Cars for sitters

We are generally offered the use of a car at most of our sits. We have never entered into a contract, but have agreed to pay the excess should there be an accident. Luckily we have never had an accident.

i think the car complaint related to whether a car is needed or not. Sitters want to be able to search for “car not needed”. There is also a tendency for HOs to say “sitters need a car” when they are not providing a car, not always because a car really is essential.

It depends on the excess/deductible. For example, if your damage is $1500 and your excess/deductible is $800 (or whatever), we would pay $800 and the balance would be up to you. It’s up to you if you think it’s worth it make a claim and the impact it may have on your rates.

Hi @SilverKim I have a bias as my career was in the legal field. I believe any form of contract (although you phrase it as a letter) is a highly technical area that requires professional expertise. Even then, it has limitations in its ability to be enforceable.

I personally rarely accept use of a vehicle, even when offered, because of the very situation you find yourself in. My saying is ‘life happens’ and I try hard to limit anything that puts either the homeowner or myself in awkward situations. I am not judging anyone who handles things differently.

If you choose to not offer your car, I would spend some time looking to see what is available in your area to see if it is workable to be there without a vehicle. I would also look at the length of the sit, and if it’s not a lengthy one, consider that the sitters may be able to be self-sufficient once they arrive. Then you can consider whether you want to offer to pick up and return sitters within a specified distance. Or, as you say, you may need to limit yourself to those who do have their own vehicle.

This response is my personal opinion only.

@Snowbird Thank you this is really helpful! Not seeking something legally enforceable, more trying to get a sense of what both sides would consider logical and reasonable, and then documenting in the “Letter of Confirmation”. Asking after the fact how somebody would feel about paying potentially a couple thousand bucks to fix damage is uncomfortable and I think laying it out beforehand, to at least get people thinking along the same lines, could be helpful. Really appreciate your response!

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@SilverKim it boils down to what you and your sitter agree upon at the start. Communication is key and laying out expectations is crucial. “Reasonable” is subjective and I would not necessarily be “happy” to pay it but if that’s what I agreed to, then that’s what I would pay. What is reasonable to me may not be reasonable to someone else. If someone has an extremely high deductible, then we would chooses not to use their car. Also, we are always added to homeowner’s insurance as a covered driver.

It’s very kind of you to want to offer the use of a car, but if it going to create stress and anxiety for you then don’t offer it.

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@SilverKim https://eforms.com is a great site to create free legal forms.

This is the best I could find for renting an equipment ( vehicle is included). When creating the template of course customize it based on your location, as laws vary from state to state.

Here is a sample document

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Hi @SilverKim, I think you’re in the USA I’m in England, United kingdom. I think we have a facility here for drivers to take out a temporary insurance on a vehicle they don’t own. (I’ve had to do it on a couple of occasions) That way our insurance is not affected, if the worst happened. Although I have offered use of our car, my first sitter has his own vehicle.
If the damage happened as a result of something the sitter did, that, to me, would be different from purely accidental damage that the sitter was not responsible for. Discussions over money are never easy. I hope you manage to reach a resolve that suits all of you.

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All of this. I live in Seattle and fly back to DC and Philadelphia a few times per year. Domestic airfares have skyrocketed .

Some data on cars and sits in the UK

In July in the UK a hire car will cost us about Aus$1000 / £570 per week (including insurance).

There are over 220 sits available for the (roughly) two week period in late July that we are interested in sitting in the UK.

Of these, seven home owners have explicitly made their car available.

The vast majority of the UK sits for this period have no applicants. :thinking:

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While it would not be mandatory, in your situation I would suggest you provide a 48 hour WEGO pass for the sit. I believe it is not activated until it is first used.

I’m a sitter and was just using my home town as an example of how owners may want to rethink a car being essential, whereas it might instead just be more convenient, or preferred. I don’t have a homeowner membership on THS. :slightly_smiling_face:

Let’s think out the box.
Instead of having worry about your car being damaged, half the rent of a hired car with the sitter. Have a written agreement that if any damage to the hired car or any other vehicle occurs it’s their problem to cover the cost.
At least you are helping them pay for a vehicle.

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@SilverKim To avoid sitters without vehicles not reading your listing, I suggest you delete the tag showing ‘sitters need a car’. Most sitters take that to mean they will need to bring one, whereas you are offering to discuss the use of yours. You have amazing feedback from your previous sitter, so I hope all goes well for you. :slightly_smiling_face:

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@AussieGail When we travel to England from Australia, we use Kendall Cars Ltd, a family run business, who offer a pickup/drop off at Heathrow and take us to one of their branches of our choice. This year we will be in England for just under 15 weeks (mid June - end Sept) and for a small automatic car (including insurance and unlimited miles) the cost will be £2578/$4563 approximately. The cars have either been brand new or only a couple of years old and the service is excellent. This will be the 7th time we have used them. Well worth considering for other international sitters.

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Nice idea. That would help.

Thank you! That’s great advice, I’ll look into it.
We have leased cars previously for longer periods but apparently there are no lease cars until October (according to our agent here). Covid supply chain issues apparently.

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For sitters travelling to the UK I have just found this article on line.

https://www.moneysupermarket.com/car-insurance/non-uk-residents/

It’s dated January 2021 but should still be relevant.
There is a section headed “Can non residents get car insurance in the UK” within that section is a highlighted link, SHORT-TERM CAR INSURANCE, within that link it explains uses for short term cover, one of which is borrowing a car from family or a friend (Any of my sitters will become my friend😊) It may help HO’s and sitters.
The insurance premiums look pretty expensive, but compared to vehicle hire it could work out cheaper.
If the sitter took out personal temporary insurance on an HO’s car and the worst scenario happened, the HO’s insurance would not be affected.
I guess it would all depend on how much a sitter is prepared to pay and whether an HO would share the cost.
I haven’t actually run a quote, so please accept my apologies if it doesn’t provide what you need.

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@ElsieDownie One other way to look at your suggestion is an owner get a cost estimate from a local car rental and offer half that cost to the sitter and just pay them. Not sure in Colorado we could have both of us on the rental agreement. If the sitter hired the car, no paperwork between us would be necessary. I did pick up my sitter in our local metropolitan area (we live in the mountains and it’s a far drive, I didn’t want her to have to take a long bus ride, etc.) when she dropped off her first rental car, and also took her to her next rental car after us. I try and make it as easy as possible for the sitter.

@Snowbird thank you, I changed that. Great suggestion!

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