The Fixer: lending out your car

Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a financial issue alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.

Dear Fixer,

My brother wants me to lend him my car so that he can drive down to Devon with his family for the half-term holiday.

He says that he will be covered by the comprehensive insurance policy he has on his van. But I am a bit worried about being caught out should he be involved in an accident.

Should I contact my insurer to inform it about him driving the car? Thanks in advance.

M Hart, Ipswich

Dear Ms Hart,

Some comprehensive motor insurance policies do cover the policyholder to drive other cars. However, the protection provided is only generally third party cover.

Should your brother have an accident while driving your car, the insurer will therefore only cover damage to other cars or property.

You or he will have to cover the cost of any repairs to your car. Should the car be written off in a crash that is his fault, for example, you will therefore be left with nothing.

The best way to ensure your brother is fully insured to drive your car is therefore to either add him as a named driver on your policy, or to take out temporary cover for the time he will be away.

Adding him as a named driver is probably the simplest solution. It will mean he benefits from the same level of cover as you and could prove useful should you want to drive him your car again in the future.

It may even mean that your premiums come down, for example if he is a more experienced driver.

However, there may be a fee of up to about £30, while it could also push your premiums up if he is younger, has been involved in an accident or has a recent speeding conviction.

Temporary insurance, which usually lasts between one and 28 days, may therefore prove a cheaper alternative.

It also has the advantage of keeping any accidents he may have separate from your policy, and will not affect your premiums or your no-claims bonus.

Again, the cost will depend on his age and driving history, along with other factors such as the make and model of your car.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.