We all know what it’s like to be put in an awkward situation where we feel as though we have no choice but to agree. This is especially true when someone is in a tight spot and is asking for your help. Has anyone ever asked to borrow your car? You didn’t really feel comfortable with it, but agreed anyway? Often, we find ourselves thinking ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’. When it comes to lending your car, it can actually become quite complicated if the worst does happen, and when it involves a car that’s registered to you, it can be a whole world of legal drama!
So what happens if you let someone borrow your car and they get a parking or speeding fine? Unfortunately, as the car is registered to you, the speeding fines will come to you. The simplest way to resolve this is to get the person who was driving the car at the time to fill out a statutory declaration from the RTA stating that they were the driver at the time. This means the fine will be theirs to deal with, and they will deal with the relevant demerit points. Things get complicated, however, if you don’t know the person that well, or if they refuse to sign the relevant documents. If this is the case, you may end up having to go to court to deal with the situation. If you fail to do this, and the fines don’t get paid, your license and registration can get cancelled. Although it might seem like a lot of effort, going to court is your best option in this scenario.
Another problem with lending someone your car arises if they have an accident. It’s your responsibility to make sure the person borrowing your car has a valid license because if their licence is suspended or cancelled, your insurance won’t cover any costs relating to the accident. This is also the same with drink driving, if someone drink drives in your car and they have an accident, your insurance won’t cover it. The worst thing about this is that you may be liable to pay for all the damages, this includes your car, the other vehicles involves and public property.
In the worst case, your car could be connected to a crime. Even if you had no connection to the crime, you are put in a difficult situation. The best thing to do is to go to the police and explain the situation, you also have a duty to tell the police details of the driver.
As easy as it can be to be bullied into lending your car, it can have big consequences for you. It’s best not to lend your car to anyone who you don’t trust fully, or who you know takes risks when driving. The simplest way to protect yourself from any awkward situations is to simply not loan out your car.