What’s the harm in helping out a friend, right?
When a family member or friend asks you to borrow $5, a book, or a shirt, you probably toss it at them without blinking an eye. But when they ask some variation of: “My car’s in the shop, can I take yours?” or “Can I borrow your truck to pick up that new piece of furniture?” you may not feel so willing. First off, it’s expensive and can be a hassle to be without your vehicle, but one of the most important aspects that many of us don’t consider is insurance. If you take a look back at your car insurance policy, it likely states that you are not to lend out your vehicle to anyone unless they are listed on the policy as a secondary driver. So, if someone is driving your car and gets a ticket, does it affect your insurance rates?
Below, we’ll outline what typically happens to your insurance rates in the event of a speeding or parking ticket, as well as a car accident when you are not the one driving your vehicle.
When Is It Okay To Let Someone Borrow Your Car?
While checking with your insurance provider is the best way to find out when it’s okay to allow someone to borrow your car, there are some general rules to follow when it comes to permissive use of a vehicle. It is typically okay to lend your car out to the same person occasionally, meaning no more than once a month. If you find yourself allowing your child to drive your vehicle to school each day, or your roommate to drive your car to work frequently, it’s a good idea to simply get them added to your policy.
However, if a friend or family member is in fact listed on your policy, they typically are allowed to drive your car whenever you allow them to.
And of course, if you lend your vehicle to someone, be sure you trust them and they have their own car insurance and a valid driver’s license in case they are pulled over or are in an accident, which we will discuss more in detail.
How Is Insurance Affected After A Speeding Ticket Vs Parking Ticket?
Before you let anyone drive your vehicle, you should take a moment to review your state’s insurance regulations.
If the temporary driver receives a moving violation (typically, a speeding ticket) while driving your vehicle, it’s unlikely that your insurance costs will be affected. Each state motor vehicle bureau keeps a comprehensive database of every driver to whom it issues a license. When a given driver receives a traffic citation, this information is transferred to his or her driving record. In turn, these records are accessed using the information on his or her driver’s license.
In other words, there’s no direct connection between a given vehicle’s insurance documents and its owner’s driving record. If your vehicle’s temporary driver receives a moving violation, it will add “points” to his or her license. It may also cause the premiums on his or her own insurance policy to rise. However, it won’t materially affect your insurance rates.
On the other hand, if the person driving your vehicle receives a parking ticket, it may be a different story. When a parking ticket is recorded, the license plate number is taken down, but the person who parked the car is not part of the equation until they walk out and realize that they have received a ticket. Since the officer who handed out the citation does not know who was driving the vehicle, it is ultimately your responsibility to pay for the ticket.
However, there is a way to work around this. If the person that received the parking ticket is willing, you two can sign something called a statutory declaration. This is basically a legal document stating you were not responsible for the ticket, but the person who borrowed the vehicle is. If you have questions about how to proceed with a statutory declaration, contact your insurance provider.
What About Car Accidents?
Now that you know what happens in the event of a speeding or parking ticket, you may be wondering about car accidents. Depending on your insurance policy, you may be held liable for an accident caused by your vehicle’s temporary driver. When you sign up for an auto insurance policy, you’ll need to provide a list of any additional drivers who might use your vehicle on a regular or occasional basis. If you permit a non-approved driver to use your vehicle, your insurance company may refuse to honor your accident claim.
For more information about auto insurance, here’s a look at what happens to your insurance after you get a speeding ticket.