By on April 10, 2015

About a year ago, I posted this video online that showed a wide range of people – friends, acquaintances, strangers, toddlers – driving my Ferrari. And the video caused kind of a sensation, and everyone got kind of excited, but mostly people just thought I was insane.

“You let all these people drive your FERRARI?” people would say, incredulously, as if my used Ferrari had never been driven by anyone before. “What if they crashed it?!”

The people who thought I was especially crazy were the guys on the Ferrari forums. “Never buy Doug DeMuro’s used car,” I would read, from guys who bought their 1983 308 GTSi in 2012. “OTHER PEOPLE have driven it.”

I didn’t think there was very much risk. In fact, I sat in the passenger seat as these people drove my car, and the thing I came away understanding is that everyone is incredibly cautious when they drive someone else’s Ferrari. So while I’m sitting behind the wheel, texting and eating sandwiches, they’re one step away from getting out of the car at a stop light to make sure they stopped the perfect distance behind the crosswalk.

I had a similar experience recently when I purchased a right-hand drive Nissan Skyline GT-R, imported straight from Japan, which makes me JDM Tyte, yo. I’ve already let several people climb behind the wheel, and each were very surprised that a) I allowed them to drive my new car, and b) pushing the turn signal activated the wipers.

But once again, I didn’t really mind. What’s the point of having a fun car if you aren’t going to share it? I know, I know, some people like to look at their cars, and keep them pristine, and polish them, and keep miles off the odometer. But in both cases, these were used cars; cars that have undoubtedly been driven by dozens of people over the years, and not anywhere near as carefully as my friends drive while I keep a watchful eye from the passenger seat.

In fact, I have generally maintained a very liberal policy about driving most of my cars over the years. Once I know you well enough, you’re more than welcome to climb behind the wheel, fire it up, and see just how much fun it is to pretend – for just a moment – that whatever used vehicle I owned that month was your own giant money pit.

Many car enthusiasts, however, do not feel the same way. On the contrary, I’ve noticed that a wide range of car enthusiasts take a No one drives my cars attitude to automobile ownership. So much, in fact, that a lot of enthusiasts refuse to let even their own spouse – a person with access to passwords, and banking information, and the knife drawer – climb behind the wheel of their vehicle, for fear of damage.

The main reason, of course, is that we are all worried someone might drive too hard, or too fast, or too inattentively, and then our pride and joy will be smashed up, and we’ll be left with a tricky insurance situation. What happened? Who was driving? Why was he driving? Why weren’t you driving? And then the claim will be denied, and the car will never be repaired, and life as we know it will cease to exist because you will instead have to drive around in a Toyota product.

And I admit, this is a reasonable point of view, which is why there remains a fairly large divide between car enthusiasts on this issue. And so now I ask you: do you let other people drive your car? If so, who? And under what circumstances? Alone? With you in the passenger seat? Many times? Just once?

It’ll also be helpful here to point out the type of vehicle you drive. I say this because someone who responds that they have a 1964 Lamborghini 350GT and they occasionally let their friends drive it gets a lot more credit than someone who replies that they have a 1994 Corolla and they let anyone drive it, including friends, family, their mailman, the tree trimmer guy, etc.

So, ladies and gentlemen, what are you driving? And what’s your view on letting other people drive it?

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85 Comments on “Question Of The Day: Who Gets To Drive Your Car?...”

  • avatar

    Nobody drives my car at the moment, though I do want to teach my wife how to drive stickshift. When I had my Z I don’t think I would have let her drive it even if she knew how. It was a somewhat tricky beast. I wouldn’t let anyone ride my bike unless I knew they weren’t an idiot. There’s really no upside to letting someone else drive your car.

    • 0 avatar

      If you do decide to try teaching her, consider doing a write up on the experience. This has been a hot topic here, and while teaching one’s children the art of stick shift, one’s spouse is a whole different matter. 35 years ago I was smugly sure that I could teach my wife, a clever and capable lady, how to drive my Subaru. She found it extremely frustrating and pointless given that perfectly good automatics are available. I considered the old adage “Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?”, and chose happy.

    • 0 avatar

      sportyaccordy – reminds me of the time I was sitting at a traffic light with a GT Mustang sitting next to me. A pretty girl sat at the wheel and looked rather nervous. Her partner in the passenger seat looked terrified. The light went green and I heard V8 revs then screeching tires then watched the “car chirp and hop chirp and hop chirp and hop” across the intersection. I thought it was rather funny. Kudos to the dude for letting his girl try the car.

      I don’t usually like letting friends borrow or drive my vehicles. My best friend was fine as he is a very careful driver and has always looked after my stuff better than me.

      I don’t lend out my trucks since most guys I know have one already and those that don’t have issues with driving something that big. My wife drives my truck and likes it better than her minivan but after wrecking the right box side twice in tight confines she rarely ever drives it.

      I’ve gone on long trips and let friends drive but it makes me nervous. I don’t like putting my life into someone else’s hands. I worked with a lot of paramedics who I trusted explicitly and a few that scared the sh!t out of me. The irony was that the ones that were poor drivers also tended to be poor at patient care.

