Use of Owners car Australia

We have just accepted our first sit overseas in Australia, and have been offerred the use of the owner’s car which we would like to accept. The owners have said they can put us on their insurance.

Coming from the UK where car insurance is hugely expensive and inflexible- how does this work?? We would obviously pay any additional costs, and know we need an international driving permit as we plan to hire a car at other times on the trip.

What are other UK travellers experiences?

Congratulations @heljanejo on being accepted for your first overseas sit in Australia. Car insurance is different here as it is the car that gets insured and not the drivers. It is a simple process for your Australian owners to add you to their insurance policy without it costing anything.
I only wish it was reciprocated when I sit in the UK!
Enjoy being in our country!


I don’t think it’s as complicated as the UK as I have been added to car insurance over there. The HO here will probably put you on their policy as “a listed driver” and that doesn’t affect their premium if you qualify in regards age, driving history and no previous claims in the past five years.

Bear in mind that we have six States here and each one has different policies etc What I could tell you for Queensland for example would be different to Victoria and Victoria would be different to New South Wales. Each state has different terms and conditions but what I have said is pretty accurate across the board.

If you are a named driver on their policy and you have an AT FAULT accident, you would pay the excess which could be anything between $AUD250 and $AUD1,000. If the accident is you being NOT at fault, and you can provide the name and address and details from the at fault party, you pay no excess at all. It’s very straightforward and I would imagine this is what the HO is going to do, put you on the policy as a named driver.

But again, each State has different policies but it’s nowhere as hard as the UK. Snap, @Temba! I sent this same time you sent yours lol

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Really simple process, took about 5 min but we had to pay about $100 AUD for 3 months for 2 drivers. The insurance was through Coles Supermarkets and the vehicle was registered in QLD.

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Hi @heljanejo
I’m from the UK and have been housesitting in NZ and Australia for nearly a year. Most of the owners have left me their car to use and they haven’t had to pay extra insurance to cover me. You don’t need an international driving licence, your UK licence is fine.
I have hired cars in between sits and took out insurance to cover excess with a company back home which cost about £60 for a year, much cheaper than paying the hire car companies’ excess cover

@Smiley correct :+1: You have been very lucky to have a car at your sits also! The only time a sitter would be liable to pay anything would be if they had an at fault accident which would entail paying the excess. The HO sets their excess when taking out the policy. The higher the excess, the lower the premium.

So I would assume that the HS is made aware that if they had an accident and at fault, they would be up for the cost of the excess. e.g. I had a slight dingle in my own car last sit and as it was my fault, it cost me the excess which I had set at $750. Car was repaired.

But you are right in what you say. I also include car rental excess in my travel insurance when going overseas.

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Thanks lovely THS’s for your replies- thats put our minds at rest. We are intending to take out excess insurance cover in the UK before we leave so hopefully that would cover an at fault excess claim.

I wish it was this simple in the UK!

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@temba you know we’d have you back like a shot if I didn’t have horses now (muck and poop lol). My last HS used my car no problem.

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@heljanejo I could be wrong but I am pretty certain that excess insurance will only cover you for rental car excess, not a HO’s accident car insurance excess. I would be asking that question of your insurance company beforehand but as you will be renting a car also, of course it will still be necessary for that angle.

Yes, for me it was to cover rental car excess. I’ve never discussed excess with owners’ cars - something to add to list of questions!

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I know I would be most welcome back @JuliePetParent. :grinning: