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Tips for trading your car

by Didier on May 19, 2011

Trading a car on a home exchange can be an economical choice. If you swap vehicles you need to take appropriate precautions.

Before leaving make sure your car is in good shape. Everything should be working and the car should have been serviced as recommended by the manufacturer. There should be a comprehensive atlas or maps in the car, even if you have GPS. You should make sure the terms of use are well defined; you should have a specific agreement with the following provisions:

1 – Conditions of use

• Who will have the right to use the car and what is the age of the authorized drivers?
• Is it ok to take the car to other countries?
• Is there a limit on the mileage? Intense use of your car will wear it out faster and reduce its resale value. You could agree to a payment for each extra mile/kilometer beyond the original limit.
• Specify the type of gasoline to be used by your car.

2 – What happens if your car is in an accident?

Let your insurance agent know that your exchange partners are using your car and verify that they will be covered by your policy. Verify the insurance of the car you are using; be sure it is insured against all risks. Have copies of your partner’s driving licenses. All concerned should know who will pay what in case of an accident; it should be in the exchange contract:

• The amount of any deductibles
• Coverage limits and amounts, will there be a rental car to use while your vehicle is being repaired?
• Names and telephone numbers to call in case of accident or other problems

An agreement won’t solve all potential problems.

If your partner is caught by a red light or speed camera you might be fined and threatened with higher insurance rates or the loss of points on your license. Don’t panic; send copies of your home exchange contract and the license of the person that was driving to the authorities. You might also include copies of your airline tickets showing you were out of the country at the time.

Your home exchange agency should have a sample car exchange contract on their website.

This is part 2 of a 3 part series on trading your car

Translated and edited by John Mensinger.
To read Didier’s post in its French original

 

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