Cars for sitters

In Germany we don’t have it anymore, but older people still might. My mother had to take a few driving lessons, because she wanted to purchase a non-automatic car and her license didn’t allow it. Nowadays this is included in the driving lessons so there’s no distinction anymore.

Correct @Katie in that there isn’t a distinction in Canada. Also, @Crookie there was a conversation on another post a while ago about your point #5 (automatic or manual transmission) and it was determined that in the UK they do not apply this distinction to visitors.

For those who are travelling to the UK and driving there, I’ll add a link that some may find helpful:

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Hi @Snowbird,
(Number 5)my mistake about the automatic/gear question, it is still a requirement for UK drivers.
Both our cars are automatic but if I had a car with gears, I may feel a little wary about lending it to a non uk driver who had never driven one before. Not only could they be dealing with driving on the left, which for some is the opposite side and new or different road signs, they would also have to negotiate gears and a clutch.

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@Sally1959 That’s exactly how l feel about driving in Europe! I was fine driving an auto in the US, all
I had to concentrate on was driving on the right, but throw in driving a manual and especially winter when I usually travel - my blood pressure couldn’t handle it lol. I’d probably be okay doing a short trip on a quiet country road to start with! Even before hire prices went up an auto in Europe is about 4 times as expensive….if you can get one!

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Hi @Sally1959 I totally understand and agree with how you feel about wanting to know the driving experience of anyone who might use your vehicle. It’s a point I’ve mentioned in posts before. I think it’s important that questions be asked about all equipment, and not just cars, although that is the topic here.

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Hi @Snowbird, thats a good point about other equipment, our kitchen could be a minefield😜
I shall have a good search in the forum. :blush:

A flight (ok, 4 to be specific) & car rental from NZ to :canada: are the same price :scream:…I’m trying to do back to back sits & some airbnb to avoid a budget blowout.

Some great sits in the Eastern US in Oct but def need vehicles for them.

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And in the US it’s just the opposite, most cars, especially newer ones, are automatic. Sitters could use my car but it’s manual transmission. Younger folks don’t even think to ask about that. Thankfully I live in a city with good public transportation.

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I am going to ask 2 questions directed at homeowners. I’m not expanding on them because I don’t want to influence the answers at this point.
Question 1: Why do you add ‘sitter needs a car’ in your listing?
Question 2: Would you consider accepting a sitter who does not wish to use a car?

Some sits are isolated and may not have regular/reliable transit. The home owner is letting you know that in order to get groceries or reach other amenities, you will likely need a vehicle or use a taxi service. They are assuming it’s too far to walk for the average person.

Obviously this can be somewhat subjective, so it could be something a sitter might ask about if they think they might be able to manage without a car.

I think the only time a home owner would choose not to accept a sitter without a car, is if they are concerned that there is no other option for getting their pet to vet. Many taxis will not allow animals.

I should note, I am a sitter, not a home owner, but if you do a search, you’ll find this has been discussed in a number of other threads.

Hello @Youngj105 and welcome to the forum. As well as the responses before you in this post, you might want to also look at Car needed?, which is in the sitter question section.

Each time a sitter asks this question of homeowners, it hopefully makes them pause for thought on this point, as each tag added limits their reach to what might otherwise be suitable sitters.

I am a sitter and HO here.

  1. I don’t put 'sitter needs a car" on my listing because I have grocery store, coffee shops, restaurants, etc a few blocks from the house. I live in a large US city with poor public transport, but there is a bus stop a few yards away. A car would make it much easier, but is not essential.

  2. Yes, but I just have one healthy cat. It would be easy to get Lyft to my vet in the unlikely event that he needed a vet.

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Thanks for your reply. I think the most important point you make is, ‘They are assumming’.
I found the other questions and answers on the forum about this so I’m having a read.

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I would put “car needed” if I had a listing. I live in the suburbs of a mid-size city. The nearest major grocery store is about 7km away although there is a small (expensive) shop about 3 km away. There is a bus that goes by near the house and if you plan things properly, you can get to the big grocery store and back. It leaves every hour most days and has one change, so it takes about an hour to get there and an hour to get back.

We have a beautiful lake (3+ km walk down a steep hill) and tons of beautiful parks and hikes (many inaccessible without a car). There is nothing to do in my neighbourhood so if you didn’t have a car, you would see very little of our beautiful city unless you spent a lot of money on taxis. We don’t have Lyft or Uber. Our saving grace is that once you are down the hill, you can rent an e-bike (also pricey) and ride it around, or even ride it home. But you wouldn’t be able to have a dog with you obviously.

SO - you don’t NEED a car where I live, but I personally wouldn’t want to do the the sit if I didn’t have any easy way to get out of the neighbourhood.

Home owners base the clicking of “Needs a car” on their own experience and needs. Savvy sitters who are used to getting around without wheels, normally ask the home owner to elaborate on it during their interview to see if it might work for them anyway.

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Good morning!
With the soaring cost of rental cars (if you can even find one) and airfare, we are now applying only to sits that include a car. In addition we are now limited to lowcost air carriers because of the exorbiant fares. We are lucky to have Allegiant nearby but the destinations are limited.
We are in the midwest but I like sits on the west coast because I grew up there. A recent check of airfare from St. Louis to Seattle was $1400 R/T! Normally it would be less that $500.
So with that said, a suggestion to HOs who are having problems booking a sitter is to include a car in their listings.

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@MissChef - You can search for listings that way,. It is one of the filters you can select.

Okay! Clearly time for more coffee for me. I’ll delete my entry if you’ll delete yours :slight_smile: I haven’t gone anywhere besides about 5 hours from my house, and I’ve always driven… But I thought that was something people were complaining about before?

Not new to TrustedHousesitters but the first time I’ve included my car in the deal. Unfortunately, damage occurred and I contacted TH about the Contents/Damage reimbursement and cars are apparently not included. I do want to include my car again as I feel it makes our sit that much more attractive but not if minor damage will cost me out of pocket. Yes, my car insurance covers this damage but it will also result in a skyrocket increase in my premium.

Does anybody have a “car contract” they can share? I have been doing home exchanging for years and we often use a “Letter of Confirmation” to confirm all the things we have agreed to, how to handle minor damage, etc. I assume the same exists within this community related to cars…which I guess you are on your own about.

Would love to hear others experience with a car agreement, how you handled any damage, gas, etc. Thanks in advance!

@huttpl Hi there, not sure how these forums work, my post was deleted and moved into this thread so I’m not sure if I’ll get any answers. With that said, you are in the US… do you have an example “car contract” you are asked to agree to when doing a sit that includes a car? For the first time, we included our car and it was damaged. THS doesn’t provide any support or help for car damage and so if I want to keep offering my car (because it’s helpful and because rentals are so expensive right now), I need ot figure out how to do this more effectively. Yes, I already contacted my insurance company so know they were fine with the sitter using it…but the damage incurred will be more than $1,000 and if I claim it, my rates will skyrocket. So trying to find a happy medium.

@Els I think car insurance varies wildly country by country. You mention not being willing to split costs, but if you damaged a car as part of a sit, what do you feel is reasonable as your share? I’m grappling with this right now…can’t do anything other than fix my damaged car (I do not expect my sitter to pay anything because I should have had a better plan going into loaning my car. I did check with my insurance company and the car is covered but my rates will go up if I claim the damage). I want to offer my car again but have now learned that THS do not provide any support to damaged cars… you are on your own. I am now seeking to include a “car contract” for potential sitters and am curious to know what sitters would consider fair. I want to offer my car but won’t be able to if I am potentially taking on the liability of thousands of dollars to fix/increase my premiums if a problem happens again.