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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Is it Illegal to Drive Someone Else's Car?

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Driving someone else's car or a vehicle is not illegal. However, you are legally accountable for the car you are driving; it doesn't matter if you own it or borrow it. Some of you have already driven parents or friends' cars before, be it out of convenience or necessity, without stopping to think much of it. You typically get on your pleasant way after bending the mirrors and perhaps pulling the seat backward or forward and putting in your headphones. However, though driving somebody else's vehicle is legal, you may need to become accustomed to the car enough to know that it is insured by a licensed driver and registered before hitting the road.

However, any person cannot legally drive any covered car under your policy and be covered by the insurance. Excluded family members are covered as passengers on insurance premiums. There will not be any coverage when excluded drivers operate one of your cars and get into an accident. If you have a personal injury lawsuit, contact an attorney near you.

Accident driving someone else's car

What if You Drive Someone Else's Car and Get into an Accident?

Contrary to common belief, auto insurance typically follows the car and not the driver. If someone is permitted you drive your car or vehicle, such as a golf cart on the road, and are involved in an accident, your provider would likely be accountable for paying the claim, depending on the policy’s coverage. The claim would go on your record and affect your auto insurance rate in the coming years.

Many factors might come into play when determining who auto insurance claims apply when other people drive your vehicle and get into an accident, like your friend's insurance company and the car accident lawsuit.

How Does Auto Insurance Cover Other Drivers or Additional Drivers?

Your insurance would be regarded as the primary insurance in various states when someone else ruins or breaks your vehicle. The coverage you have opted for on the policy would help cover the vehicle damages and injuries the driver caused.

Therefore, if someone else uses your car, the person driving is at fault for the accident; here is how the car insurance company policy coverage might assist and reflect on your insurance record depending on state's laws:

Car or Auto Liability Coverage: Auto liability coverage might assist in disbursing another person's hospital bills or wrecked vehicle due to the accident. The vehicle liability coverage wouldn’t be for someone else’s hospital bills or repairs to your car.

Collision Coverage: Once you have this coverage, it might assist you in paying for vehicle repairs. Remember that you will need to pay the deductible first. This deductible is the amount you are accountable to pay before car insurance kicks in.

Also, it is a brilliant idea to know some exceptions about how your car insurance might work. First and foremost, you should not just assume your car insurance will cover the accident and any damage. For instance, some rules and regulations do not cover relatives residing in your home unless they're explicitly included in your insurance policy. Other insurance laws or policies might offer coverage, however, on a limited basis. Secondly, once the driver of your car is not found responsible for the accident, you might need to fret about your car policy taking a hit. This is simply because the driver’s insurance at fault might be for your friend's medical expenses and vehicle repair services.

Always keep in mind that the state’s laws differ; therefore, it is vital to read the policy carefully to know what is and is not covered. If you have concerns or questions about what car insurances cover and how it assists in keeping others safe, ask the agent to help clarify.

Permissive and Non-Permissive Use

If another person gets involved in an accident using your car, it might depend on when you allowed them to use it. This is called permissive or non-permissive.

Permissive Use: Some auto insurance policies will shoulder drivers you have included on the policy or anyone you offer permission to drive your car. So, meaning your car insurance tends to cover another driver in case of an accident provided that they have consented to use your automobile. Keep in mind that some states might give reduced coverage if another person uses your vehicle.

Non-Permissive Use: A family member or a friend takes your car without your permission to drive; you might not be held responsible for any harm if an accident happens. For instance, if your friend borrows your car without your consent and causes an accident, your friend's insurance might be regarded as primary coverage. However, it doesn't have a car policy; still, you might need to file a claim with your insurance companies to cover the accident. Be sure to read the policy terms and conditions or discuss with the agent to know what is covered in the state.

Can Driver’s Insurance Be Involved

If your insurance provider shoulders the other driver's accident, you might discover that there are additional issues. For example, what if the accident caused broad damage or injuries, and the expense of the claim maxes out the perimeters- the highest amount the insurer will reimburse to a covered claim.

So, in this event, your friend's auto insurance policy might be tapped to assist in covering the outstanding expenses. Therefore, if your brother, friend, or sister causes a mishap that leads to $20,000 in car damage and the policy's property injure limit caps out at $15,000, the policy might be tapped to reimburse the $5,000 difference. Remember, this is assuming the one driving your car is not insured.

Also, it is likely that, even if the policy limits are high to cover a driver’s insurance claim, your auto insurance provider might seek payment from the driver’s insurance. Most insurance companies may take the whole accident claim and then reach out to a friend's insurance provider to recover some expenses. Whether this takes place will likely rely on the terms and conditions of your policy and state rules and regulations.

Things to consider with car insurance

Things That Drivers Without a Car or Auto Insurance Provider Should Consider

If you have a driver’s license and do not own a car, you likely do not need lasting auto insurance coverage. However, what must you do if you want to borrow someone else's car temporarily? Here are the things you have to consider:

The registered owner’s insurance policy might assist the policy if you are involved in an accident.

You might be accountable for specific kinds of damage; it all depends on the insurance coverage the owner of the vehicle includes. For example, if the policy does not have crash coverage, you might need to pay for repairs to their car when you cause a mishap.

You might be accountable for additional costs beyond the policy limits on the car owner’s insurance policy. It is your responsibility to pay any damage.

Confirm Your Car Insurance Company Before Allowing Someone to Drive or Use Your Vehicle

Keep in mind; different car insurance company providers might have diverse restrictions or limitations; therefore, it is advisable to check in with the insurance agent before allowing your friend to use your car.

Also, you can check out what your car insurance covers to make sure you are secured from the unforeseen. If you plan to lend your car to your family member or friend or borrow one from your parent, keep in mind that it is a smart idea first to assess both of your car insurance coverages. You can stay in touch with the local agent for your concerns and inquiries about your auto policy before deciding whether lending your car makes sense to you.


Will My Rate Increase if Someone Got a Speeding Ticket While Using My Car?

Usually, the speeding ticket follows the driver and not your vehicle. Therefore, if you used your friend’s car or vice versa and got a speeding ticket, it would be recorded on their driver's record, and your good driving record will not be affected. But, if the driver is listed on your insurance policy gets a ticket, sad to say, it can cause an increase in your insurance premium. You can search online if you want to know about rates.

What if My Son Drives My Vehicle Without Insurance?

If he is living at home, you must be sure to include him as a driver on the policy. If he is not and gets into a mishap, you run the risk of him not being covered. The agent can add your son to your current policy, so there is no need to worry about whether he is covered or not. Even if insurance follows the car, members of the family who use your vehicle regularly must be listed on your policy to ensure maximum secondary coverage. It is also vital to include their personal information and driving background.

Can an Insured Driver Drive Another Car?

Insurance that follows the driver will generally be restricted to some type of liability coverage. If insured drivers drive your car or rental car, dealership loaners are typically covered for insurance.

What if my friend driving my car is involved in an accident that was not their fault?

Suppose you allow your buddy to take your car to the store. You receive an emergency call from them telling you that they got into an accident, but luckily it was not their fault. In this event, it typically would be your policy or theirs that takes the hit- it is the driver responsible would pay for any injuries or damages obtained. You will file claims with the driver’s insurance provider, and yours must not be affected. You can search online for advice and more details about an insurance policy.

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