Think about it carefully before handing over your keys...

It might seem like a no-brainer when you borrow your friend’s car or your brother in-law’s truck to help someone move... But it’s only simple as long as everything goes well. Let’s consider what happens when you hit a road bump? And who’s going to foot the bill?

First things first: Make sure the person you lend your vehicle to has a valid driver’s license. Should this not be the case, your vehicle could be seized and towed, at which point you would be responsible for all associated costs and inconveniences. Click here to check whether a driver’s license is valid.

In the event of an offence or a violation. Violations or fines are normally given to drivers of a given vehicle, except in circumstances where the driver cannot be identified. Examples of this include parking tickets or offences flagged via photo-radar, both of which are sent to the owner of the vehicle involved.

In the event of an accident. No one wants anyone to have an accident, but as a vehicle owner, the buck stops with you. Here are a few things to take into account:
  • You must notify your insurer if you lend your vehicle to someone else, especially if the person in question is a relative or loved one. If you let someone else drive your vehicle on a regular basis, for example, a family member with no car who borrows your vehicle once a week to run errands, you must include this driver on your insurance policy.

    Should you fail to do so, your insurer could refuse to compensate your losses - or only partially compensate you - in the event of a claim.
  • If the driver who borrows your vehicle has an insurance policy for his personal vehicle, there may be a clause whereby his insurance also covers all borrowed or leased/rented vehicles. Should this be the case, his insurance policy will be responsible for any damages. There is usually a ceiling (maximum) as regards the protection: you should ensure it is adequate to cover the value of your vehicle.

    Should someone who borrows your vehicle not have an insurance policy, your insurer becomes responsible for all damages and your future premiums will be adjusted accordingly.
  • ​Your insurance provider can impose certain limits on the persons who borrow your vehicle, one of them being that these drivers must be at least 25 years of age. Best check this ahead of time!
To recap - you can of course lend your vehicle to anyone you like, but because you are still responsible, it is better to carry out the recommended verifications (whether or not they appear necessary) rather than leaving yourself open to the repercussions of an unfortunate incident.

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