Driving is an essential aspect of everyday life for a great many people in the UK. Whether commuting medium-to-long distances for work, travelling to meet family or running personal errands, having a car can make running a household far easier – and not having one can feel like losing a limb.
If you are without a car – potentially due to a breakdown or servicing complication – your first thought might be to borrow one from a friend. But before you do that, there are some simple things you should think about first. What are they?
The first and foremost concern when considering borrowing your friend’s car is, effectively, legal in nature. Having a valid driving license is not the only prerequisite for driving legally on UK roads; insurance is also a non-negotiable part of the equation, and not having the right insurance policy could see you landed in deep trouble for driving someone else’s car.
Your personal car insurance policy, even if ‘fully comprehensive’, will likely not cover you to drive in any other vehicle but your own (or the one listed specifically within the policy). To this end, temporary car insurance is a useful short-term tool for making it legally viable to drive your friend’s car. There is the added bonus of being financially protected in the unfortunate event of suffering an accident in the self-same car.
There are also some key financial issues to take into serious consideration before you borrow your friend’s car. For one, fuel is costly – and has been spiking with regard to costliness in recent months. It is common etiquette to refill a borrowed car with the fuel you used, so this is a cost that bears thinking about before you ask.
If you are borrowing your friend’s car for the long term, then other costs might also come to the fore. Road tax costs, for example, would still fall to the car’s owner to pay, even if it is not them using the car in question. Tyre wear or servicing costs may also become points of contention, and In certain circumstances fall to you to pay on a moral standpoint.
Speaking of ‘contention’, there is something of a subtle thread running through the above suggestions: that of the friendship itself. Borrowing someone else’s possessions, whatever their value, can introduce strain to a relationship if said possessions are not treated with the same care and respect that their owners are.
With an investment as expensive as a car, the emotional strain could be all the larger in the event of damage caused to the car while in your care. Is it worth the potential jeopardising of a solid relationship to borrow the car, or are you solid and respectful enough as friends to manage difficult situations like these accordingly?