High contractual penalties possible: why you should never lend your car carelessly
Created: 2022-08-09 15:07
By: Simon Mones
Anyone who rents out their car privately risks high contractual penalties and costs in the event of an accident.
The ACE therefore recommends loan agreements.
It's a problem that many people are familiar with: the next big purchase in a furniture store is imminent, but your own car is too small.
Luckily the neighbor has a more spacious car that you can borrow.
After all, this is usually cheaper than using a rental car to transport furniture.
What sounds so simple and is something Germans like to do can quickly become very complicated – and above all expensive.
The problem: according to the General Association of the German Insurance Industry (GDV), three-quarters of Germans have restricted use to themselves or their partner.
This saves a lot of money on the insurance premium, which can almost double with a young driver.
If you rent out your car, you should first take a look at your car insurance.
(Iconic image) © Reporters/Imago
Rent a car: High contractual penalties possible
"So if you just let someone else drive your car, you generally don't risk insurance cover in motor vehicle liability and comprehensive insurance.
However, there can be a contractual penalty if unauthorized third-party use is noticed, for example after an accident,” explains the Automobile Club Europe (ACE).
The penalty for “inaccurate information” can be hefty.
Some insurers then collect twice the annual premium, but usually only the amount is recalculated retrospectively for the whole year, including the actual driver.
However, if there is an emergency, the insurer cannot do anything.
"Anyone who gets sick on the Autobahn must be allowed to let their passenger drive home with impunity," explains Gesine Reisert, ACE's legal representative.
Rent a car: Halter is liable for damage
If there is an accident or other damage, it is not the borrower who is liable, but the owner of the car. As a result, the car owner rises in the no-claims category and pays higher premiums.
Repairs to damage to your own vehicle must also be paid for by yourself.
However, the insurance protection does not expire if the borrower is not also insured.
The damage suffered by the other party involved in the accident is therefore compensated.
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If you want to be on the safe side, you should talk to your car insurance company in advance. Another driver can often be entered at short notice at no extra cost.
If not, the circle of permitted drivers can be expanded with many insurance companies for less than 10 euros a day.
However, gross negligence (missing a red traffic light, accident when overtaking too quickly) is excluded in such a case.
Anyone who rents out their car more often should therefore consider changing their insurance contract and forgoing the discounts for single drivers.
You can also save money by switching insurance companies.
Borrowers can also take out insurance that reimburses the lender for additional costs through downgrading.
Lend a car: ACE recommends rental contracts
ACE also advises signing a rental agreement that states that the borrower is liable for any damage to the car.
"When the car is handed over, all existing damage should be listed in a report so that there is no later dispute about an 'unknown' scratch or dent," writes the car club.
In addition, the lender must have the valid driver's license shown - even if it is a relative.
"The lender could be prosecuted under the Road Traffic Act if the borrower does not have a valid driver's license," warns ACE trustee Dirk Trieglaff.
For this reason, the rental company must also ensure that the driver to whom he entrusts his car is sober.