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AIBU - Friend borrowing car

(228 Posts)
PinkCosmos Wed 21-Apr-21 16:25:32

At present we have a 'spare' car. We are friendly with a couple who had two cars but chose to get rid of one of them. This was OK until the H started working shifts and weekends.

Since then the wife has been asking to borrow our spare car on a regular basis - to go shopping, to go to the doctors etc.

She always asks my husband if she can borrow it as he is soft and never says no

I probably would also be too soft to say no if she asked me.

However, I am finding it a bit annoying that we are, in effect, providing her with a free car whilst we pay road tax and insurance.

Her husband is adamant that they are not getting another car.

I don't want to fall out with them as they are good friends and we have helped one another out in the past.

However, this has been going on for a couple of months now and I think she is being a bit cheeky.

How do I handle this without falling out with her.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 21-Apr-21 16:28:38

Difficult but after two months I would have to say sorry but no , maybe give the Insurance Company as the reason?

Mouseybrown60 Wed 21-Apr-21 16:29:04

Just wondering whether she paid for herself to be insured to drive your vehicle. It does sound like she is taking advantage of you.

GagaJo Wed 21-Apr-21 16:30:06

Have a ready excuse available.

Oh, so sorry. I am using it then.

No, sorry. It is going in for a service.

Oh, inconvenient, I'm off to see the grandchildren in it.

On and on. Just keep putting her off and then she'll eventually stop asking.

nadateturbe Wed 21-Apr-21 16:34:53

I can't believe someone would be this cheeky. I wonder could you maybe say you're trying to keep the mileage low as the cost of insurance is linked to the mileage. (Ours is). So you would rather not lend it any longer. If she drives it regularly I'm pretty sure she would need to be added to your insurance anyway.

Grandmabatty Wed 21-Apr-21 16:37:25

I would be unhappy with this. There will be wear and tear, tax, petrol and insurance. Does she give you anything towards those costs? However it sounds like you need to get your husband on side if he's agreeing. Why does he let her have the car? Does he ask you if you need it before offering the car to her? Tell him the free use is over and he has to say no. Like others have said, tell her you're going to use it.

PinkCosmos Wed 21-Apr-21 16:42:54


I would be unhappy with this. There will be wear and tear, tax, petrol and insurance. Does she give you anything towards those costs? However it sounds like you need to get your husband on side if he's agreeing. Why does he let her have the car? Does he ask you if you need it before offering the car to her? Tell him the free use is over and he has to say no. Like others have said, tell her you're going to use it.

It's a spare car. It was my sons. He got a new car but we kept his old one.

Sarnia Wed 21-Apr-21 16:47:31

If nobody uses the spare car, can't your son sell it? That would stop her.

Shandy57 Wed 21-Apr-21 16:48:42

Why do people abuse other people's kindness in this way, give them an inch and they take a mile. Once or twice as a favour I'd understand, but she is now expecting it on a whim. I'd tell her you can't lend it to her any longer as you are putting it up for sale.

AGAA4 Wed 21-Apr-21 16:50:16

Do you really need the spare car? Can you sell it or give it to a young relative? This would solve the problem as your friend is taking advantage of you.

BlueBelle Wed 21-Apr-21 16:52:31

I shouldn’t really reply as I ve never owned a car but apart from an emergency I would not be loaning an expensive item like a car on a regular r basis to anyone
It’s much harder to stop something once it’s got into a habit and an expectation, you have been too accommodating

Sara1954 Wed 21-Apr-21 16:54:43

I would sell the spare car, or give it back to your son. If you haven’t got it, she can’t borrow it.

Callistemon Wed 21-Apr-21 16:56:12

I'd sell it on behalf of your son and give him the money.

It will be worth nothing if she is uninsured on it and has an accident - and would you be liable?

NotTooOld Wed 21-Apr-21 16:57:31

What a cheek - and why should you/your son feel obliged to sell it to stop her asking to borrow it? My insurance is also linked to the mileage so I would tell her she can no longer borrow it for that reason - it is putting too many miles on the clock and you do not wish your insurance premium to be increased. Honestly, some people. I had a similar problem years ago when I was teaching. The parent of a new student asked me to give him (the student) a lift to college every day. I refused on the grounds that my insurance was not for business use but really I just valued that quiet time to myself on my drive to work. I felt dreadful but was glad I had stood up for myself. Incidentally, there was a bus from the village that the student could have caught and I think he did in the end.

