When you’re not the registered owner of a car that you’re driving, there are some risks involved for the legal owner of the vehicle.
Driving Someone Else’s Vehicle and Auto Insurance
It’s fine to drive someone else’s car, even regularly, since you don’t have to be the registered owner to drive it. However, some things can get tricky with insurance coverage in the event of an accident.
In a lot of cases, auto insurance is tied to the vehicle itself, not the driver. What this means is that if you drive someone else’s car regularly (with permission) and were to get into an accident, the owner of the vehicle would be impacted if they hold the insurance.
The owner of the car and policy holder of the auto insurance is the one that’s going to need to file the claim, face increased rates, and pay for any deductibles.
The driver’s insurance should extend to anyone else that drives that vehicle and anyone listed as a driver. However, if you drive someone else’s car regularly, say your grandmother's vehicle, you could be the one carrying and paying the insurance.
Most insurance companies allow someone other than the legal owner of the car to carry insurance, but check with your provider and state’s laws to be sure.
No-Fault Car Insurance States
Keep in mind that states vary in their laws regarding accidents and insurance. Twelve states are “no-fault” states, meaning that their insurance coverage must include personal injury projection (PIP), and their insurance covers their own injuries and damage, regardless of who’s at fault in the accident.
So, if you live in a no-fault state, and you’re in an accident while driving someone else’s vehicle, the owner’s insurance policy is going to be billed – even if the accident wasn’t your fault.
What if We Both Have Auto Insurance?
If you have your own auto insurance policy, but you’re in an accident in someone else’s vehicle, the owner’s car insurance is used for claims and damages first. Your policy would likely act as secondary coverage, and possibly be used to cover any remaining damages not covered by the owner’s insurance policy.
What if I Get a Ticket in Someone Else’s Car?
Typically, the owner of the vehicle won’t be impacted – traffic tickets are tied to the driver, not the car. So, if you get a ticket while driving someone else’s vehicle, it would be listed under your driver’s license.
If you have your own auto insurance and you get a ticket in your grandmother’s car, your insurance premiums could increase. Check with your state and your insurance company’s policies to learn what may happen if you get a ticket while driving someone else's vehicle.
Ready to Get Your Own Vehicle?
If you’ve been driving someone else’s car and you’re ready to get your own, start with us at Auto Credit Express.
Borrowers with less than perfect credit sometimes feel like they can’t get approved for an auto loan, but there are lenders for all types of credit situations. Special finance dealerships are signed up with bad credit car lenders who look at more than just credit scores and reports, and we can match you with a dealer near you who has these resources.
Start right now by filling out our free auto loan request form, and we’ll look for a dealership in your area that has the bad credit lending options you need to start your car buying journey.