Want to drive a parent's car for a year. How can I insure it?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
crystalbank
Posts: 205
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:21 am

Want to drive a parent's car for a year. How can I insure it?

Post by crystalbank » Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:52 am

Hi BHers,

We need a bigger car soon and my spouse's parents are traveling for the next year and offered for us to use their car. They're still making payments on the car.
- I wonder if it's possible to register the car under my spouse without selling or changing title?
- If the car continues to be registered to them, can we insure it without being the owner?

My insurance agent suggested that insuring car without being owner is a bit tricky. I figured folks here would chime in.

Thanks!

bloom2708
Posts: 6957
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Want to drive a parent's car for a year. How can I insure it?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:56 am

Buy it from them?

In general, it sounds like a bad idea. What if you damage it? What if you get the interior all dirty? What if you wreck it?

Do they want you to put 15k miles on their "still being paid for" car during the next year?

If the insurance agent says it is tricky, that means it is probably tricky. I would pass and buy a different/used car that fits your needs.
"People want confirmation, not advice" Unknown | "We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you" Unknown | Four words. Whole food, plant based. Bing it.

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 4907
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am
Location: In a house

Re: Want to drive a parent's car for a year. How can I insure it?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:07 am

No, you cannot register a car under your name while someone else owns it.

No, you cannot insure a car that is owned by someone else.

Yes, your in-laws can insure the car with you doing all the driving for the next year, if they touch base with their insurance company and verify coverage.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

Topic Author
crystalbank
Posts: 205
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:21 am

Re: Want to drive a parent's car for a year. How can I insure it?

Post by crystalbank » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:10 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:56 am
Buy it from them?

In general, it sounds like a bad idea. What if you damage it? What if you get the interior all dirty? What if you wreck it?

Do they want you to put 15k miles on their "still being paid for" car during the next year?

If the insurance agent says it is tricky, that means it is probably tricky. I would pass and buy a different/used car that fits your needs.
I'm buying insurance for that reason - if I somehow damage or wreck it. We don't intend to put 15k miles and even if we do they're A-OK with it. But what if I get it dirty? That's when I'm in real trouble with the in-laws!

Topic Author
crystalbank
Posts: 205
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:21 am

Re: Want to drive a parent's car for a year. How can I insure it?

Post by crystalbank » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:11 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:07 am
No, you cannot register a car under your name while someone else owns it.

No, you cannot insure a car that is owned by someone else.

Yes, your in-laws can insure the car with you doing all the driving for the next year, if they touch base with their insurance company and verify coverage.
Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated.

pqwerty
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:54 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Want to drive a parent's car for a year. How can I insure it?

Post by pqwerty » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:23 am

Last year I insured and drove my FIL's car for the year. IIRC I'm pretty sure Progressive's website had a spot where I marked I wasn't the owner and had fill in his information as the owner. Didn't seem to change the price of insurance. I didn't really think much of it at the time and I never made a claim.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 10462
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Want to drive a parent's car for a year. How can I insure it?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:28 am

If you have a good agent, they'll be able to explain how you can have your in laws properly add you to the policy and properly list your place as the place of garaging. They can also explain how you can also insure the car yourself (on top of your in laws, who will have to keep it insured for their loan requirements). I've done both. None of this is rocket science for a competent agent.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 17612
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Want to drive a parent's car for a year. How can I insure it?

Post by Watty » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:54 am

Something else to consider is what you will do if the car needs a $1,000(or more) repair while you are driving it. I think that is at best would be an awkward situation. There can also be other costs like normal maintenance, tires, and car registration that they might expect you to pay for.

There are so many ways that this could end up being a mess that I would likely decline to use it.

Another complication to look at is how that might work with your or their umbrella policy, I don't know how that would work so be sure to ask your insurance companies how that would work.

One risk to consider is that while they are traveling there might be some sort of automatic payment of the insurance premium that does not get processed correctly and you could unknowingly end up without insurance . Be sure that the payments are actually being paid on time.

Post Reply