There comes a time in every motorist’s life when their services are requested by a friend. Sometimes this will be a lift to an engagement, and other times it may be the donation of boot space for a house move. This is what friends do, and you’ll naturally be happy to help where you can – but sometimes, you may be asked to lend your car in its entirety.
This can be a nerve-wracking situation for any driver, especially if it’s a new car, or the first time you have been asked. The knee-jerk reaction may be to refuse, but lending your car is actually much simpler than it sounds – and can be a great way to earn a favour from a friend… Here are some things to consider before lending your car out to a friend.
Firstly, and most importantly of all, you need to make sure that you are lending your car in a responsible and legal manner. Anyone that drives your car must be insured to drive it, otherwise they will be driving it illegally. Chances are that you are the only person insured to drive your vehicle, unless your plan makes provisions for other members of your household.
In order for your friend to borrow your car legally, you should make sure they get short-term car insurance for the time they are borrowing it. This way, they and your car are both protected in the event of an accident – and you won’t find yourself on the receiving end of a hefty bill or fine!
Fuel costs are naturally more of a pressing concern than before, as rising costs at the fuel pump have hit many quite hard. In order to avoid any awkwardness when it comes to lending, you should ensure that you have a verbal agreement in place about fuel usage and compensation.
The simplest way to navigate this is to fill your car to a full tank before your friend borrows it. This ensures they can use your car without immediately having to visit a petrol station themselves, and also gives you a handy way to figure out fuel usage when they return. You could either ask them to fill the tank before they return to you, or deduce the cost of fuel used and have them send it to you.
We all treat our cars differently. Some of us like our cars spotless, and will clean the interiors on a weekly basis. Others are a little more laissez-faire, and may have grown accustomed to a certain level of comfort in their car – whether using footwells as waste-bins, or the rear seats as an extension of their spare room…
Whatever your personal relationship with your interior, proper etiquette would dictate that you clean your car’s interior before you lend it out. This may be as simple as a dust-down and the removal of personal items, or it may involve a bigger clear-out – just make sure you set the time aside to do so before they arrive to take it away!
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