      I’ve let my son’s drive my truck on easy trails in the back country. They both were very surprised when I did it. They were 9 and 11 the first time. I plan on doing the same this year too now that they are 11 and 13. They need to learn sometime.

      I’ve let friends try my dirt bikes and street bikes. In those cases it has been a case of tit for tat. The KTM 620 I had was a fun one to let guys ride. I told them that if you can start it you can ride it. It had a rather unique starting ritual.

      I hate driving other people’s vehicles.

    • 0 avatar

      My wife could drive a manual before I met her. She learned on Chevy trucks that her parent’s owned.

  • avatar

    I think this Jalopnik article was mistakenly filed here. Stolen any center caps from vehicles you don’t own this week?

  • avatar

    When you have a lot of engine connected to a known weak-ish clutch, you are very skittish about letting others drive your car. My wife isn’t abusive and so she can drive the G8 whenever she wants (which isn’t that often as she finds it too big in the city). I let my father-in-law who is a pilot and very respectful of equipment drive it once. Other than that… I’m probably not going to let you, and the clutch is why.

    Anyone I trust not to be an idiot can drive the Forester.

  • avatar

    I enjoy letting friends drive my BMW 335d and watching their faces when they discover that 425 ft lbs of torque is all in at 1700 rpm. They are always shocked that a diesel car can perform so well.

    • 0 avatar

      I can imagine the smile on your face from all that torque. Turbo diesels are one of the main factors that still get me to German car dealers these days. Still haven’t had any luck finding a Jeep dealer that has a JGC turbo diesel though.

  • avatar

    Not that anyone would ask to anyway, but my DD ’09 Saturn Aura XR is off limits to anyone but my wife since it is too important as a work car to let any of my drunk, redneck friends crack it up.

    However, I loan my ’93 Ranger to friends and family sometimes, since it’s already a POS anyway.

    If anyone wanted to take a spin in my classic Volvo, I’d probably be okay with it just because I like to talk about car stuff and show off.

  • avatar

    I let basically any licensed driver who asks drive or borrow my cars. They’re insured, and it would be hard for anybody to non-maliciously do more than a trivial amount of damage without wrecking them.

    The Miata is by far the most requested one in the fleet and the most up for grabs. Family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, neighbors’ friends; whatever. It makes people happy to go out in a convertible on a nice day, costs me basically nothing, and they usually bring it back with a full tank. Why not loan it out of I’m not using it that day?

    If I had something fragile or irreplaceable than it might be a different story, but all the cars I have right now are stout and easy to find again if needed.

    I’ll let people borrow a motorcycle unsupervised once I’ve seen them ride and am convinced of their competence. This is for the protection of the riders and bystanders rather than the machine.

    Part of the joy of having fun stuff is sharing it with people.

  • avatar

    If they can drive an MT, I’m happy to let them give it a go. Best part is that the flex disc in the driveline is a bit worn so sloppy drivers are rewarded to a bucking bronco ride! Yee-haw!
    Guess I should fix that.

  • avatar

    I will let most of my friends (who are competent driving manual) drive my car. Valets, however, no way! I never valet my cars (Jay Leno agrees). If valet is the only option in a difficult to park area, I’ll take a cab.

    My Kazakhstan girlfriend would drive my Lada 06 like a F1 car around the streets of Moscow. She was the best driver I ever let drive one of my cars. Paying the GAI her speeding straffs got pretty expensive however.

  • avatar

    I have rarely been comfortable with people borrowing my cars in the past. Although I’ve never had any problems letting them drive while I was in the car.
    The main reason I’ve had trouble with this though, was firstly because with my older bangers there was a considerable effort from me to get them in the semi-roadworthy condition ,including personal modifications, in the first place, and money or insurance relly can’t replace that, and most of the cars had little quirks that I felt could get an unexperienced driver into trouble if they treated it like any modern good condition car.
    If I had owned some car that was ‘special’ from the factory like a Ferrari or a Porsche (or anything that could be replaced with a similar car if you had the money), I wouldn’t have any problems letting anyone I know drive it, but with a modified vehicle, like a top-tuned ‘ricer’ GTR or a blown big block Hot Rod I would be a lot more careful regarding who and in what situation.

  • avatar

    I have a better-than-driver NSX, and I let anyone who I know can drive a MT drive it under supervision. I’ve let people I trust drive it on a track unsupervised. I had a driver E24M6 with fairly fresh clutch that I once let a friend learn MT on.
    I’m sure I’d feel differently if I had a Ferrari 250 and wasn’t a billionaire, or something, but I don’t, so…

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The Leaf is driven occasionally by my wife, but only as necessary, because she is afraid of it. Range anxiety, upsetting me, it’s a lease, etc.

    Our Sedona has become a loaner car. It was driven by two other families this winter for about 6 weeks total (they had broken cars), and a third family drove it last spring for a month (out-of-towners).

  • avatar


  • avatar

    I’ll pretty much let anybody I know drive my cars if they want to. Including the Elan.

  • avatar

    I’ve let fellow autocrossers that I’ve known for a while drive my Mustang GT, and I used to have a first-gen RX-7 with a half-bridgeported 12A that I loaned to a friend for a week. I’m in the “cars were meant to be driven” camp.

