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Lending a car to a friend

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We’re going to be away for 9 months and would prefer not to sell our car (not a fancy one but been super reliable for us).

We have some friends who would probably benefit from using it whilst we are away but before I ask them anyone is there anything I should carefully think about before offering?

My thinking was that I would get it serviced and MOT’d before leaving and ask them to do the same (depending on usage) before giving it back, or pay for it when it’s due. I assume they could get insurance as a non-registered owner, and they could pay for 9m of the tax.

If it has a fault then I would pay to get it repaired (assuming they’ve not crashed it or something) as it would have broken anyway whilst I was driving it. But perhaps ask for a contribution towards wear and tear things / depreciation (some monthly fixed amount).

It’s a 2009 Berlingo with 110k miles. Never had an issue other than standard wear and tear in the 70k miles we’ve put on it.

If it died whilst we were away I’d not be that bothered and it’s not worth enough to be overly precious about it - they would probably look after it better than me!

Is there anything I should consider before asking them? The alternative would be to leave it on the street outside our house.

 petegunn 10:45 Sat
In reply to James Malloch:

I had a friend who was away for 4 months so not as long as yourself but I took his car for a short drive every week/ other week so that the battery wouldn't go flat. When they returned it was fine. Obviously as you are away for a lot longer you might not won't to keep paying insurance and tax but thats one option.

Post edited at 10:47
 elsewhere 11:37 Sat
In reply to James Malloch:

You - owner.

Registered keeper - them?

Insured - them, not you as that would be fronting.

Who does the insurance company payout for vehicle damage (not injuries) go to as you not the insured?

 Ciro 12:02 Sat
In reply to James Malloch:

With regards to insurance implications I'd give your current insurer a call, ask them what the options are.

If the car's not worth much (which it sounds like), a loan on the basis that they maintain it for servicing and any small things that might go wrong, and anything major you'll make a call on whether to ask them to take it to the garage and get it repaired at your expense, or dump it back at your house to be disposed of upon your return seems reasonable.

At 110k I wouldn't bother with an extra service at the beginning and end of the loan... Assuming the annual service and MOT comes up while you're away, I don't think anyone is going to feel it's unreasonable to pay for that in return for a car for 9 months.

In reply to James Malloch:

Some time ago but I gave my car to my brother for 19 months whilst I was away travelling.  Due to insurance I made him registered keeper, then transferred back to me when I returned.

In reply to Currently Resting:

> Due to insurance I made him registered keeper, then transferred back to me when I returned.

To the OP: going down the route above makes sense so that any tickets they get go directly to them, rather than sitting on your doormat for months resulting in you getting fined for not submitting details on who was driving the vehicle.

In reply to James Malloch:

It should all be fairly straightforward. 

Consider having a written agreement about the deal, to avoid any confusion or disagreement later. 

In reply to James Malloch:

It can go both ways, as you know. I once lent a good car to an in-law for a year while we were away..... absolutely no problems; I have a friend who lent his car to a friend and got it back damaged, he swore he would never again lend a car to anyone. And I have another friend who lent his expensive car to a friend because the friend said he was insured, turned out to be a lie, he crashed it and wrote it off and refused to refund the friend. I was a passenger, I was badly injured and spent 2 weeks in hospital (I got no compensation either.... my Dad said "You'll have to take him to court to get anything")

And this is the end of my jolly true stories for today 

Post edited at 13:54
In reply to James Malloch:

It might also be worth making sure they they’re insured fully-comprehensive. If they do crash it, anything less and you’ll not get anything back for the vehicle.

It’s a thirteen year old vehicle so anything could happen with it - I’d suggest that if it dies in the line of duty, you just take it on the chin, if it’s due to their carelessness they buy it. 

 nikoid 13:55 Sat
In reply to James Malloch:

Leaving a car sitting for 9 months won't be doing it any favours, so if they can be trusted sounds like a good idea to sign it over to them and then transfer it back. Adds another keeper to the registration certificate, but not really an issue on a 12 year old car.

 deepsoup 14:27 Sat
In reply to elsewhere:

> Registered keeper - them?

Deffo, if you ask me.  You don't want to be the registered keeper of a car that somebody else is keeping for nine months.  The registered keeper of a car is not necessarily the owner.

It's even possible that the DVLA might take a dim view of it.  I had a run in with them a few years ago because they'd decided to charge me with failing to declare a change of registered keeper on a motorbike I owned donkeys years ago.  (All the letters etc. went to an address I hadn't lived at for over a decade, so the first I heard of it was when the bailiffs tracked me down to my current address chasing up the unpaid fine.)

I don't know if it's still the case, but at the time apparently the DVLA were very keen to start enforcing those sorts of minor offences much more rigorously than they used to and levy fines.  Almost like they were a bit strapped for cash or something.

 mk one 15:02 Sat
In reply to James Malloch:

If you can trust them, obviously so, then no real issues, it is better than just letting it stand. They could just be asked to start it and take it for a run out every weekend say, if you are worried about them using it too much. Whatever the case i would personally just add them as a named driver on your policy, the easiest quickest option. if you expect them to use it all the time, then you could get you policy changed to you being the named driver and them the main driver which also keeps the policy running.

In reply to everyone:

Many thanks for all of the responses - it’s really useful. 

I hadn’t realised the registered keeper and owner could be different - that would definitely be the way to go by the sound of it. 

> It’s a thirteen year old vehicle so anything could happen with it - I’d suggest that if it dies in the line of duty, you just take it on the chin, if it’s due to their carelessness they buy it. 

This was my thinking. If it died then I can decide whether it’s worth repairing based on whatever quote comes for the work. If they write it off then we can decide what would happen before starting the loan. 

 stubbed 11:18 Mon
In reply to James Malloch:

Honestly I would just sell it and buy another one when you get back. Or give it to this guy.

In reply to elsewhere:

If they don't mind paying a bit over the odds, there are easy options for insuring a car you aren't the registered keeper of temporarily - the Cuvva app is one of them - it is specifically intended for driving someone else's car.

In reply to stubbed:

> Honestly I would just sell it and buy another one when you get back. Or give it to this guy.

For a car of that age, having one your trust is pretty important. It’s worth about £3-3.5k based on autotrader prices (from dealers anyway). And I wouldn’t fancy buying a car of that age/mileage that I don’t know in that kind of price range.

If we knew what we wanted in a years time I’d consider selling to then buy something newer, but who knows what we’ll want in 12 months. 

In reply to James Malloch:

There is a lot to be said for a trusted car, we hung on to the wife's 07 yaris for far more years than we should have done because it never let us down but it got to the point that we were spending more on wearing parts like brakes and tyres than it was worth.

Touching wood the replacement (a 2016 Berlingo) has been fine for tye 6 months we have had it.

If I trusted a friend I would put the car in their name rather than add them to your insurance, your risking your no claims.

The understanding would be they give it back in the same condition as it is now, if they use it loads they service it and maybe replace the tyre's, if they don't use it much don't worry about it and chalk up the loan to good karma. 


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