In the USA get a copy of the sitter’s drivers license to submit to your auto insurance for additional insured driver(s).
Gosh that’s sounds bad, @EASTBAYCA, and also I hope extremely unusual. You were generous and trusting, so I don’t blame you for feeling that way. Especially as they had already sat for you before.
As a sitter (guest) I would never dream of doing that. I tend to be overly conscientious the other way!
I am sure that most guests/sitters would not take such terrible advantage. So it feels a shame to let that dictate your future decisions.
I hope you stated these facts down in their review so other HOs (hosts) are warned, as well as flagging their conduct with THS.
Perhaps consider in the future outlining your understanding of fair use for the car and agree that all in advance with hopefully far more trustworthy and conscientious guests/sitters. Perhaps even put them on notice by sharing your previous bad experience.
yes, it is a good thing
Yes unless you have really good public transportation very nearby, or at least reliable Uber/Lyft/Bolt very nearby.
I’d like to allow sitters the use of a car. But we did that once, and the sitter crashed the car while getting a DUI, so we don’t dare do that again.
I would say that would be a great attraction for a sitter. Having to rent a car for a month is a big expense. If you are willing to lend your car it would make your posting very attractive to a sitter.
Depends. When we were going for an extended time and were having trouble finding a sitter, we added the option of the car. We got the best sitter ever. He was from AU and had over 35 5 star ratings. He was like the Mary Popins of house sitters in his interview, his memorizing our house guide, his attention on texts, and his absolutely glowing reviews. I even found a video about him on the web. Currently, he was on a 6 month adventure traveling in HoingKong, to Canada, to the Pacific NW, to California, the Southwest and back home. He could not have accepted the position w/o car. He said he really only wanted it for grocery shopping and in case our cat needed to go to vet. He said his job required him to be home most of the time and he liked to walk even 5+ miles to shop, and/or would use delivery for food. (We encouraged him to use the car to explore with restriction. We wanted him to enjoy his time in the PNW. PLUS, he offered and encouraged us to take him up on his offer to drop us off and picked us up at airport even at really inconvenient times!)
BUT, on the next position we advertised, we interviewed the first person to apply said she’d want the car , if possible. We really, really, really liked her but explained that if we could get a sitter with own car we would prefer. If not, and if she was still available, we’d let her use the car, Another sitter with a car applied the next day and we felt that it made it less complicated.
Our thinking is we do trust the sitters with our house, possessions, and pet. The car is minor after that. That said, while not likely, getting into a car accident is also quite possible; if that happens, not only is the fixing the car our responsibility, but the insurance hassle is and our rates will go up. The only way a person can get insurance on someone else’s vehicle is if they don’t already have their own policy. Too bad this isn’t an option bc if it were, I’d be perfectly at ease providing a car.
So, that’s my views on whether it’s smart to allow a sitter the use of our car. Do you have options? Could the sitter have their own insurance on your car?
Definitely conditional on location…
if you are based someplace that does not have easy access to public transportation and YOU need a car to get around on a regular basis, seems a bit odd not to provide a car for the sitter to be able to use. This is especially relevant if, for instance, you’re expecting the dog to be transported places…if I’m required to take the dog someplace, I’d expect either a vehicle, a transit card, or a petty cash envelope to be left for me in order to accomplish those types of tasks…equally, it would be odd to leave a sitter in the middle of nowhere and they don’t even have an easy way to get food, etc. for themselves.
I’ve been looking for sits for upcoming travel at the end of the year and I was kind of shocked at the number of homes in the UK that are obviously not accessible via public transit or a service and had no use of a vehicle, especially given how easy it is to add or even acquire insurance for someone there. It was absolutely an elimination criteria for me.
On the flip side, we live in a city that is very well-connected. We do not offer our car to sitters BUT we ensure that they know where the keys are so that if there is an emergency related to our dog, they are able to take our car for that. This is something that an HO did for us when we HS and made a lot of sense to us.
@bakindoki It’s actually become much harder for UK owners to add international sitters to their car insurance these past couple of years. There’s a thread about this if you check the spyglass.
This is ofc just one example, but…
I have Admiral and to add my mum (US license) for a month to mine, I just had to call in and add a second person. It was like an extra £25 (highly variable based on your policy, I’m sure)
My partner (EU) was also pretty straightforward.
Alternatively, it’s possible to just buy a short term policy for a person. That is definitely more lengthy because they have to set up their own account, etc. but not insurmountable.
If the person is coming from a different country to UK, I can’t speak for that, as I know it can get complex, but I do know that for some countries, insurance is tied to the car, while for others, it’s tied to the person’s license.
Regardless, I would assume one would do this as part of their research as an HS or HO in prep to use the platform, then in finer detail sit by sit.
