else to be the car’s owner for a period of time! Think of renting out your apartment when you’re on vacation. You still own it, but someone else is taking care of it.

Yes, but lending your car is not really that casual: you’re not lending the same kind of thing that you lend when you give someone a pen (that is, after all, one of the reasons it feels really, really bad when you do lend your car and the person ruins your seat covers and the seats smell like smoke and the kids inside it are crying and making ‘ew, ick’, please don’t do that ever). What could go wrong?!

Okay, so the first thing (well after ensuring that the car is insured in your name, or whatever it is your country requires of the legally registered owner), is insurance! Yes, make sure that the borrower of your car is a person who is insured with a policy on their name! Yes, you never know what can happen, or if your car can be destroyed perfectly fine, it’s always better to have that back-up or that safety net.

But what if they aren’t insured? Your policy is there to pick up the pieces! You’re ready to be the friend of a friend who’s hosting a dinner party, rushes to the grocery after finding out she’s short on bread, but returns to find the extra guests have eaten everything. Like her, you’ve also got a stockpile of frozen pizzas, just waiting to be thawed!

Here, talk accidents! If he has accident, uh, with the car, then his insurance rating’s gone up! You get penalised for, for uh oh, for someone else’s mistakes! you’re the one who reaps the whirlwind.

And the damages! If they put a scratch in your paint job or ding your bumper, who’s paying the piper? Loan your best jacket to a friend, and come back to find it blotched! You got the dirty work to do!

But wait, there’s the emotional toll! It’s terribly nerve-racking! It’s like having your phone in the hands of a toddler, thinking at any minute it could be accidentally dropped on the floor, whereupon it would break and there would be no way to retrieve all the photos you have stored on it! You deal with the stress of all that until you get it back from your buddy, who returns a piece of undamaged plastic in place of your smartphone.

And what if they get a ticket? Who’s responsible for paying the fine? It’s like getting a ticket for something that another person parked his car and YOU’RE the one getting busted! It’s a “hold the bag” type thing.

OK, so what’s the verdict? Well, on balance lending out your car is sort of a mug’s game, isn’t it? It’s a real gamble, handing out your pride and joy like that! You never know, do you, what’ll happen? Responsibly, you might want to think again before you hand over the keys.

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