What exactly does “Sitters Need A Car” mean?

A.) The owner requires the sitter to have a car of their own for the sit.

B.) It is merely a suggestion for the sitter to be able to get around the location more easily, but not at all mandatory, because public commute isn’t reasonably accessible. And the car can apply to using a taxi or Uber/Lyft too. This is up to the confirmed sitter either way.

Depends on the HO. We’ve known it to mean both. You also see “sitters need a car” and “car included” on the same post which tends to mean either/or and to be discussed further. Best to ask when you apply :+1:


Oh, I’m in a real pickle, for my first confirmed SIT, help!

I have had no reply to my 2 messages attempting to gain clarity from very kind + beloved HO, so:
I was planning on absolutely having a car, as noted was “needed,”
I was confident in my 3 choices:

  1. buy a car,
  2. rent a car or
  3. borrow one of my cousins’ cars - (#3 option update: not available.)

I arrive in a brand new country, The UK, from The USA
14 days before the Sit.

I could, conceivably find the perfect car to buy, but would be buying a car, solely this soon, to avoid renting a car for 12 days at $US 1,200.

I am like a deer in headlights, and with no clarity on the seriousness of “SITTER NEEDS CAR,” praying, just breathing, wanting so much to be a reliable, stable, steadfast, dependable, trustworthy SITTER, but this is awkward.

I will focus on what I can do; buy a car online, and hope the HO replies with her feelings, flexibility and the reality of SITTER NEEDS A CAR.

I am a great sitter, in a pickle. I am going with: it is all going to work out beautifully, smoothly, after this hiccup, and there are 86 days until the sit, so all will be well. Breathe, Claire.

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Need some more information
Where is the sit? If you don’t want to say I would research the area and find out about public transport, Uber and taxis. It’s amazing how some people don’t really know anything about what public transport is available in their area. They don’t need it so it’s off their radar.

Buying a car in a different country is not straightforward. We bought a car in the US last May. We are UK citizens. There are only two states where you don’t need a social security number to buy a car. Maryland is one of them. Thankfully we had a great friend who let us use his address. Now it comes to insurance. Not a lot of choice and very expensive. It was a nightmare but after months of going and froing we managed.
I really don’t know what the system is in the UK for non residents. Better find out before you buy.


Don’t panic. Renting a car in the UK is not that expensive at the moment. Check out kayak and travel supermarket for deals. Also, as mentioned, uber and public transport can have been forgotten simply because we know cars are the easy choice, check those too. Ask the HOs a few more questions about why you need the car maybe whilst reassuring them you will rent if you need to. All will be well :+1:

Fife, Scotland - region…to be very vague and respect privacy of HO who has been kind enough to offer me my first sit.

I am moving to Scotland, UK permanently, so a car will be bought, but I love buses and trains: affordable and fun. I wanted to go everywhere, up and down, north and south, and diagonally first and then buy a car; expensive.
I am a dual citizen: us/uk, but do not have my residence - yet. I can use my 15 cousins’ or clan address, as they have my things, in 3 places in the uk, so I kind of live there, since 2016, when I had to leave everything until I could sort my citizenship!

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Cuddles for Cuttlefish: thank you for your caring options and caring reply; I did not know to use those, and will do all you suggest.

Thank you/mahalo nui loa, from the heart,
Claire +

Tarkina; the assistance pooch.
pic: selling my dream car now, in Taos, NM, USA.


For our listing, it means that sitters will either arrive with their own car or have to get a rental car.

We explain in our listing that sitters need a car to get around NH, as we really have no public transit. And to see NE, one needs a car.

We are picking up our sitter at the airport, as there is a significant savings renting a car locally with return to the airport.

Since we will be leaving early the morning, our sitter can uber to the local office.


Whether you need a car or not is a question you should sort out when you have a conversation with the owners before confirming a sit. While I have my own car in the UK and use it to transport dogs I’m looking after I would never hire a car while housesitting abroad, only in between sits. I would certainly never buy a car either in another country, that can be extremely complicated and another stress you don’t need. Also remember if you’re driving on the opposite side to which you’re accustomed that will add to your stress.