  • avatar

    I let anyone with a license and clean shoes drive my car, because, yes, it’s a 2000 Corolla, grey, and I drive it maybe once or twice a week. If I own it anyway, it might as well be driven. It’s a car with good gas milage and plenty of excitement in crosswinds.

  • avatar

    I’d love if my wife could drive my car. Then we could split miles between cars. She is afraid of learning stick shift. She can do it, she’s just afraid of screwing something up with other cars around.

    • 0 avatar

      Mine too. Brilliant woman, but about coordinated as US foreign policy. I tried about 10 years ago and she was sort of getting the hang of it (translation: only grinding about 10% of shifts), when I tried working on hill starts with her. Big mistake. Now I just call us a 1.5 car family.

  • avatar
    Vojta Dobeš

    It mostly depends on the car, and there’s a big difference between letting people drive it with me riding shotgun, and simply handing them the keys.

    The categories are:

    1) Non-expensive car that is reasonably straightforward to drive, everything works, no special qualifications needed.

    Drive it: Basically anyone who is interested, if it’s him who wants to try it. Totally anyone with pulse, a valid license and no obvious signs of insanity, if I want to have a drink and still get somewhere.

    Borrow it: Mostly anyone. If you want to drive my car out of my sight, I need to believe that you’re at least a semi-capable driver, and that I stand at least some chance of getting the money if you wreck it.

    With currently my only own vehicle, the Chrysler LHS, I’m basically willing to toss the keys to just about anyone.

    2) Not substantially expensive car with some quirks – either faults or non-typical stuff.

    Example: Cars where something doesn’t work, cars that are too old/too strange for ordinary person to operate properly.

    Drive it: Anyone, as long as he’s willing to listen to my advice.
    Borrow it: Skilled drivers/petrolheads who know what they’re doing. Mostly for the sake of the people.

    3) Valuable/rare stuff.

    Drive it: Still anyone who seems to possess at least a modicum of abilities (depending on how tricky it is to drive)
    Borrow: Close friends/family. People I trust not to be assholes. And with exception of few very close friends, ability to pay for it in case of damage is a requirement.

  • avatar

    Anyone who wants to can drive my 328. It’s insured and warranted, and if any of my friends managed to break it in such a way as to fall outside of those two coverages, they’d probably pay to fix whatever it was. I don’t teach people to drive a manual transmission with it, because it’s not a particularly easy clutch to modulate, as compared to Japanese cars. My husband’s S550 can be driven by him and me, and when I offered to let a friend try it out the other day, he glowered at me from the passenger seat and made proprietary noises. So I don’t do that anymore.

  • avatar

    It’s a non-issue for me because nobody wants to drive my car because it’s a beigemobile verging on a beater. I’m a little surprised that I cant remember anybody asking to try my motorcycle in the last 20 years or so either since at least my bike is interesting.

  • avatar

    Wife doesn’t drive stick, so the two WRXes aren’t driven by her. Need to teach her. She’s scared of the “rolling back”, but at least the 2015 WRX has hill assist, which would be nice.

    Other than that:

    1) Father
    2) Tuner/Shop staff

    are typically the only people driving them.

  • avatar

    If I have a Ferrari, I’ll let all the pretty ladies drive it, hoping that some of them will let me ride them in return.

    If I had a Ferrari….

  • avatar

    To me its about preserving the mechanicals. Since some cars are long term keepers, not just used cars to be traded soon, the degree of care is dfferent.
    On my BBI a few friends who imo really know how to drive and have mchanical sympathy, treat their equipment as I treat mine, have driven it on an open road with me in the passenegr seat, I encourage those to open it up.

    On the m3 more of a liberal attitude and if need be my wife who sorta drives a stick has used it.

    On the elise, most peopel are afraid to try when I offer or cant fit, since its an easy motor clutch if you can driuve a stick you cam rty it with me there.

    On my equinox, family and friends bororow it on occasion, which reminds me why I dont give the keys of other cars to them, small dings bent rims etc. To most people a car is an appliance and they are clueless philistines.

    Someone taught me years ago, if you have nice stuff and keep it properly it stays nice stuff as opposed to becomming just used stuff.

    That care means my 30 yo car 10 yo car and 4 to car are preety much running as they left the showroom or better. The cosmetics are really nice not perfect,.. they get used hard, run on track etc, but are maintaned propery and never put away wet. In 25 years of owenership of the Bbi and less years of the others, they have alway worked as designed and should probably last indefinatly, so why let some lunk f-it up for a quick joyride. As a bonus the choices of cars made care taken and long term owenership means that if i sold them I would see profit even including maintanance. But why sell things you enjoy, and over time well kept classic appreciate.

    You rralise that reving acold engine just once brings on premature failure down the road, whereas a day at the track if properly maintained has near zero effect otehr than clearing out deposits and seating the valves.

    Some peopel though like a different car every few years,by my calculation its expensive to keep trading cars, new or used, betetr to slowly accumulate. Whatever is the hot car today, will be supereseeded, and if you thought it was cool today, it should still be cool 10 years from now when you can buy it very reasonably. Or buy somehting new like a hellcat which you just knwo is going to be a classic nad keep it nice for the next 30 years, you will have fun and be in the money. Just dont let some fool drive it and wreck it.

