Carsharing...and FSDs visit, or not

norcalgirl78August 11, 2010

Several months ago, FDH and I moved to an area where public transportation was less accessible than where we had lived for the previous 2 years. I decided to buy a brand new car, which was well within my means and part of the plan I'd had for several months.

(A brief background, because my posts are very infrequent - FDH and I got engaged about 18 months ago, and I temporarily postponed wedding plans after finding out that he had been dishonest with me about a mountain of debt and how it was being managed, or not managed, as the case was. We agreed that before discussing the wedding again, that he would cut the debt in half and complete a number of outstanding items that had been hanging since his divorce 5-6 years ago, and over the last year he has made tremendous progress in every single area I asked him to address. Our relationship is the happiest it has ever been, as we build a financially strong future together and learn to start managing money as a couple. I feel like there is still some progress to be made before committing funds and emotional energy to a wedding, but in my heart I know we will go forward.)

When I bought the car, I bought it on my own. I am the only person on the insurance policy - as FDH and I are not married, and he is not a citizen, and he did not get his license until later in life, my insurance premium would have been significantly higher had I put him on the policy. We decided together that he would not drive the car and he is OK with it. FDH has a car, from when he was married, but it has been broken down at a friend's for FIVE YEARS...another story.

FDH is doing better managing his money, but doesn't have savings put aside specifically to pay the deductible should there be an accident, and he does not share the costs for the car.

Now the question: FDH's DD11 and DD7 are coming to visit for several days, and he has to make an 8-hour round trip to get them up and bring them here. He volunteered to rent a car, as he is going on a weekday and I am not available. (We agreed that on Sunday when we return them to the halfway point to meet BM and SF, that I was OK with driving.) I thought about loaning him my car to save him the expense. On the one hand it seems like if we are in this together, we're in this together, and don't half-ass and divide everything. On the other hand, I think it is a legitimate concern that financially and legally I would be stuck holding the bag in an accident, even if it is not FDH's fault. FDH is an excellent driver, and worthy of trust.

My question is what is your take, and how to handle potential questions from his DDs? I don't know that it is necessary to explain the details to kids, but they seem to have no sense of his vs. mine. Their BM and SF live in a large, fancy house and I am always resisting the urge to be ashamed/feel obligated to provide "upgrades". (I know this is wrong!) Last time they were here, they were bent out of shape to take the bus and metro when I was at work with my car (which of course, I am damn well entitled to be). I can just imagine - "She's so mean - she made Dad RENT a car to come get us!"

Yikes and double-yikes...I am a SD and can imagine this from their perspective. But from my adult perspective - why put myself at risk? Why do something that makes me uncomfortable? My private feeling is that FDH should handle his damn business and deal with his broken down car. I want to support visitation and I am the one who pushed for their visit, but I shouldn't have to provide a vehicle! Am I being too tough?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I do not think you are wrong at all to let him rent a car. If something were to happen to your car it would cost way more than him renting a car. Why take the risk of your insurance going up and everything else? It makes perfect sense.

What I would do is tell the kids(if you feel like you have to explain things to them) is that their dad rented a car so you would not have to struggle with one car during their visit. Point out the perks to having 2 cars.....such as that nobody will have to get up early to drop you off at work. Nobody will have to pick you up from work, so they can go out and do things as they wish without being stuck with a time schedule etc.

I also wanted to say I am really glad for your sake that you are letting fdh deal with his financial messes before you committ to marriage. So many people make the mistake of not addressing those types of issues and then they get stuck with that mountain of debt and are miserable over it.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mom2emall makes a good point.

""She's so mean - she made Dad RENT a car to come get us!"

Also---would they even HAVE to know? My DD and SS are both 8 and don't pay a bit of attention to what DH drives. He is a car broker (for lack of a better description) and he drives different cars all the time--everything from big diesel trucks to BMWs to minivans. Teehee. The kids seriously do not notice or care.

I would go ahead, have your BF rent the car--it WILL make it easier for him to have an enjoyable visit with his girls--and then you don't have to worry, either.

When he drives to pick them up, I bet they don't say a word about the car.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 3:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

SS8 loves to take the bus; we tell him it's a special treat and since it's something different, it is a treat to him. He'll happily stand at the bus stop in the cold because it so neat to be waiting for the "big" bus. :)

I wouldn't take a chance on it either. I don't like borrowing other people's cars nor did I ever like lending my own. It just can lead to awkward situations; sure, if I have an accident or someone wrecks my car I can pay or be paid the deductible, but what about the increased premiums? What about the mark on my nice clean insurance (or someone else's insurance) for the next several years?

