You were a good friend, and you let your buddy borrow your car. But you just got a text that the cops pulled them over for speeding. “Bummer!” they write… But how does their ticket affect you? What happens to your license and insurance if someone gets a ticket while in your car?
Auto insurance typically follows the car, not the driver. That’s why the vehicle’s owner is responsible for any damages to the car if they lend it out and their friend gets into an accident.
However, a speeding ticket or other violation is directed at the driver, not the car. This means that in most cases you will not be on the hook for their speeding ticket.
Let’s say your friend is driving your car and they get pulled over by a police officer. The officer will run your plates and see who the car is registered to. If the car is registered to you, they’ll likely ask the driver (who has a different name on their ID) why they’re driving your car. When your friend explains that they borrowed your car, the officer will write a ticket directed at the driver—not the vehicle itself. They may also request to speak to you (to make sure that the car isn’t stolen).
This means your friend has to pay the ticket and any applicable points would be on their license. Their insurance rates might increase, but yours shouldn’t.
This is usually the case, but not always. Some states and insurance companies have different policies when it comes to these sorts of situations.
Note: Know your insurance.
It’s important to know what your insurance policy says about lending out your car. If your insurance policy prohibits you from lending your car, your rates could increase if the company finds out you’re lending your car. In some cases, your insurer might even drop your coverage if you’ve broken part of their policy.
If your friend gets a speeding ticket, your insurer could find out. So make sure you know your policy’s rules and regulations with regards to lending to other drivers.
Not sure what your policy says? Talk to an insurance agent to learn more.
Getting a parking ticket is actually different than a speeding ticket. When an officer writes a parking violation, they don’t know who was driving the car—they just know the car that is part of the violation. There’s no way to prove that your friend parked your car as opposed to you.
In this case, responsibility usually falls to the owner of the vehicle. The owner of the car would be on the hook to pay for the ticket, and it could potentially impact insurance rates and premiums as well.
However, if you and your friend agree that it was their fault, you can fill out a form called a “statutory declaration” where both parties agree to responsibility. You’ll sign a contract that reports who was responsible for the violation. This can help keep violations off of your license, especially as some parking violations can impact your insurance rates.
Speeding tickets follow the driver. Parking tickets follow the vehicle.
If you’re lending out your car, make sure that your insurance company allows lending and that you come to an agreement with the driver about any potential tickets or violations. It’s best to have the conversation before they get in the car, so you have an idea of where responsibility stands.