As a sitter, I’ve had access to owner’s cars, but they were all cat sits. Some ask for my driver’s license info, which I think is fair. I’ve aways filled up the fuel tank in the end.
Recently, I had a dog sit that required me to take the Border Collie to a vet a couple of times. The dog injured itself a week before the sit, and the HO did not mention about the vet visits until I arrived. They could’ve easily let me use their car to drive 10 minutes to the vet, but I had very difficult time finding a cab that would allow a larger dog. Had to take a bus when cabs refused. It was very stressful on top of an already stressful situation so all depends what your sit requirements are.
If I were an owner, I’d be less reluctant to agree to the younger sitters.
I insured my sitter to use my car as she didnt have one and no public transport , she was fine with it. Its 10 years old so i wasnt too precoous about it.
That’s actually really messed up tbh…If they’re going to require you to transport their dog, they should either allow use of their car or have an alternative means set up.
I get that with a local sitter, assuming they can get around makes sense, but I find it incredibly unreasonable that they put you in that position. I would have been pissed, collected myself, and then put sorting transportation back on them.
Dropping that on you when they knew weeks ahead of time as well? That’s trash.
This is a great example of responsible usage, Maggie.
As HOs, especially for long sits, we start every sit with a grocery/supply run for the HS so that if they need anything, it’s all there and future supply runs over the sit are just for top ups.
what in the world?!
I hope you left them a review reflective of that experience and reported them. That’s a complete abuse of responsibility.
A couple things we do and other HO’s have done in the past when we HS that have been helpful for setting boundaries…the keys or car or locked up so that we only access them in case of emergency on the sit. I’ve also seen listings that just flat out say, “you will need to rent a car for this sit.” I wouldn’t take a sit like that unless it was in a country with rentals that were affordable to me, especially depending on length of the sit, but yea…so much of this is just dependent on what you’re comfortable with.
We clarify upfront what types of uses are ok for the car and in our case, being in a connected city…it’s only allowed to be used for emergencies with our dog, but if we were in a place where a car was necessary, we would definitely put a limit on how the car could be used and write it down explicitly.
It was incredibly generous of you to pay for airfare…It would take a lot of consistency from an HS for me to even consider doing that.
It was an older couple. They thought their local cab would accommodate but they’ve always used their own car to take their dog to the vet so wasn’t aware. They were really nice and don’t think they were aware of the situation they put me in. At the end of the sit, I found out that the lady has a liver cancer. So my complaint would’ve seemed insensitive and out of proportion. This past year, I had another sit that ended way early due to the owner’s cancer returning. Cost me a lot of money to make other arrangements but just didn’t feel right when someone’s dealing with cancer.
@bakindoki, I don’t enjoy cooking at all and I don’t want other people picking my food, even if well intended. Like on the sit I just wrapped up, the HO offered to buy me groceries and I said, thanks, but I enjoy ordering my own stuff. They even said to help myself to whatever they had, but I didn’t. I know it was kindly meant, but I just don’t value that sort of thing.
They did offer me a bottle of wine, which I enjoyed. And then when I was leaving, they offered me another bottle, which I declined, because I didn’t want to carry it. What I did appreciate: They drove me and my heavy baggage (I bought too many books) about 30 minutes away, to a hotel I booked so I can sightsee before I travel elsewhere.
I like choosing my own food (I’m picky), especially because I love to try different local restaurants and shop for local groceries. Like I’ve been sitting most recently in the U.K. and I enjoy looking at different products and such at stores I normally wouldn’t shop from in the U.S.
When I sat in San Diego, I found a restaurant that served food from Guam, a tiny Pacific island I grew up on. I found other good neighborhood restaurants the HOs hadn’t even heard of. I had them deliver via DoorDash.
This doesn’t contradict what I wrote, actually.
When I said supply run, I mean we drive the sitter to the stores they need before we leave for exactly that reason, so they can pick their own stuff in their own time and not have to worry about getting a larger load back home.
All our sits overlap at the start for a day-ish so that we can get the sitter settled in and ensure they are positioned for success with our dog.
This also ensures there’s a buffer in case anything happens with their logistics.
I like overlapping by a day, but I’d rather buy my own stuff and do it leisurely, without a stranger waiting on me and paying. If someone wanted to offer me what you’re describing, I’d rather get a gift card that I can use on my own time.
I do sits in urban or suburban/village settings, so I can get food on my own. Maybe if I did rural sits, I would appreciate being driven, but I don’t want to spend much time in rural areas.
bakindoki, we love it when home owners offer to transport us to the grocery store when we are using public transport. As you say it means we can pick up all the heavy stuff we need.