    • 0 avatar

      “I dont give the keys of other cars to them, small dings bent rims etc. To most people a car is an appliance and they are clueless philistines.”

      Unfortunately, that’s the truth right there. It’s even worse when the car you are lending is old and/or cheap. For some reason people think that it’s somehow okay to abuse a borrowed cheap car in that case. After all, “it’s not worth all that much anyway”.
      Same thing goes for repair shops, by the way – they seem to implicitly think that they are allowed to cut corners and do makeshift repairs if the car is cheap or old.

  • avatar

    ’52 Ford F-3 pickup with a non-syncro trans(have to double clutch both ways), manual steering, manual drum brakes, no seat belts. Only one person has even asked to drive it, and he got a little scared once he did. Not worried about the engine/clutch or trans its the stopping that can be difficult.

    • 0 avatar

      Haha I drove a ’63 Chevy II last fall, manual steering, manual brakes, 3 on the tree. That’s been the most difficult and most rewarding car I’ve driven, second only to my father’s old Soviet ZAZ 966 with a reverse shift pattern and shoddy clutch hydraulics and no brakes (again, leaking hydraulics). “Put it in H!!!!!”

  • avatar

    I’m not sure if I should be offended by your use of the Corolla as the worst example of street cred.

    2006 Corolla. Don’t care who drives it. I’ll end up using it to teach both 10 year old kids to drive with it.

    I love that car, don’t get me wrong, but I see it as you see your vehicles, there to use and enjoy and if something happens I’ll get something else.

  • avatar
    David Walton

    Friends and acquaintances with competence driving a sporting vehicle with manual transmission.

    Mechanics, detailer, etc.

    NOT valets.

    Both of my cars – GT3 and 993 – are manual transmission, but very different to drive.

    The 993 is pretty compliant and has sufficient suspension travel that you never need to worry about scraping the front end as long as you’re on pavement. The floor-mounted pedals, very heavy steering, and stiff shifter make it challenging to drive for the unitiated.

    The GT3 has an exceptionally stiff clutch, but beyond that it’s much easier to drive. The main issue with the GT3 is clearance. Carelessness in negotiating a speed bump or turn or slight brow or crown or … could result in $10k plus of body work.

  • avatar

    For me, it depends on the fragility of the car, and its clutch in particular.

    If only my S40 was registered and insured to me instead of my parents’ company, I would have no qualms about letting anyone I trust use it in times of need, mainly because it’s an automatic and thus relatively idiot-proof. I have also made it known many times that I’m very territorial about my equipment and I’m fairly certain that even if someone doesn’t respect his own car, he will respect mine if he borrows it.

    On the other hand, I am currently saving up to buy myself a Ford Mondeo mk3 diesel – a car that is not only notorious for eating clutches but also for having fragile common rail injectors that tend to clog up when fed with dirty or diluted fuel. Replacing the clutch can easily cost 30% of the car’s current market value (been there, done that), and repairing the fuel injection system on those Mondeos can range from 10% to 90%. Faced with such costs, if I ever buy that Mondeo I will let literally no one drive it. It’s too fragile a car to let someone’s indifference or lack of experience run up my costs.

  • avatar

    I let trusted friends and family drive my cars if they know how to shift. For the C7 and the Probe GT, I’ll still let them drive the cars, but what I won’t do is let them park the cars in lots or leave them unattended. I didn’t keep a 20 year old car 100% ding free by leaving it unattended. That is where my trust ends.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I let anyone who asks and knows how to drive stick drive my car. Only people who have asked are my dad and one of my buddies. No one else is into cars enough to care, or is that interested in driving a 12y/o Honda.

  • avatar

    I generally don’t like to let people drive my stuff, but if pressured, anyone can drive my wife’s BMW, it is a newish, fairly low mileage 6 cyl automatic E60. Short of scraping or hitting something, they aren’t going to hurt it. And while I like it a lot, I do not feel any attachment towards it. Currently this vehicle is in near perfect condition.

    No one drives my G35 because it is a manual transmission and despite many track days, deal’s gap runs, etc. it is still on the original clutch at 160K miles. One bad launch could be the end of it. I am very attached to this car, having put all 160K miles on it myself and still loving it. I am going to be very sad when it wears out. This vehicle is in perfect condition except for a crack that is appearing on the dashboard.

    I would rather not have anyone drive the FX45 because it is nice, kind of strong, kind of heavy and has mediocre brakes – and uses a lot of gas. But it is the family truckster with the baby seats, the pack-n-play, the strollers, etc., so if someone is taking my kids somewhere, I give them the FX. Ironically this is the vehicle with the highest MSRP that is being destroyed by the kids and the people who drive them around. This vehicle was in perfect condition not too long ago. Now it has damage from the multiple drivers and the kids. I want to circle each defect and use a sharpie to write the offenders name next to it. Grandma gets the whole passenger front wheel and much of the passenger front fender/bumper attributed to her. As well as the rips in the drivers seat from her bejeweled 1960’s jeans and the scrapes on the shift knob and center console from her dangly sharp things. Also all the chrome exterior door handles from the same dangly sharp things. And the sunvisor that she somehow jammed in the drivers window as it was going up. And the marks on the headliner over the driver seat from her makeup. And the 17 individual dents in the front bumper from her ‘touching’ things when she parks it. I’m not keeping track though…

    Very few people get to ride my bikes. The guy who builds my motors and one friend. No one else.

