Cars for sitters

Hello Sally
We’ve been sitting for 4 years now and when we apply for a remote sit, we tend to prefer if it comes with a car facility as we travel with our motorhome and it’s not always easy to go to the village or walks area and find parking. We did a few with a car included and the HO never mentioned trouble with their insurance. As a matter of fact, only one HO asked for our driving licence details over 4 we did with a car included… So not sure they even mentioned it to the insurance?

I suspect it depends on the country you’re from and the country you’re travelling to. We have used the HO’s car in the UK and the US and they both took care of the insurance end for us.

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Hi @Virginief68
I don’t know where you are, but in the Uk to add a driver is easy to do, but they ask all sorts of questions. It seems if you were over 70 here they don’t like it as, when you reach 70 here you have to get a new license. I can insure people on our insurance I just need to ask questions. I don’t want to put people off, sadly it’s the only way I can add an additional driver temporarily

We had use of a car twice in the UK, once we had to answer questions and once without. Honestly I wouldn’t worry about bothering the sitters with the insurance’s questions. As you’re doing them a favour, I’m sure they’ll happily answer them.

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This is an amazing idea, actually if I saw something like this on a post, I would be more open to apply to some remote locations. I’m one of those that would be completed fine cocooned.

Another suggestion, is if they had home delivery available for groceries/food. I know in the US, there are some more remote locations, that are still able to get these things, and it helps a lot. This would be something I would ask in the first chat prior to accepting.

As for the topic at hand, I have done House sits, with and without the use of the car, however in the US, and some insurance companies here like mine, will cover drivers over the age of 25 in my car without the need to add them to it. So the ones I have used were similar, and covered me. I have reached out to my insurance to see about adding on the “Use of Nonowned cars” Which would cover me in other people’s cars, and I asked if it would work overseas. I should hear something early next week from them about it. (I’m currently sailing with work, so unable to make phone calls.)

So as for using someone’s car over seas, I would be willing to use it for the same needs before, for getting food, and if I had to use it to take Fur-children somewhere like a dog park or Appointments. Otherwise once I was settled I wouldn’t use it much unless I had too. Like other’s have said, I would be so scared something would happen to it. Even if it wasn’t my fault, I would feel horrible about it. Sometimes even if not used, just knowing the option is there, can be a piece of mind, specially for older pets, or emergencies.

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I’ve noticed that too, and thought that might be the case, however because there is a chance it is correct, I normally would not apply, as I don’t want to waste the HO’s time.

There are many sits that we would love to do however they are in the country and we do not own a car. It is extremely hard to be able to grocery shop let alone an emergency happen while we are there. With the price of rentals now we wouldn’t even think of renting since it wouldn’t make sense and could not take any animals in the rental. We have a sit coming up in April where it is the first time we have been offered a car since they have 2 large dogs. We do not have auto insurance but will buy a policy to cover us for this sit.

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Smiley - not just driving on the other side but shifting with tour left arm. So many UK cars are manual. And if you rent, an auto trans can increase the price by a third or more.

I’ve been a nomadic sitter for 4 years. I sold/rid off almost all my possessions but kept my car - was very handy during the pandemic when I was limited to sits in the States. Before leaving for a long distance sits in the country and then onto Europe, I sold my car.
I had applied for a sit in Taos that stated that sitters need a car and indeed you do! But based on my credentials and reviews, the owner allowed me to use their car for the 3 weeks. I offered to provide a photo of my DL, but they said for short term, I do not need to be listed for insurance as their is a “guest” policy. This was also true for another sit in Seattle when the owners wanted me to drive their hybrid car to keep the battery from dying. I filled up the tank before leaving.
I would only hire a car if I really wanted the sit - like in a dream destination.

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@Sally1959
Great question. At a sit I am doing in May I have been offered the use of their car. They will add me to their insurance. They live in the countryside and there are no nearby shops or public transport. I would be happy to share or even pay the insurance cost and will put fuel in to replace what I use. Hiring a car is usually not an option as I’d be paying for it to sit in the driveway 3 out if 4 days. So being offered the use of a car is a big plus if shops or transport to get to them is not very nearby.

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I am a sitter, if I needed a car I would rent it my self. A bus once every hour would do fine with me.

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As a new sitter I was wondering about this. We have a long sit with sitter booked in November (6 weeks) and I would like to offer our car but wasn’t sure about the logistics. Like they are from New Zealand, so would they be able to drive in UK?

@Sam Hello and welcome to the forum. It’s always best to first contact your insurance carrier/agent and get more particulars about your policy. Then they can give you full particulars of what’s needed. Every policy, company, and country is different. At least you’ll know they drive on the same side of the road as you, which is a bonus. :slightly_smiling_face:

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They can get an international drivers licence at their local AA transport/travel centre. Super easy to get & valid just about anywhere you can go.

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Hi @Sam , I’m in the uk, I spoke to my insurer (admiral) they will Insure, you just need to get all the information from them, history, type of license etc. the only problem Lang be if they’re 70+

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It’s always handy to have an International Driver’s Licence, but truthfully, we’ve never had to show ours at any rental company - not in UK, France, or Italy anyway.

We always update ours regardless since it’s only $25 to do so here, but I think the main purpose is for people in countries whose licence doesn’t use the standard English alphabet.

Some interesting info here:

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Thanks @RunnerC and @Kelownagurl for the timely reminder about an International Driver’s Permit (IDP). We will be in the UK and Europe for 6 months from Dec 2022 and didn’t think about this despite some HOs offering us use of their cars :man_facepalming: It’s now on the to do list!

For travellers from Australia here is some handy info from the Australian Automobile Association

Love this forum for the very useful info and caring support from the members. Thanks yet again. :blush: Jenny

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I think they will be able to. I’m from the UK and was able to drive in NZ and Oz on my UK driving licence, there was no need to obtain an international driving licence. The houseowners who left me a car to use (all of them bar one) just added me to their insurance. I also hired cars in both countries with no hassle

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Ah that’s great to know. Il get my husband to phone his insurance company and check it out.

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@ Katie
I think this terminology needs to be changed to make it clear that “Sitter needs a car” means no car included.
Maybe HO could give a little more information on availability of public transport and if the sit is possible without use of a car especially with fuel costs as they are at present.

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