If the kids ask, just tell them that your car was with you, at work, and so that's why their Dad rented one.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We're a one-car family. So we rent a car a few times a year when one of us has something else going on and only having one car isn't going to work. Anyone who thinks it's weird can go sit on a tack.

For example, I went out of town to visit my sister in June. DH was on call for work and needed a car that weekend too. So I got a rental.
Another time, DH and SS were going to a football game in the next city (2.5 hours away). A great-uncle of mine was also in town to visit, so I needed a car too. DH and SS got a rental.

If anyone ever comments on it, we just say something like "Usually we're fine as a one-car family, but once in awhile we need a second car. Renting a car a few weekends a year is WAY cheaper and easier than plating and maintaining a second vehicle year-round."

Rent a car for their visit. Spin it as "We usually just need one car, but thought it would be sooo much easier to have two cars while you girls are here!" They'll think it's cool to have a car rented expressly for their visit.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 9:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All right here goes my opinion, guess it differs from others once again...

Nothing wrong with renting a car but...

Of course I would not let certain people drive my car like colleagues or neighbors. Yes i would allow my SO, mom, dad, SIL, my nephew, my brother, my DD drive my car if needed. I wouldn't let anyone who is known to be a horrible driver to drive my car. At different times of my life I borrowed my dad's, mom's, brother's cars. My car was driven by several different people in my family.

I would say if you are just dating your BF then maybe yes keep your stuff to yourself, why risk it? But it sounds like you are planning on being married? I think if you are so protective of your own things, then i am not sure why do you marry him? I would just stay single if you don't consider your fiancee as your family.

Now of course when I need your car then he should rent his own, but when your car just stands on a drive way why not let him drive it? Is he a bad driver?

I remember your posts from the past and it seems to me that your way of thinking is thinking of a single childless person. No offense but you don't come across as a woman who plans on getting married and has stepchildren.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 10:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think I sound a bit too harsh in my post, didn't mean to, I just think you need to let him drive your car if you guys are going going to be marrried.

Saying that it is not your SK's business who drives what, and what is his or yours. SD21 thinks that everything that belongs to me, also belongs to her dad and by association belongs to her LOL

She has hard time understanding that there are things that are "MINE", not "MINE and HER DAD'S". If your SKs are young, they have even less understanding. I think you might need to start teaching them that there are things that are only "YOURS", not yours and their dad's. Otherwise you'll deal with what I am dealing with, not fun.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 10:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks to all for the great advice - I tried to log on last night to respond but the server was down. I think the kids are more tuned in to my car than others may think, but that may be because (a) for the longest time we had NO car and they made a really big deal when I got one, and (b) I am oversensitive about the way they perceive me and my actions.

I think it is fair to say that my actions are those of a single childless woman - because I AM a single childless woman! I don't think it's fair to say that my actions indicate that I plan to stay that way. If I had an issue with the kids visiting, if I didn't want to contribute to our family life, if I didn't cherish the time I spent with them, if I "billed" FDH for the food he/they ate, we'd have a problem. However, I have been actively working towards marriage with him for a long time. Not hanging myself out to dry financially because he has been irresponsible and has no savings won't bring me any closer to my goals, or his. My demonstration of honoring this family is not predicated upon how I inconvenience myself or make myself vulnerable to impress them or make them feel entitled.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 11:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Norcal, Just loaned my niece my car this last weekend , I called my insurance company to ask if she was covered, they said anyone who has my permission to drive is covered..Why dont you call your company and ask what you have company covers? My SS also asks WAY too many questions about financial matters.. I bought a new car and I dont park it in front of my house when he s over because he will report it back to his mother, who will then turn this into resentment against me and his father, Oh our car is SO OLD ..They have a new one!! I bought and paid for mine too, because I worked all my life.. Sort of the opposite problem you have, they have a lot and you try to compensate..This mother will not work and resents what I have..I have to do a downgrade LOL and pretend we have nothing...That being said, as long as insurance is in effect, I d let him use it....

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 11:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

nocargirl, I think if after 18 months of engagement you still have this attitude of a single woman, I don't see how you can change on the day of the wedding? If you maintain separate residences then I see your point, it is easy to divide to his and mine, but if you live together then it is much tougher.

