Expensive friendly service : be careful when renting the car

Your best friend has to go to the hardware store, your uncle wants to go to the lake: who would say no if friends or relatives wanted to borrow your car for a short trip?. But if they have an accident, it can be costly for the vehicle owner.

Before handing over the keys, the car owner and driver should agree in writing who will pay for any damage after an accident

It can be expensive for car owners to lend out their own cars – if the driver has an accident. Although the owner’s vehicle liability insurance pays for the damage caused – regardless of who was driving the car. "however, there will be a premium increase for the vehicle owner due to the higher rating in the insurance," explains ADAC legal expert klaus heimgartner. Comprehensive insurance may be subject to a possible deductible. There is also the threat of trouble with the insurance company if the vehicle owner is entered as the sole driver in the vehicle policy: a retroactive premium claim is possible.

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With a written agreement in advance, the vehicle owner can protect himself in the event of a claim. It is stated here that the driver is responsible for any damage and the higher rating in the insurance policy. "but honestly, who concludes such an agreement with friends in writing??" asks heimgartner. "after all, it’s about friendship, not business."ideally, drivers should only lend their vehicles to people they trust and from whom they can expect compensation.

It’s better to sort out parking tickets yourself

If you get a parking ticket because your friends or relatives parked incorrectly, heimgartner advises you to settle the matter among yourselves. If the vehicle owner receives a warning notice and informs the authorities who the actual driver was, a fine procedure will be initiated. "this involves additional costs and fees for the driver," explains heimgartner. So it’s cheaper to pay the fine yourself and have your friend or relative pay it back. Of course, this is not the case for point-relevant violations, such as running a red light
possible, says heimgartner.

Ideally, car owners should ask to see the driver’s license before renting out the car. real trouble looms when drivers knowingly lend their cars to drunks. "then the liability insurance can hold the vehicle owner jointly responsible and demand recourse," explains heimgartner. Criminal consequences are also possible.

Vehicle owners should also always give their friends or relatives their vehicle registration documents. If you are going to keep the car for a longer period of time or travel abroad with it, it is worthwhile to obtain a power of attorney from the vehicle owner. In poland, for example, this is mandatory. If the certificate cannot be presented at a police checkpoint, you could be fined. drivers can find corresponding multilingual samples on the websites of the automobile clubs, for example. (dpa)

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