Sharing a car can be both cost-effective and stressful. Your sibling or partner might have to use the car during the day, leaving you waiting for them to finish their errands and fetch you, or you might feel as though you have to rush your engagements in order to fetch your family.
If you have gone to one of the many car dealerships in Gauteng and have found the perfect family car, you now need to know some stress-free ways to share it. This could include creating a schedule, choosing one person to drive each week and other similar methods. Below are some top tips on how to make car-sharing with your family stress-free and enjoyable.
Decide on ground rules
This is one of the most important steps in sharing your family car. Without some ground rules, the whole experience will become stressful and could cause your family members to fight. Some of the ground rules should include the following.
- Whoever is driving the car that week will fill it with petrol.
- Urgent schedules get priority (such as a parent who has to work or a doctor’s appointment).
- All drivers will contribute to maintenance and costs (if they are able to).
- Traffic fines and tickets will be paid for by the people who earned them.
By setting up these ground rules, sharing a family car will become easier and more efficient.
Synchronise your calendars
Scheduling might be one of the most difficult parts of sharing a family car, but it is essential. You might have a mid-morning meeting scheduled, but your partner needs the car to go grocery shopping. Or your sibling might have a doctor’s appointment at the same time you have a date with your friends.
You will need to take a look at everyone’s calendars before you set up a schedule to ensure that nobody misses an important meeting or appointment. If a conflict does arise, you will need to get together and decide on who has the authority to make schedule changes. If there is too much overlap in schedules, ask for some family members to use the Uber app if they can, so that people with a more urgent appointment can use the car.
Keep the car clean
Keeping the car clean, both inside and out, is beneficial to everyone who will be using it. And you will need to ensure that everyone who will be driving the car keeps this rule in mind. Many of the dealerships in Gauteng offer valet services for the cars they sell initially, but after this, it is up to you to keep the car clean and tidy.
Keep a plastic bag or two in your car so you can collect the rubbish that accumulates over the week, and ensure that it is taken out once it is full. If you will be driving small children to and from a destination, keep a package of wet wipes handy to wipe down any sticky messes. At the end of your turn using the car, be sure to clean the interior properly before the next driver has to use it in order to avoid conflict and to maintain your car.
Add the drivers to the insurance
If you own the car and will be sharing it, you will need to add all the regular drivers to the insurance. This is in case of any accidents that might occur or any break-ins that might happen while another driver is using the car.
If one of the regular drivers is not listed on the insurance, the insurance company might be hesitant to pay out any claims. You should also look into setting up rental car coverage in case the car is out of commission for a while and your family needs to get around. It might increase your premiums but it will ensure that your car is covered for any eventuality. Some dealerships in Gauteng will help make this process easier by allowing you to add extra drivers at a lower fee.
Ensure all drivers know road rules
You might have been driving for ten years, but your younger sibling might only have received her driver’s licence two months ago. If this is the case or if you have an older family member who will be using your car who has bad driving habits, you need to speak to them about brushing up on the road rules.
A driver who does not fully understand the road rules, or who does not know them well, will make car sharing between family members difficult. If possible, you should all sit down and go over the rules using the K53 learner’s manual or go online and do research about any new rules that have been made so that everyone is up-to-date and is not in danger of breaking any laws.