I agree with dotz, as long as you have car insurance and give permission for him to drive I don't see why he wouldn't be covered? I never heard of it. the only time it works this way is if you drive company car. I cannot drive my SO's car because it is company car and nobody is covered, he'll be in trouble if he let me drive. But if it was his personal car and mine broke and I had to pick up my DD and he told me to rent a car rather than borrow his, I would be shocked. His car stands on a driveway while i am renting. Why? I would let him drive mine. I am not saying a day after day but in cases like yours. And we are not engaged.

I don't think you have to change your attitude to honor his family, but I think not letting your future spouse to borrow your car (does not matter for what reason) is a huge red flag. I wonder how he feels about it? I understand he is bad with finances, but I would assume he pays for gas if he borrows it.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not sure what defines an attitude as a single woman - again, we cooperate in all areas of our life. We make plans for the future together, we make financial decisions together, we set goals together, we talk about things that affect one of us because we know those things in the end affect both of us. However, when it comes to letting him borrow my car for an 8 hour trip when I am not present, irrespective of the fact that he is a great driver, and would pay for gas, I just don't feel comfortable. And that is because I would be giving up control of something that affects me financially, when that is a sore spot with us. He almost let me hire a wedding planner and reserve a wedding venue knowing full well he was deceiving me about his debt and how he was handling it despite months of conversations to the contrary. If that had not happened, I would probably only consider loaning him my car a moderate risk. But as it stands, I alone am responsible for the hefty monthly payment and insurance premiums regardless, and if something happens to the car, let it be my fault. If it is his fault, I consider him financially responsible for it, and he can't afford it. I know that because our budgets extend to December and savings and other funds are not allocated for those nightmare expenses. Perhaps this seems harsh. I don't know if it has anything to do with being single - I think it is just prudent. And BTW, he is 100% cool with all of this. I recently traveled 2 weeks overseas. When I returned the odometer had not budged but 3 miles - we agreed he could use it for grocery shopping and local stuff. I will call my insurance broker - he is a personal friend. My understanding when deciding whether or not to add him to the policy was that it would be an extra cost because he is a "household resident" but not my husband, not a U.S. citizen, and has not had his license very long.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 12:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Who says norcalgirl has to change the day of her wedding? Or the day after, or the year after? There is no law that married couples have to be allowed to drive each other's cars, or access to each other's money, or go on vacations together, or anything else. Whatever works for her and her FDH is what's best for them.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 12:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the whole issue is with giving up control. Sounds that you have more control in this relationship due to you being better off. Since he was caught in lies, you have even more control. If you don't feel comfortable, then don't give it to him. But something feels wrong in all this for me, like deep inside you know that you had to end it when you found out about his debt, yet you love him so you stayed, but you would be better off with someone who is more financially well-off. I think if he is bad with money i would not let him borrow $10,000, but car is different, he'll give the car back!! Well maybe he'll cause an accident but a lot of things could happen. Do what you feel right. Personally this feels wrong for me. I wouldn't marry a guy I feel this way about or if he feels this way about me. I think if you knew your decision is right, you wouldn't ask here.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 12:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow. I don't know how by asking if I was off-base or selfish by not loaning out my brand new car to FDH for an 8 hour trip I became a person who requires a rich husband! How did you get that I am reluctant to even be in this relationship, or that I am only happy if I have the upper hand? I said that we had some issues, and that we have been working on them, and that we have made tremendous progress and are the happiest we have been.

I think that is a really unfair characterization and feels frankly like you are talking about someone else. It doesn't feel like my life at all. I will admit - money is a sensitive topic for me. FDH's mismanagement of debt and money, and his dishonesty about it, was a huge blow for me in the past. It caused me to rethink the wedding, and the relationship, for a time. It translated into someone recklessly hollowing out the foundation of my future while I struggle to save enough to have a decent life and retirement.

But my issue with him was never about the amount of the debt, the amount of his salary, or anything like that. I don't care if it is $300 or $30,000 or $300 million owed. It was the bury-my-head-in-the-sand approach that upset me, the my-ex-left-me-and-I-don't-deserve-better, and frankly, his initial reaction that it was HIS business and HIS alone, even though we were planning OUR wedding! Maybe he didn't realize that in MY country, married couples' finances (the benefits and the drawbacks) affect both partners! Ironically, he makes substantially more money than I do, and I am very well-paid.

I don't think you can extrapolate my unwillingness to put myself in financial jeopardy by loaning a car that I can't afford to make payments on if it gets wrecked to "how I feel about" him. Our relationship consists of so many things, and we are so together on the same page on a million issues. The SPECIFIC issue of loaning the car while I am not present for a long road trip is just one question I had that I wanted to see how other families dealt with in terms of custody.