Elegran Wed 21-Apr-21 16:58:53

Offer to sell it to HER at market price. If she needs it so often, she would be better buying it and having it parked at her own house (and insured, taxed, MOTed, maintained and filled with petrol by her)

Nannarose Wed 21-Apr-21 17:03:02

Have you checked the insurance? If you insure a car for another person, there are sometimes conditions in the small print about what constitutes 'occasional use'.
If she is driving on her 'own insurance' you may find it isn't full cover - I would ask her to check.

I would also consider ( adding to GagaJo's idea) something like 'we don't want to get rid of the car, but we do need to keep costs down, so it's only insured for the 2 of us'.

Another one would be 'I'm a bit unhappy about the clutch / brake / overhead gasket and I'm trying to book it to be looked at'. You could then add that 'if it turns out to be a big repair, we'll be getting rid of it'.

I assume that you are actually in the middle of a marital disagreement - she really wants a car, and her husband doesn't see why! Does he know she borrows it this often?

Spidergran3 Wed 21-Apr-21 17:22:39

I’ve often leant my car to friends on leave in the UK and neighbours in a dire emergency. I’m pretty sure the insurance is the issue here. Unless she has full comprehensive insurance I think you would need to have her added to your insurance as she is using your car on such a regular basis. I would certainly get it checked out with your insurance company. And yes, as others have said she’s being a bit cheeky!

Kali2 Wed 21-Apr-21 17:26:18

What about Insurance- is it insured for 3rd party? And fully comp? Will she agree to pay if it has to be repaired or replaced.

Sorry, but NO.

MagicWand Wed 21-Apr-21 17:40:26

If you're not using it at all but still want to keep it for some reason, why don't you SORN it? That way it's off the road and no-one would be able to use it.

Does she fill it up with petrol? Contribute to the running costs in any way? Offer to do your shopping for you while she uses it to do hers? Repay the favour by buying you flowers, wine, chocs, etc? If not I know what I'd be doing!

Although I think Elegran's idea is a good one too unless you really feel you need the expense of a spare car you don't use.

simtib Wed 21-Apr-21 17:48:39

Mine is off the road at the moment being repaired. Can I borrow it please.

My neighbour has three cars but I have not asked to borrow the spare one and I am using my bike instead.

EllanVannin Wed 21-Apr-21 17:50:06

I can't stand those who take advantage of someone's good nature.

welbeck Wed 21-Apr-21 17:57:32

if it is really spare then SORN it, or sell it, or give to a relative.
and/or ring your insurance and say a neighbour has asked to use it occasionally, what would the insurance situation be.
then use that information to tell her it is not possible.
i would never let a anyone except v close relative, whose driving i know is excellent, and demeanor calm careful, drive my car.
what if there was an incident, or parking penalty, bus lane etc.
this is a classic case of cheeky pluckery.

Grannynannywanny Wed 21-Apr-21 18:02:02

If she’s driving your car and not insured for it then she’s breaking the law. The police come down heavily on uninsured drivers if they are involved in an accident.

If she is insured to drive another car on their own policy it’s likely to be only third party insurance. So any damage caused to your car while she’s driving it won’t be covered.

I’m leaving my car at my daughter’s next month while I’m away for a couple of days. I intend to phone my insurance company and add my son in law to my policy for a week so he can drive it. He would be insured to drive it with third party insurance under their own insurance policy. But I wouldn’t have peace of mind in case anything happened to my car. Even minor damage runs up a large garage bill.

Spinnaker Wed 21-Apr-21 18:10:02

Just say no.

If they fall out over it then they're not worth having as "friends "

Grandmabatty Wed 21-Apr-21 18:11:37

Was there a reason you kept your son's old car? It must cost you for the mot etc. I would have sold it like someone else suggested to save you the hassle!