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Lending a car to a friend or relative can save that person a great deal of money but there are potential drawbacks which need to be taken into consideration when you make the decision whether or not to go down this route. Ultimately, everything depends upon how well you can trust this person to drive your car in a sensible and considerate manner.

The first thing you have to be aware of is the fact that if the person you have loaned the car to commits a driving offence and is not immediately stopped and interviewed by the police you could find yourself charged with that offence, and it could quite possibly be a very difficult job indeed to prove that you were not in charge of the vehicle at the time that the offence was committed. Similarly, if he or she stayed too long on a parking meter or left the car in a no-parking zone it is you who would be responsible for making sure that any fines were paid. There would be no point whatsoever in attempting to prove that you had not been in charge of the vehicle at the time; the law states that the person responsible for a parking fine is the registered keeper and unless you could show that the driver did not have your permission to be driving the vehicle (which would leave him or her open to prosecution) the local authority would most likely pursue you for the payment, even to the extent of registering a county court judgement against you and sending in the bailiffs!

The potential pain does not necessarily end there. Even if your friend is the best driver in the world he or she may well put a few thousand miles on the clock of your car. When you insured the car for yourself it is likely that the insurance company would have asked you to estimate your expected mileage during the insured period; if your friends' travelling pushed the mileage over this figure, and you subsequently had an accident, it is completely conceivable that the insurance company could refuse to pay out on any claims. It would then be then up to you to prove that the excess mileage was caused by your friend, and not by yourself.

Not least of all; if the vehicle is involved in an accident some distance away from your home you could be involved in expensive costs in rescuing not only the vehicle but also the occupants (fortunately most policies give you the option of including roadside assistance) but like every insurance policy there will be a premium excess to pay and a disagreement over whether this could or should be paid by yourself or the driver could very easily ruin a perfectly good friendship!

Short term car insurance can prove to be a real benefit and could save you a great deal of money, but like most tools it can cause you problems as well. In most cases the advantages of buying a temporary policy greatly outweigh any potential risks but it is as well to be aware of them, so that you can make a reasoned judgement on how to proceed.

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