At the end of the day, I will do what it takes to protect my own financial security against risks from ANYONE. FDH understands me, and that is why I love him. I just wanted others' opinions, and I thank everyone for taking the time to reflect and write your opinions. They are all valued, however they may differ from my own.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 1:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree that finances effect both people, in fact I believe finances effect both people in any country? I don't know in what countries finances do not effect marriage and relationship. that's why it is unsettling when one partner is so much worse with managing his money. that's why I understand why you are waiting for him to at least pay parts of his debt, and it is disturbing that he lied (probably being embarrassed). Your position is understandable even if i have slightly different take on the car issue.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 1:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mattie, norcargil already changed the day of the wedding when she found out he had a lot of debt and didn't tell her.

I agree we all should do whatever works for us but then why do we ask here? When you ask what you should do, I doubt you want me to tell you that you should do what you want. Why asking for other people's opinions, if we already know what works? She'll do what she thinks is right, but since she asked i give my opinion.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 1:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

IMHO, that seems a little odd--being okay with marrying someone but not being okay with loaning them your car.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 2:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just a couple of quick points of clarification - I did not postpone the wedding because FDH has debt. I postponed the wedding because after FDH and I discussed our assets and liabilities, he decided his debt was out of control and that debt consolidation was his only option (before exploring bankruptcy). For several months he claimed to be in debt consolidation, and concealed mail/phone calls that indicated he was not. During that time, his debts increased due to fees/penalties. Additionally, he owed a substantial amount of money to the IRS and I had a legitimate fear of them coming after ME had I been his wife. (Thankfully, that is resolved.)

When I found out, we entered premarital counseling and debt counseling to see if the relationship could be saved. My decision was to stay and work on it, not just because I love him, but because he desperately was ready to improve his money management skills and because I think it could work for a lifetime. Over the past 16 months he has made tremendous progress in not only reduction of his debt, but the emotional reasons the debts were accrued in the first place. He manages money more proactively, he respects his money and his own time and he plans for the future and makes better choices so he can live a better life. It has been hard and scary for him, but I think he sleeps better.

Also, I would be OK loaning him my car if my perception of the risk were different. In the future, when he starts saving money, when he pays the debts down and we are married, and when he becomes a citizen, and when he has had his driver's license for longer, these are all factors that would contribute to the insurance premium going down and the risk I feel financially going down should the unexpected happen. He totally deserves to drive the car besides those risks.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 3:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Norcal, I think you're being responsible, and I think the added stress of having someone drive the car (without finances to cover an accident/without experience driving in this country/without citizenship) is a valid concern.

I offered my neighbors my truck the other day to take some large garbage to the dump. They are really against borrowing anyone's car, even though I have insurance that covers them. I know they are safe drivers, and responsible people; otherwise I would not have offered it to them.

I ended up driving them, in my truck. No big deal :) Another set of neighbors, before I got my truck, would let me drive their truck when I needed it. I tend to not worry about those things and will drive the vehicle of just about anyone, and offer mine to people I find responsible.

But I can see the concern. And if it's there... well. It's valid.

Here's another thought: When we drive 8 hours in a car, that's a lot of wear and tear, there's a big chance a tire will go out or a windshield will get cracked or someone will bang a door into yours. There's the dirt/grime from travelling. I really like my truck, and if I had to go long distances I might rent a car for those reasons. Also, borrowing the car to go down the street is one thing, borrowing it for a full day is another.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 4:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Let me check...

Nope. My opinion didn't change.

Which doesn't really matter because he isn't getting the car...

What was the question again?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 4:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My private feeling is that FDH should handle his damn business and deal with his broken down car. I want to support visitation and I am the one who pushed for their visit, but I shouldn't have to provide a vehicle! Am I being too tough?

I've been mulling on this one.

The car that we have was my car before we were together. The car he had from before died a few months after we were married and we sold it for scrap. My car is now "our car"...
If his car had died before we were married, then my car would have remained "my car" until we were married.

If you're going to be inconvenienced by him using your car, then he can rent one. If it was absolutely no problem for you, then I'd say let him use it.
I don't see how renting a car (unless he totally can't afford it) is an unreasonable thing to do for a one-car family.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 5:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Relationship on trust/money between OP and her BF is not really the point here. A call to the actual insurance provider should be persued before loaning out the vehicle to a live-in BF.

OP knew this when she first posted, fact she knew this when she initially looked into insurance on the vehicle. She wants BF to have the pleasure of 'borrowing' her car without the having to pay for the monthly premium of it. And that's not the way it is suppose to work via many policies.

