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escapedone7's avatar

What are the insurance and legal requirements if I allow someone to borrow my vehicle?

Asked by escapedone7 (5915 points ) July 12th, 2010

If someone who borrows my vehicle gets pulled over, might they be suspect for stealing my vehicle since it is not in their name? Should I write a note or something? What about insurance? What should I do before letting someone borrow my vehicle?

I am in Illinois and I have State Farm Insurance.

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14 Answers

janbb's avatar

Check with your insurance company to be certain, but generally in the U.S., the car is insured for any driver that is using it. (In the U.K. it is the speciific driver who is insured.) If there is an accident caused by the borrowing driver, your insurance company would be responsible. I’ve never heard of anyone who is borrowing a car getting pulled over and accused of stealing it; unless there are very bizarre circumstances, I wouldn’t worry about that.

jca's avatar

if someone kills someone with your car, you are ultimately responsible, as the vehicle’s owner.

cazzie's avatar

Usually, you’d be insured for anyone over a certain age… usually it’s 23, but you can call your insurance company with your policy number handy and ask them. The borrower should know where the car registration papers are inside the car. Just make sure they don’t rob a bank using your car. I’ve never heard about the ‘killing someone with your car’ rule before. Sounds extremely odd.

john65pennington's avatar

If the borrower uses your vehicle to rob a bank, your vehicle will be towed and sold at auction. this is just one example of why you do not loan your vehicle to anyone. another example is a drug transaction in your vehicle. same towing applies. remember, if you loan your vehicle to someone and they do not return it, its not stolen, its just a breach of trust/promise.

jca's avatar

@cazzie: if the guest driver gets into an accident and someone dies, or someone is run over, the car obviously kills them, right? so the owner is ultimately responsible. the driver will be sued, but the owner will be sued as well. if the owner’s insurance is not enough to satisfy the suit, (like if they want millions in damages) the owner’s responsible. also, what @john65pennington said. if they do something with your car, guess who’s in trouble? if they do a hit and run, guess who is going to have their door knocked on when they trace the plate? these are all things to think about.

cazzie's avatar

We have different rules here, I guess. Every car is tested and given a ‘warrant of fitness’ so that it’s deemed safe on the road. If death occurs, it’s the driver’s fault or someone that was driving. The car is an inanimate object without the person driving and it’s been tested so that it’s safety is at a level of approval.

escapedone7's avatar

@john65pennington You make a very pursuasive point. I do not think he would ever rob a bank or murder someone and drive off. He’s not a complete sociopath. However, he also doesn’t have sterling judgement. He may park in a no parking zone, ding a door in a parking lot and think it “looks fine” and drive off, or something small and stupid that would be a pain in my butt.

cazzie's avatar

@escapedone7 If that is the case, I would offer to drive him rather than loan him the car.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Use good judgment concerning who you allow to drive your vehicle. If they don’t have the means to make good on any damages they cause, be even more judicious about lending it and set strict rules on how it should and should not be used.

jca's avatar

if i had a friend who did not have good judgement i would not even let him borrow the car at all. he may tell you he’ll only use it for specific purpose, but you might have a hard time keeping track of that. i would back out of any arrangement letting him borrow the car. a car is a big thing to lose, anything that may happen will most likely cost you money, and you may get stuck holding the bag so to speak.

perspicacious's avatar

The answer may be different in different states and with different companies. In my state and with my full coverage, my car and anyone driving my car with my permission is covered.

john65pennington's avatar

A long time ago, I made an agreement with my friends…...

I will not ask them for money, if they will not ask to borrow my car.

Its worked great for 40 years.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Car insurance follows the car, not the driver. Just remember, when you lend your car, you lend your insurance, too. If he gets a parking ticket, it’s your parking ticket. If he damages someone else’s car, your insurance would have to pay.

If he ran over someone and killed them, I know your insurance would pay up to the maximum that you are covered for. If the dead person’s family wanted to sue for more, I think they would have to sue the actual driver, though. They couldn’t very well sue you, you weren’t even there. That would be like suing the owner of a gun because someone borrowed it and shot someone.

jca's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt: If someone is driving your car, and they get into an accident and kill someone with a car you own, you can bet you are responsible and the lawyers for the deceased will be suing you (the owner of the vehicle) as well as the driver. It is for that reason that you have to be very careful who you lend your car to.

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