Can You Drive Someone Else’s Car in Arizona?
Did you ever take your mom’s car to the grocery store as a teenager? Or your girlfriend’s car to go to work when yours was in the shop? For nearly every driver, there comes a time when you might need to drive someone else’s car. Whether it was an emergency or you simply asked a favor of someone, we have all been there.
However, this begs a few questions: can you drive someone else’s car in Arizona? Is it legal? Are you covered by insurance? In this article, our team of experienced attorneys is answering all of the internet’s burning questions about driving someone else’s car.
Will the Other Person’s Insurance Cover You?
When someone loans you their car, they are basically loaning you their auto insurance along with it. If the person does not have car insurance, it’s a general rule of thumb that you should not get behind the wheel of their car. Both you and the car owner can get into a lot of trouble if you are caught driving without proper insurance coverage.
In Arizona, automobile insurance typically follows the car, rather than the driver. Unless the insurance company is particular about having a list of “named drivers” who are covered by insurance, anyone who gets behind the wheel is typically covered in the event of an accident.
There is, however, a condition. In order to be protected by insurance, the driver must have a valid driver’s license. Most auto insurance policies contain a legality known as the “omnibus clause.” This states that the policy holder’s insurance will cover any driver of their vehicle, as long as they are licensed to drive a car.
The Omnibus Clause
Under the omnibus clause in an auto insurance policy, if a friend lets you use their car and you get into an accident where you are found to be at fault, your friend’s insurance policy will cover any damage up to the policy’s limits. Unfortunately, your friend will also be responsible for paying the deductible and any other costs not covered by the policy.
What to Check before Driving Someone Else’s Car
Before driving someone else’s car in Arizona, there are a few things you should confirm.
- The person’s insurance policy. You should confirm that the person has an existing insurance policy on their car and that in the event of any mishap, there are no restrictions against other drivers.
- Your own driver’s license and insurance policy. Make sure you have a valid driver’s license and an auto insurance policy of your own. If you do not have either, it is best that you work towards obtaining both before getting behind the wheel of any car.
- Proof of insurance and car registration should be in the vehicle. Along with your driver’s license, these are items that a police officer would ask for in the event that you get pulled over or an accident occurs. Ask the car owner to show you where to find these documents in their car, so you know exactly where to look if needed.
So, while the answer to “can you drive someone else’s car in Arizona?” is yes, it is something you should carefully consider beforehand. It’s also important to note that while insurance may cover the cost of repairs in an accident, any traffic points assigned for an accident or driving misconduct will go on your record.
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