It would be good if you could write NH and NE in full for non US citizens. I’m guessing New Hampshire and New
England but maybe not everyone would know.

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Mmm…yes I too struggle sometimes with geographic areas discussed on the forum.

I will keep it in mind but abbreviations are in my blood 50+ years later…

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Wow, I was born and brought up in Fife. Great bus and train service in the main towns but you will definitely need a car in the rural areas.
The Central Belt is easily assessable but in the Borders and up in the Highlands it’s private transport all the way.
What area and clan does your family come from? We are Stuart and McGregor. McGregor from Fife. Stuart from Aberdeenshire.


Well, this question is just for when it says “sitter needs a car” in any listing. I’ve seen it in different locations and never exactly knew what it meant.

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Oh, nevermind - maybe you weren’t addressing me.


I’ve been wondering this too, as it seems most non-city sits = ‘sitters need a car’. But for a 7 - 10 day sit we would bring supplies in a taxi and be happy to stay local - that ‘English village’ experience is why we are travelling there this summer.

I did ask one HO, and turns out car is not essential for that one. Just nice to have.

Perhaps some HO prefer us to have a car in case a quick dash to the vet is required?


Elsie ~ Thank you for that.
I have a book my aunt made only for family members, with her 30 yrs. of our family genealogy research in Scotland, before the internet.

My DNA through 23+Me got every single thing she found, so that was amazing, and affirming our lines.

We are definitely Stuart, too. So, hello cousin. I am not allowed to “self-promote” as I have been schooled properly, with written guidelines, today. So, I can not say ALL my clans, as it gives away my names, darn it.

My line goes back through Robert the Bruce to the Dalriada, that I know of, and Vikings from Norway, way back, Havard “The Claw” Klo. Klo became the name and place “Clouston” in Orkney. I have 33 generations on Orkney mainland, alone.

I recently found quite a lot of ancestors from Wales, Devon, Cornwall, Lustleigh, The Cotswalds, Worcester, SevenOaks District, and London, and in Fife, our family lived in the little castle/big house Pittencrieff for 300 years.

This is all great news, and gives me a direction of where to be a Sitter! I will enjoy steeping in my ancestral homelands, for sure. Thanks for connecting here, Claire


Hi Sheryl, Smiley, I saw your profile and yes, you do have a bright smile! Thank you for your thoughts. I am buying a car at some point, but right you are, hope not to be rushed for sake of the sit.
I am moving to Scotland, permanently, and have many travel plans following ancestral trails, but thought I would wait until I have enjoyed enough buses and trains, first. Spare myself the immediate expenses of a car.

I found myself quite comfortable driving on the “UK side” of the road, in 2017, 3 times around Ireland, so will go with taking it slow and easy, so I stay in my lane. And save lives!
Be well,
Claire + Tarkina, my Service dog.

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I usually skip over the “sitter needs a car” but will sometimes look further into the descriptions and feedback from others. The results have run the entire spectrum from the house being too far to access grocery stores or restaurants to even though they specifically talked about being 5 minute walk to everything you need, wanted the sitter to have a car in case one of the pets needed to go to the vet.(That one we actually did sit for without a car since they had established relationships with a vet and weren’t worried about that any longer).
One said that while things were within walking distance, you would need a car to explore the region. In 2 other instances, they did offer us the use of their car after further discussion.
The UK seems to be a much more difficult situation as they can’t easily let someone else drive their car any more. We had one sit where we were going to drive their car but as the time got closer, they found out their insurance company wouldn’t do that any more. It has to do with the UK had insurance for the driver where most countries the insurance is on the car.
Good luck!


I have comfirmed a few sits with " sitter needs a car" which is not necessarily mandatory. I research areas first as I’m a public transportation user as well as uber/lyft. When applying i reiterate the question and often it hasn’t been necessary. It’s more of a convenience I suppose. Renting a car nowadays is too expensive and unless your sitting rural there are ways around it. So far I’ve gotten by fine without a car and I’m very resourceful so even though it’s stated in listing I gotten by without a car.

I’ve yet to sit international so as stated in previous replies it’s best to investigate further.


That’s fascinating and think we need a post just for that!

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