  • avatar

    I let my friends take my cars on the track, and beat on them without mercy. They’re all better drivers than me anyway. I don’t like to be in the car because I want them to enjoy it, and because I don’t want to know.

    It’s fun to watch your car out there, and I like to pick their brain afterwards.

    I’m sure things are different for a purposeless (as you have discovered) car like a non-tracked Ferrari though.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve considered letting people drive my Z on the track just to see what I’m doing wrong and get their feedback. Notice I said “considered”… it has yet to happen. My wife drives it every so often, her DD is an MT so that is not the issue, she just doesn’t like how harsh the Z is – the steering is heavy, the clutch is heavy, pretty much the opposite of her Volvo. I’ve let friends move the car around in a parking lot for me. And the same goes for a Lambo that past friend had – I was put in the drivers seat to get move it out of one garage and into another. What did I learn driving a Lambo? The visibility sucks and getting it into reverse is impossible. Honestly I was scared to death of just putting a scratch in it.

    • 0 avatar

      This is how I treat my R/C cars. I have a small fleet of very powerful ones that have only seen the surface of a track (and get meticulous maintenance), but I will let just about any competent driver (most are better than me) drive them. I have even sometimes let poor kids that can’t afford something run the less delicate ones.

  • avatar

    ’05 Acura RSX TypeS, ’14 Accord EX 6MT. Neither of which we have any problem letting friends/neighbors borrow so long as we consider them competent with manuals. The most recent time we loaned someone a car it came back washed, vacuumed, and full of gas. If I owned a Ferrari I might shorten the list of approved borrowers somewhat, but I’d probably be happy to let my friends drive it with me in the car. My only vehicles that are “hands off” are my Pitts and my World Cat.

  • avatar

    I don’t have a policy against other people driving my cars, but it’s rare that anybody does. Our minivan used to occasionally get loaned to my wife’s sister but now that she has a Highlander that’s not likely to be required again. Another 40% of my fleet is and has been inop for a while, and the remaining 40% is stick shift. My family doesn’t live nearby, I don’t have friends and avoid neighbors when possible, and of my wife’s family only her father and her sister’s husband know how to drive stick and her dad’s knees are to messed up to do it anymore.

    I did teach my wife to drive stick in my first new-vehicle purchase (2002 Dodge Ram), but it was more like free-associating out loud my thought process as I taught myself to drive and then letting her try it.

  • avatar

    My wife and I and that’s it.

    2005 Vibe (her’s), 2004 F150, 2010 Highlander, 1967 Mustang. She doesn’t like the Highlander much (steering too vague for her). She taught me to drive stick on the Vibe.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s the one thing I know about your wife, and I give her 100 points for it. I consider it my duty to teach kids to drive stick. I do this on my car, an ’08 Civic, and I’ve done that with all my cars. I’ve probably taught about 12-14 people to drive stick.

      Besides that, I’ve loaned an ex-girlfriend my car on several occasions. My best friend has driven all of my cars (and I his). If I’m out with a friend, or friends, or with someone I’m dating, and I drink a bit too much (extremely rare), I ask them to drive if they know how to drive stick. A handful of people have driven my car under those circumstances. My sister can drive my car. (I’d probably worry about my brother–he learned on stick, but I don’t know when he last drove a stick. He’s never owned one (got married, young, to someone who doesn’t drive stick).

  • avatar

    I’ll let friends and family drive my car (’12 Mustang) if they ask, and if they already know how to handle a clutch.

    I’ll even let them ride my motorcycles if they’re licensed and have any kind of experience. While I don’t often ride with anyone else, I love to trade bikes when I get a chance. What I always tell the other rider: “If you crash my bike, that’s cool. Just know that I’ll run you over with your own bike where you lie in the road.”

    Just kidding. Maybe.

  • avatar

    I don’t know how it is in the rest of the world, but here in Ontario, Canada, if you lend your car ***you lend your insurance too****. That means if your buddy gets in a collision, and is judged to be at fault in any percentage, it goes on your insurance record.

    That being said, if a friend asked to borrow my car I would generally agree.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s how the US is as well, usually – but this is a two (or three) tier answer.

      The liability coverage follows the owner of the car, not the car.
      The comprehensive insurance follows the car, no matter who’s driving*.

      *Some car insurance policies will be more restrictive than others, and exclude other drivers from any coverage. Or other drivers will be covered in certain situations (Your visiting cousin – covered. Your neighbor borrows your car 2 times a week – not covered.)

      But it’s on you to read your policy document and understand the coverage you’ve signed up for.

