Everyone borrows things from our friends when we need them, it’s a key part of being friends with someone, you trust one another with your belongings. But as they say, “trust, but verify”. Just because you have a good relationship doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be cautious about borrowing a vehicle from someone.
Sure, you may know that there is a chance when you borrow a vehicle that you may get a moving violation, and that ticket isn’t going to impact your friend who lent you the car, but there are other tickets you could get that go straight to the vehicle owner you may not be thinking about. Thank school bus you didn’t notice that had the lights on and the arm out… they could have captured your vehicle information and the vehicle owner will be getting a ticket in the mail. Did you get a parking ticket while on a loaner? No you didn’t, the vehicle owner did. Were you driving too fast on those streets around Montgomery County and got caught by a speed cam, or did you try to beat that light and see the flash from that red-light camera? Don’t worry, you didn’t get a ticket, the vehicle owner did.
Most importantly, there are insurance concerns. Some travel with the vehicle and some with the driver. It’s important to know which is which. If your friend gets your car into an accident, it’s your insurance that will take a hit.
Those are all terrifying enough reasons not to lend your vehicle to a friend, but what about when you’re borrowing a vehicle from a friend? You may want to think about taking some of these precautionary steps.
Check that license plate sticker!
Before you go anywhere you want to make sure that their registration sticker is up to date. There are few things more embarrassing than having to talk to a police officer about why your friend hasn’t taken care of his or her registration, and you’ll be the one getting the ticket, not them.
Make sure that the vehicle has insurance and it is up to date!
You will be held responsible financially for any damages due to a collision, not the vehicle owner. Remember that part earlier about insurance traveling with the vehicle? Well, that door swings both ways if there is not insurance. Those damages could include liability, personal damage, and injuries. There is also a “Drive No Insurance” charge that could be levied which carries up to a $5,000 fine.
Do a walk around of the vehicle before you borrow.
It would be really awkward for your friend to accuse you of any damages to the vehicle that were already there before you borrowed it! It’s a good policy at car rental facilities, and it’s a good policy when borrowing a vehicle from a friend. You should also do a walk-around when you return the vehicle as well, it’s always best to stay on the up-and-up, besides, if they later damage their vehichle you don’t want them to come back and say that it was something you did.
Borrowing a vehicle from a friend can be a huge help, but it also carries some risks. Hopefully now you’re a little better prepared to assess the situation before lending or borrowing a vehicle.