You love your classic car, and there’s a good chance your friends and family do too. Some of them may have even helped you restore the old vehicle to working condition when you first brought it home.

However, working on and admiring a classic car is much different from driving it. After all the time and money, you have invested into restoration and care, it can be hard to know what to say if a friend asks to borrow your classic car. Here are some essential things to keep in mind if you consider lending your vehicle.

Will My Insurance Cover Someone Else Driving My Classic Car?

Before lending your classic car, make sure that you understand insurance responsibilities should your friend get into an accident behind the wheel. Canadian law dictates that guest drivers receive auto insurance coverage from the company insuring the vehicle owner in most cases. Keep the following in mind if you plan on lending your car to a friend without adding that person as a driver to your insurance policy:

  • The guest driver must obtain verbal or written permission from you before driving the car.
  • The law does not permit you to lend your vehicle to the same person multiple times without adding them to your insurance policy.
  • The person who borrows your car must be a licensed driver who can legally drive in the territory or province where both of you live, or your insurance company could refuse to pay any claim your friend incurs.

Ensure that your friend is also aware of these considerations before lending your classic car.

Set Rules Before Lending Your Classic Car

Setting rules about using your car can feel awkward upfront, but it certainly beats ironing out these details after an accident. Here are some key points to discuss before allowing anyone to drive your classic car:

  • Who pays if a tire goes out when your friend is driving the car? Or if a tree branch falls on it while parked?
  • Ask your friend to keep track of fuel used and bring the car back at the same fuel level. They should not drive further than the two of you initially agreed on.
  • Agree to the date and time your friend will return the car.
  • Return the car clean. If you don’t eat, drink, or smoke in your classic car, your friend should expect to follow the same rules.
  • Make sure your friend can safely operate a manual transmission if your classic car comes with one.

You also need to consider what would happen if a friend got into an accident with your car.

Your Friend’s Accident Could Make Your Insurance Rates Go Up

From an insurance company’s viewpoint, it doesn’t matter who drives a car involved in a collision. The claim still costs them money. You should be willing to take on that risk when allowing someone else to drive your car.

The law does not hold you responsible for another person’s moving violations since police ticket the individual driver and not the vehicle. However, you could run into problems if your friend racks up parking tickets while using your classic car and doesn’t pay for them. You will be on the hook for any unpaid parking fines when you attempt to renew your annual license sticker.

You should also consider your friends driving habits. If the person borrowing your car drives more than 50 kilometres over the speed limit, the police can tow your car, and you will need to pay to retrieve it from a local impound lot.

Always make sure your friend knows where you keep insurance and registration information in your car before handing over the keys to your vehicle. You run the risk of having your car impounded if the person driving it cannot produce these documents when requested by a police officer.

Is Lending Your Classic Car Worth the Risk?

Remember that loaning your friend something valuable like a classic car can put a strain on your relationship. No one ever expects anything to go wrong, but unfortunately, they can and do. Ask yourself if allowing your friend to drive the car you have invested so much time, and money into is worth the potential strain or, in a worst-case scenario, the end of the relationship altogether.

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