      • 0 avatar

        Insurance always follows the car, no matter who is driving. You get some weird variations by state, but always view that if you let someone drive your car, your policy will be in force for all 1st and 3rd party coverages that apply. If I lend my C-Max to DW and he crashes it into the RenCen, my insurance is on the hook for the following coverages:

        -Damage to the RenCen (up to $1 million in MI)
        -DW’s medical bills (unlimited $$$$ in MI)
        -Pain and suffering that Johan the Zohan, who was forced to visit his bosses in Detroit against his will, experienced from his threshold injury (policy limits apply)
        -medical bills to anyone else in the C-Max (in MI you never owe medical bills to people in another vehicle)

        Hopefully, since it’s in Michigan he hits another car that goes into the RenCen. That way, my insurance will only be responsible for half of the property damages. You are right that it would not be considered an at fault accident for me, but it would show that I cost an insurance company $$$$.

        Typically insurers will cover accidents for someone who borrows your vehicle on a regular basis (as long as they aren’t excluded). They just make a point of adding them to the policy and re-rating it.

  • avatar

    I figured out the perfect answer in college:

    “John can I borrow your car?”

    Me: “It’s a stick!”

    “Oh, never mind.”


  • avatar

    Is the car manual transmission? If so, NO ONE drives it except myself and perhaps my father. Period.

    Automatic transmission? Pfff, your mother’s boyfriend’s cousin’s partner’s transgender daughter can drive for all I care.

  • avatar

    most of my cars are in such a worn out shape that im the only one who knows how to safely drive them so no one else does. although my parents do borrow my 2001 v6 2wd ram 1500 when their ranger isn’t available or if they need to tow or haul something the ranger can’t, which isn’t often. i offer them my el camino but they never want to drive it. they say its too big, but the rams bigger.

  • avatar

    I will let pretty much anyone drive any of my cars with me in it with them. Some of my cars I will let most, but not all of my friends borrow if needed. My BMW wagon and Triumph Spitfire have VERY short lists of people who I let borrow either of them. And not necessarily the same people on the list for each of them. My Rover, meh, might as well be a loaner car. Abarth was the same, my kid brother had it for months at one point.

    I do have a couple of friends who I would not lend anything mechanical to ever, right down to an electric drill. They just come under the heading of “some people just tear stuff up”.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    I’ll let certain friends drive my E39 M5 if I’m in it, but not my wife– her 2011 van has been in 4 wrecks so far.

    Also, NO VALETS–EVER! Most of them are pretty cool about telling me where I can park though.

  • avatar

    My Accord is a transportation appliance, so I’m not too picky about it. My girlfriend can drive it, if I need to borrow his truck or minivan I’ll give it to her dad to drive, friends who need to borrow a car can drive it, etc. I only use it occasionally, so it’s not critical for me.

    No one drives my SE-R since it’s getting a bottom-end rebuild and other work.

    No one drives my Fiat – too many odd tics, and I don’t want anyone else getting surprised or stranded by it.

  • avatar

    This has tended not to go so well …

    The person who could drive stick but wasn’t prepared for the torque in the ’05 Volvo S40 T5 and did a captain kangaroo impression

    The friend who helped me get my wife’s SUV back to and from the body shop before she returned from Australia (still unknown to her) managed to drive the ’08 FX35 7 miles with the park brake on

    My brother, who drove the ’13 G37 convertible so slowly through central Phoenix freeways during rush hour I was convinced he’d be rear ended

    But the only person I know in advance I would never let drive my car, or drive me – period, is my Father. He’s really that bad. While at the age of 82, you might say that’s understandable, he’s pretty much always been a terrible driver and his second wife would only let him drive in an emergency, if he got her permission. It didn’t start that way, but it got there by good reason.

  • avatar

    I ended up lending my recently purchased Volvo to my mom for an extended period of time after, just as I was leaving her place, she drove up in her Esteem wagon on a blown tire and smoking bare rim. Apparently she’d driven like that for fifteen or so minutes. Me and my partner couldn’t get the bolts off to put on the spare, and I didn’t have the cash to buy her a new set of tires, so she’s had my car since then. We took a bus back. Six months later I’m hopeful I’ll get it back in a month or so. So, yeah, I’ll lend my car out if a family member or close friend really needs it.

  • avatar

    My fiancee is the only other person in the house who can drive a clutch anyway, so she can whenever she pleases.

    Now the real fun’s gonna start when her youngest daughter gets her license within the next year. She doesn’t get the Altima unless she learns how to drive the Altima.

  • avatar
    A strolling player

    No one but me drives my 2013 Focus Titanium, mostly cause no one asks. My brother and my dad have each driven it once, maybe. Most of my friends don’t drive stick, and the one friend that does hasn’t asked. He’s the only one out of my family who drove my FIAT 500 when I had that, for a short portion of one of our trips to Disney World.

    I want to teach my girlfriend to drive stick on it, which I think would be pretty easy because the clutch is pretty forgiving and the shifter is easygoing. Some days she expresses interest, other days she says no, recalling the screaming match she and her dad had when he tried to teach her on an old F-150—she did the clutch, he the shifter—which didn’t end well, mostly because, from the passenger seat, he kept putting it in third. When we find the time, though..

