Sharing a car can be a cost-saving experience.
Imagine planning a road trip with a friend. You can share travel expenses throughout the day, and swap drivers when one of you gets tired. Admittedly, this might take a little bit of getting used to – especially if you’re of different heights, so that each driver will need to adjust the setting to their needs – but road trips are rich in exciting memories.
Or maybe, you and your partner don’t need two vehicles, and you’ve chosen to save money by keeping only one, which any of you can use. A few years back, the idea of sharing a car with another driver would have been preposterous, but nowadays, with the increase of remote working positions and flexible work options, it is possible for some households to make do with one vehicle.
Nevertheless, whether you’re going on holiday together or permanently sharing a vehicle, you need to find out what is the best and safest solution for your situation.
It’s just a road trip precaution
When you decide to embark on a road trip with a friend or a relative, there are several factors you need to consider. Firstly, you will need to get in touch with your insurer to find out whether you need to add a second driver to your contract for the occasion. Some insurance companies are happy to accept that an occasional driver can be trusted for a short period of time, for instance, if this is your partner. Other insurers might require your road trip companion to take an additional temporary insurance cover for your car. Besides, it’s also worth discussing your trio plan with your insurance company to find out whether you need to add further cover packages for international travels or long distance holidays, for instance.
Two drivers, one car
For occasional car sharing in your household, aka when you let your partner drives the vehicle, you’ll be surprised to know that some insurers require you to add your partner as a second driver even when the use is very infrequent. However, this will affect the cost of your insurance coverage. But it doesn’t have to be negative! If your partner has a good driving history and has had their driving licence for a long time, you might find that your cover has become cheaper. You can also get a discount when both partners share cars, as insurers such as Safe Auto have established a multi-vehicle discount offer. In short, it could be advantageous not only to share cars but to share insurers too.
Caring when sharing
Last, but not least, when two people are allowed to drive a car, you need to both make sure that the vehicle is looked after. Indeed, you can’t rely on the other drive to check for you the car is safe and equipped with all the security equipment – warning triangle and hi-viz bibs. Each driver is responsible for the vehicle, and consequently, each of you needs to maintain the car after and before use.
In conclusion, when you share a car, you have a responsibility towards your insurer and the vehicle. To be on the safe side, it’s best to clarify all insurance queries and maintenance issues before taking the road. A shared car means shared responsibilities.