So your friend or relative has been kind enough to loan you their car if you don’t have one or yours is in for repairs? Make sure that you repay this kind gesture by following proper etiquette and treating their car with the respect it deserves. Here are some important etiquette guidelines that you should always follow when you are borrowing someone else’s car.
Give it Back Better Than When You Borrowed It
As a general rule, when you borrow anything it is a good idea to give it back in better shape than it was when you got it. This rule is certainly true for borrowing someone’s car. Next to a home, the car is probably the second most valuable thing most people own so you need to treat it with a lot of care.
This means keeping the car clean on the inside and outside and returning it with a full tank of petrol. Filling up the tank is expensive these days, so if you return the car empty then you will have actually cost your friend money to lend the vehicle to you. It’s accepted that the appropriate etiquette when borrowing a car is always to give it back with a full petrol tank.
Keep it Clean
It might seem common sense, but don’t give someone’s car back in a messy state! Before you return the vehicle, make sure that you give it a once over and throw out any rubbish that might have accumulated inside when you were driving it.
If you need to transport anything dirty and messy, place towels down on the inside of the car to avoid staining the upholstery.
Or better yet, use car boot liners to protect the interior. There are car boot liners available that are tailored to specific models of cars, such as Volvo boot liners, BMW boot liners and Audi Boot liners, so you can choose something that is customized to the size and shape of your vehicle.
If you notice that the car has gotten quite dirty in the time you were using it, such as if a bird poos on it or if it gets splattered with mud, you might even want to take it through a car wash before you give it back to the owner.
Give It Back at the Agreed Time
If you and your friend agreed that you would give the car back at Tuesday at 3pm, make sure that the keys are back in their hand at Tuesday at 3pm or earlier. Your friend might need the vehicle for the things they need to do and if you are late giving it back it will really mess with their plans. If something comes up that is beyond your control that means that you will be returning the car later, let your friend know as soon as possible.
The only acceptable situation in which you can smoke in a friend’s car is if they are also a smoker and they have said that they don’t mind. However, if your friend doesn’t smoke it is very poor etiquette to smoke in their car when you borrow it. You might be desensitized to the smell, but a non-smoker can smell it right away and many people find it unpleasant.
It should go without saying that you should drive your friend’s car as carefully as possible when you borrow it. You might already be a defensive driver, but make sure that you are extra diligent when you are driving a car that isn’t yours. That means no speeding, no risky moves on the motorway and no attempting to get in and out of difficult parking spots.
These are just a few important etiquette tips to remember when you are borrowing someone else’s vehicle. They aren’t too difficult to follow and are simply based on respect for someone else’s property. Just think about how you would like someone to treat your car if you had one and you gave it to a friend.
If you keep these tips in mind when you are borrowing someone’s car they will be pleased that you treated their vehicle so well and they will be much more likely to lend it to you again if you ever need it in the future.