    My car isn’t really the issue though (other than the whole transmission thing); I just don’t like being driven. When we go places and on trips, I drive, even if we’re in her Taurus, because I like driving. It just doesn’t feel right being in the passenger seat, no matter who else is driving.

  • avatar

    Nope, family members only. The stick part of 2/3 of the motor pool means no one will ask. My car is like an overcoat to me, and when the wife drives it, it is always unsetting-not her driving, that part is very good. No the seats, the wheel and mirrors all get out of whack.

    I’ll never buy a car again that does not have memory seats.

  • avatar

    I’ll let just about anyone drive the Miata, as long as I know they’re not an idiot and are going to respect that even though it’s a hairdresser car, it has no ESP or ABS, and is set up to oversteer on trailing throttle.

    I agree with Doug that people generally are careful when they know they’re driving something of yours that you care about (assuming it’s people who care about you). A family friend, who’s a very experienced driver/rider, once drove my car on an empty road with me in it and got a little enthusiastic, which was fine by me. At the time, the tires on it were less than new, and in one turn the tail kicked out a bit. He expertly kept his foot in it, put in a bit of opposite lock, and kept everything perfectly under control, after which he nearly fell over himself apologizing for having pushed too hard.

    I had no trouble letting people I trusted ride my bikes, either.

  • avatar

    Eh, anyone I know can drive my cars, no one that I deal with, friends or family are idiots and I have good insurance. When you hand your car off for service at the dealership you have no idea who is driving it and most people don’t care, so letting someone you know drive it should be no big deal. With regard to women driving stick shift cars, my ex-girlfriend drove a manual car and was a great driver and my mother actually learned how to drive on a manual and drove one when she was young, but my father did not, so women are more than capable of driving a manual vehicle.

  • avatar

    I let any of my coworkers drive my Mercury Grand Marquis. They all hate it. They say it’s too much for them.

  • avatar

    Close friends and Family. Preferably over the age of 30.

  • avatar

    If you can drive a stick, you can drive my car.* The car is a 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT that I recently picked up at Doug’s favorite nationwide chain of car dealers. The 3.8 actually has so much torque, and first gear is so low that it’s virtually impossible to kill, even for a serious manual transmission novice.

    * Some restrictions apply. Offer to drive not valid for my friend Nick, who has totalled two automobiles in the past two years, valets, and Pastor Maldonado.

  • avatar

    Anyone who would use a valet parking service either doesn’t care about their cars or doesn’t care about their money; it’s essentially another way to flaunt wealth (by handing over your keys to someone guaranteed to beat the crap out of your vehicle).

    My closest family refuses to drive my 1994 M3 Canadian Edition as it cannot be replaced, and I wouldn’t let anyone else drive it, either.

    I let my fiancée (who I taught to drive a manual transmission car, and who went from totally disinterested in cars to driving and enjoying a 1988 320i) and my father drive my 1993 M5, and I would let them drive my 1990 M3 if they asked to.

    Those are my current long time keepers, and they’re all low mileage and in many condition, so they aren’t getting loaned out. I’d probably let someone drive one with me in the passenger seat if I knew they could handle it.

  • avatar

    I have a sienna, so nobody wants to drive it. I tried putting up signs, left the keys in it. No takers yet.

  • avatar

    I let my wife drive my Prelude (97, manual). It came back on a tow truck. I pulled the transmission off and found all of the clutch material in a pile at the bottom of the bellhousing. There was no friction material left on the clutch at all. It only had 20,000 on the clutch before then.

    I put a new clutch on, drove it for awhile and all was well. She borrowed it again. It came back on a tow truck, hole in the block. Bits of connecting rod stuck in various places.

    Built a nice engine to go in it. Still drive it today.

    Got rid of the wife.

  • avatar

    I let anyone who wants to drive my car give it a shot. Recently I have had a bunch of friends and family want to drive my RHD Mitsubishi Delica. The wiper /directional thing happens every time. I don’t do it anymore, but everyone who is new to it does it. I keep trying to get my wife to drive it, but she hasn’t given in yet. I also want her to learn to drive a manual again, but she refuses. I’ve owned my manual truck for 13 years and she has never driven it. She would probably enjoy my RX-7 but refuses to try driving that as well.

    • 0 avatar

      Are you in the niagara region? I’ve noticed at least 2 different Delica’s along the QEW, one with steps up to the roof on the back and one without. One was driven by a woman, so probably not yours, but the other?

      • 0 avatar

        I am in Massachusetts, but bought my delica from an importer in London Ontario. Had assistance from a fellow ttac member in the Niagara region when bringing it into the USA last summer. I crossed the border in the Niagara Falls /buffalo area.

  • avatar

    For the most part I’ve let slot of people drive my raptor, I even let my best freind barrow it for two weeks in the middle of colorados winter. My mom has driven it a few times, in fact she picked it up for me since I was military and buying/ titling it to their adress. Let a few friends and my brothers drive off road with me in the truck. Taught my youngest sister to drive in it. I’d let most people drive it slow off road if I was present. I believe cars should be enjoyed and will let anyone I trust to drive whatever I own. For the most part most of my friends don’t think of cars as appliances.

