Cars for sitters

Hi @fyfie, I expect the third party insurance would be applicable to a lot of drivers, it’s just about covering the likelihood of an at fault accident or similar. I’m sure any sitter would be mortified if they were driving an HO’s car and had an accident and that’s what I don’t want for anyone. I suppose in an ideal world a sitter who can drive here would be the best outcome, I’ll just have to wait and see. We are remote, no train stations within 7 miles and although the bus stop is very close the journeys could be tedious and very long winded.

Knowmad - Michigan has always had some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country, partly because it was a requirement that you carried unlimited medical coverage as part of the car insurance. That’s changed recently but rates are still pretty high compared to other areas of the country.

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We used a sitter’s car once when we were on a sit in the US but drove very little, and then mainly to take the dog to the dog park.

Most of our sits are in UK and France and we always rent a car because we do travelling in between sits and we also like to go for drives in the country as well - as much as we like walking, we don’t like being stuck for an entire week and have to stay within a range of a few miles. Also, we often sit in the country side or very small villages so there is very little transit.

We used a home owner’s car once in the UK and they were able to get some kind of insurance coverage. It was their request because they had 4 big dogs that we wouldn’t be able to put in our small rental car so they paid for it. We only used their car for that purpose and avoided it for anything else, mainly because if anything happened to a car we were driving, we’d much rather deal with a rental company than have to mess up the lives of our home owner.

That being said, we are in the process of planning a trip to the UK for a month in May/June and the cost of rental cars has doubled since we were last there in 2019. None of the sits we’ve looked at have a car offered and the cost of rail etc isn’t much cheaper so we will just bite the bullet and fork out $2000 for a rental car I guess.

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@Sally1959 I can appreciate your position. I think much would depend on the length of time of the sit. I’ve seen a practical suggestion on the forum to offer to pick the sitters up from a transit system and take them back, as well as take them to do a shop to stock up on supplies. Some sitters are then happy to be cocooned at home.

It does raise the issue of what they would do in an emergency, but if you have someone close by who could be that emergency helper, that might work too. Much can depend on what you can arrange to bridge the gap of not having a vehicle. Otherwise, you may be restricted to those who have access to a vehicle, whether it’s owned or rented.

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I don’t know about MI, but I suggest you speak to the insurance company directly. This agent doesn’t sound knowledgeable.

A sitter doesn’t have to own a vehicle to maintain 3rd-party liability etc. I had a non-owner’s policy for a few years when I was in between cars. As someone else said, your car has its own insurance for damage. The driver has (should have) insurance for liability and his/her/their own medical/injury.

Good idea. I’ll call the insurance company.

I don’t drive anymore I keep getting requests to house sit where a car is needed can I put this on my profile anywhere.

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Hi @Genevere … I would put it as a note at the top of your profile, but maybe with an explanation that you are confident using local public transport (if you are :slight_smile: ) to counter thoughts about how you will get about or deal with a pet emergency.

If you still get requests it’s likely owners are not reading the profile before contacting you, so the only other way would to be to add something like (non-driver) into your “title”. My concern there would be some might exclude you without understanding how you get around with alternative transport.

Might be a case of trying different ways to see which works best.

There isn’t a separate tick box for non-drivers.

Hope that helps and let’s see if anyone else comes up with a better solution.

@snowbird, thank you, we would gladly collect a sitter/s from the train station or airport. We’re within driving distance of Gatwick, Heathrow, Southend and London city so lots of options. I have family nearby. As we’re not travelling until 20th June and only for two weeks I feel its early to list but any advice would be welcome, I think it’s a good idea to attach my listing to my forum name so it could be checked.

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Hi Kelownagurl, perhaps I better get my sit listed, you may already be in England😉

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Hi Sally1959
oh yes the thought of having an accident in someone else’s car is scary.
I have put checking with my insurer to see if it is only 3rd party cover. :smile:
Its not easy to tell from the blurb and the certificate. That’s insurance for ye.
enjoy your day.

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We were housesitting in London where the HO tried to add us to her insurance. She had previously done it successfully, but this time the insurance company refused because we had a US driving license. They would only add UK drivers to the policy.

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I might be a bit worried as you’re so used to driving on the right :wink:

They didn’t ask if we had experience driving on the left. We could have told them we have driven over a year on our many housesits. We have used others cars and rented, both with no problems. Driving on the left is really not as big a problem as folks think it is. :upside_down_face:

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When we travel abroad and we are planning on driving we always get an International Driving permit from AAA. The permit costs only $20 and it is valid for 150 countries.

https://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpf.html

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We are both home owners and pet sitters. We provide a car for our pet sitters. Our insurance covers them without any additional cost. We accepted a couple of pet sits without cars in the beginning before we knew better. We spent too much on rental cars while providing a true service to home/pet owners. We will no longer take sits without use of a car unless it is in a very urban city where public transportation is plentiful like New York.

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I saw a few sits yesterday for places in my area. They had ticked “car needed” when that’s just not the case. I think some HOs think they’re just saying that they’re not supplying use of a vehicle.

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How about having a swop club for international sitters? We will have a car in US from April but every time we go back to the UK (UK citizens) we have to hire a car and find somewhere to park our US car. It’s turning out very expensive.
We have to return on Sunday unexpectedly and will be there for 6 weeks and it’s working out very expensive. In fact it’s cheaper to buy a little run a round, tax and insure it and sell it again in 6 weeks! In October, November we will be away for at least two months. We would quite happily swop with sitters for the time.

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@ElsieDownie interesting concept, in theory. I’m
guessing logistics would be a tough hurdle to overcome. We are storing a car back in the US, and have decided we will not be driving oversees for any extended period of time. We love the idea of NOT driving for the summer months.

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Idea in theory is good and as you point out there are many hurdles to cross. But I’m sure determined people, as most of us are, could overcome them.