If I loaned my car to a neighbor, my insurance covers it. If I loan my car to a son who does not reside with me, my insurance covers it. If I loan my car to a BF who lives down the street in his own home, my insurance covers it...but if I loan my car out to a non-listed, non-covered licensed driver who resides in my home and I am too cheap to pay for that premium addition, nope.

I could have him put on as a casual, occassional pleasure driver (with an increased premium of course) and no problem. I could file an exception stating he lives there but is not driving my car and waive my company of responsiblity in the event he sneaks it anyway and crashes it. Blah blah.

If BF resided with me owned his own car and was insured by himself on it and I owned my own car and was insured on it by myself (even without being listed on each other's policies) we could swap cars now and then and no problem...but that is not the case here.

Either pay the extra premium and be honest to your insurance provider about who resides in your home and might drive your car or pay for a rental car. What you're suggesting is no different then if I were too cheap to put a 17 year old licensed living at home kid on my policy and pay the higher premium but still wanted the rewards of letting him/her drive it at will and have my provider pay for any boo-boos.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 5:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"when he becomes a citizen"

I doubt anyone cares if he is citizen or not. My insurance policy is exactly the same now as it was when I was not US citizen. Honestly I was asked if I am US citizen twice in my life: when I applied for a passport and when i registered to vote. I am not sure how his citizen status effects car insurance premium, it does not go down when one becomes US citizen. I think you shouldn't count on that.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 12:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Op, I think you are being prudent and savvy. If it makes you selfish to protect your financial assets, well then be selfish.. he may be a great guy however he has already demonstrated financial irresponsibility & dishonesty. I'm happy that you both have been able to work past it. That doesn't mean you just overlook potential risk to your finances and credit.

I think if the roles were reversed a man wouldn't feel any guilt about protecting himself at all.

Frankly you do not have to explain auto arrangements to children, those are adult issues and none of their concern. I say let Daddy rent a car *special* for their visit & leave it at that.

I find your insisting he deals with these things before you marry very wise & refreshing. Good on you.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 12:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

PO1: Citizenship status aside, the status of what country issued his license may be relevant - not legally, but practically. Years ago, I was with a co-worker who had a UK driving license and we got pulled over in Bugtussle, USA because he was speeding. It literally took 90 minutes before the cop would let us go; cop kept insisting that my co-worker wasn't legally allowed to drive, he kept politely saying that he was, cop threatened to impound the car and take us both to jail until it was straightened out, I pointed out that he was going to open himself up to a world of trouble if he arrested me for being a passenger in a car with a legal driver... It actually was pretty funny, even at the time. In fairness to the cop, apparently the old UK licenses didn't even have a picture; it was just a certified form that he kept all folded up in his wallet.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 9:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The rental car is a treat, not a punishment. He could keep it the whole time the kids are with you to give the whole family more flexibility. Think of it as stress relief.

My family has two cars and three drivers. We have rented a car while my son is home from college. It has been WONDERFUL to have that luxury of not juggling cars.

Or is your SO on such a tight financial chain that he's not allowed any treat/luxury?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 9:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mattie, OP said he has US license, he is driving in the US with legal license, in fact he had a car in the past. It is not difficult to obtain US license if you have foreign driver license, it is not an issue at all. His citizenship status is a very irrelevant issue. It is weird norcargirl even found it important in regards to letting him use her car.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 11:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, first I was materialistic, then justmetoo thought I was cheap! Perhaps the point was missed there, because I was actually not looking to subvert procedures and give him free access to my car at a discount. I actually am following the rules per my policy. My point was more about from an insurance standpoint why I elected to not add him in the first place. And I am not the one who thought citizenship was an issue - the question about citizenship of those living in the household was part of the paperwork when I got the policy. So, it would seem it is relevant, legal or not, fair or not, I couldn't say. Everyone who thought the spin of the rental car being a treat and a convenience and that the kids wouldn't make an issue surrounding it were correct, BTW. Thanks all for a great discussion and welcome all thoughts and to continue it as you wish.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good for you, I'm glad it worked out well. i think most kids really don't care as long as they have a ride where they want to go. I mean come on, they are little kids.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 1:15PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Trying to figure out how to be a good adult stepdaughter...
My mother died eight years ago, and my dad remarried...
To visit or not to visit
About three years ago, after many instances of being...
step adult kids
Where and how do I start.. my wife has two adult kids....
New- Really need help..
Hi I am new here but hoping as people in the same...
adult step son and his girlfriend lives with us
i just want my privacy. we have never had any. met...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™