  • avatar

    When I was young, I was super restrictive about letting others drive my car (maybe helped by watching my buddy yank and manhandle the shifter on my CRX because he didn’t really know how to drive stick).

    Now – who cares. It’s just a car.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Let my high school daughter regularly drive my older BMW 750 to school. I had the shorter commute and rode my bike.

    She was mildly miffed about it all the same, as she was a teenager. She speaks fondly of the experience now. I think she recounted her tale of woe to disbelieving friends as she got older and had a better appreciation.

    I belong to the cars are made to be driven school. Plus, I’m only an average driver anyway.its 50-50 the other guy will be a better driver.

  • avatar

    About 20 years ago my BIL lent his Audi 5000 to his next door neighbor. She brought it back with a full gas tank, and mentioned that the kid working full serve at the gas station had noticed the radiator coolant reservoir was low and so he filled it. Unfortunately the kid filled it via the cap wirh the oil can icon on it.
    Think that can strain a friendship??

  • avatar

    I’ve let people autocross my Miata and boxster spyder and also take my spyder for the weekend and autocross it without me. I trust people I know can drive to treat them no worse than I do

  • avatar

    I let people drive my MGB, but I usually don’t lend it out as i’m afraid they won’t figure out the manual choke, as it can be rather fiddly when the engine’s cold.

  • avatar

    My better half can drive my cars (an Audi A8L and a Ranger Rover HSE) but she prefers driving her own car (an Overland JGC) because she dislikes the A8L and thinks the RR is too heavy. Only one friend has asked to drive my car and it was just to check out the A8L the week I bought it.

  • avatar

    I will loan out my 2008 F150 to anybody I know with the exception of my father in law. He used it to ‘clear some brush’ from his property one time and I get a frantic call from him asking how to get it out of 4 lo…Turns out he was trying to pull stumps with it.

  • avatar

    I’ll let friends and many of my coworkers drive my car, the only caveat is a dating female or some wingnut that thints the only reason they aren’t on a starting grid is a party problem . The surest way to get that “Sorry bro, I don’t know what happened” with the tow truck pulling and dropping off a twisted pile of smoking sheet metal I’d to lone your fast cat out to a female friend dating that guy with a > insert clapped out commuter car festooned with stick-on speed parts here < or that speed racer that wants to see what your car is made of.

    Also people who call a car a "special lady" just creep me out.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m with you on that last point. I’m also rubbed the wrong way by people who refer to their car by a name other than what’s on the trunk, or by a personal pronoun (he/she).

  • avatar

    Let drive, or let borrow? Nobody borrows…everybody I know has his own car, and I don’t have a pickup, so nobody ever asks.

    I let some people drive my cars, with me in them, and I let my wife drive my ’03 SVT Focus for 4 months, with mostly benign results, but nobody is borrowing my GTI.

    It’s not that people are malicious, but around 50% of the people in this world just seem to have an inability to understand that the next thing they touch after eating chicken wings is probably gonna get grease on it…duh.

  • avatar

    I have a one-car garage, so both my girlfriend’s car and mine will take a turn being parked in the garage. If my car is in the driveway (blocking the garage door) and my girlfriend needs to go to work or somewhere, she takes my car, and vice versa. We usually plan this out so we take our own cars so this doesn’t happen very often.

    Whenever I take her car I have to spend a few minutes adjusting the seat and the steering wheel as she’s of smaller stature than I am and I feel somewhat constrained. When I get my car back, I have to configure my ergonomics to my taste.

  • avatar

    My E46 M3 was in nice shape and sported a set of good coilovers, and I let any of my friends drive it at Mid Ohio (7 people took me up on the offer, two spun it).

    I’ve always let people ride my motorcycles if they’re tall enough – BMWs tend to only fit taller people, so only a handful of friends have taken me up on it so far.

    I’ve also got a beater pickup truck that most of my friends and a bunch of my neighbors have the keys to, and anyone can take that at any time as long as they replace the fuel they use.

  • avatar

    Doug can drive my LaForza, but I’m keeping an eye on the 3 remaining center caps.

    I can’t remember anyone ever wanting to drive my vehicles, but they aren’t very exciting. Given the fact that my Pathfinder’s bumper still has a giant crack in it from hitting a fire hydrant, I doubt anyone is donging to damage it more than I already have.

  • avatar

    Oir cars (Sienna & Prius, at the moment) are tools for family life.

    That means that anyone who is helping us out in that regard (usually grandparents) is welcome to use them. Any scuffs or damage that occurs on the mission of supporting the family are par for the course.

    When I was a teenager, having a car was a big deal and part of my identity. Now that I’m a real grownup, they’re tools. Fascinating tools, backed by a fascinating industry. And they’re some of the more powerful tools I own. But I treat my car and my table saw the same: I maintain them studiously, because I need them to get stuff done.

    P.S. I don’t have any jobs around the house which require a Ferrari, so I don’t own one. I’ve had my fill of custom engineered $100k+ equipment at work, so I think owning one would feel like work to me. I’ll take a modestly priced low-stress ownership experience over a Ferrari any day. My stuff works for me, not the other way around.

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