I often get asked about swapping cars. While it does take a bit of organisation, it can be well worth the effort. Not only can you benefit from cost savings on car hire, but also the convenience of having a car waiting for you at the airport, sometimes with the appropriate car seats and even a satnav already programmed for 'Home'. Here is a checklist of things to check and sort out before you go:
Contact your current insurance provider to confirm that they will allow you to add overseas residents to your existing policy. There is usually a small additional premium for this.
- Note that 'Any Driver' policies do not necessarily cover overseas residents.
- Not all insurers will allow this, so you may need to move your policy to a different insurer. Do check with your insurance provider before committing to a car exchange.
- Temporary additions of up to a month are usually quite straight forward (depending on their age and driving history) and longer additions may be possible. If you need advice on suitable companies please get in touch.
- You will need to provide information about additional drivers, usually: age, licence details, driving and medical history, details of any convictions or claims
- Provide your exchanger with written confirmation that they are covered and ask for the same in return
- Agree who will pay the excess in the event of a claim in either car. If the amounts are very different, most members come to an agreement so that it is reasonably equal
- To avoid misunderstanding, confirm all of these details in the car section of the Exchange Agreement Form
- Make arrangements for breakdowns or accidents and leave contact numbers
- Leave a letter of authorisation from you stating that they are authorised to drive your car
- Discuss how you will swap keys - if your dates coincide, it's often possible to use airport valet parking as it is now difficult to leave keys at the airport.
- Leave information about local restrictions and charges eg congestion charges, toll roads parking etc
And that's all there is to it! I'm always happy to discuss in more detail so do get in touch if you have any questions or if you have unusual requirements.