Money Moral Dilemma: Am I paying too much for holiday car breakdown?

in Money Saving Polls
55 replies 17.1K views
Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Am I paying too much for holiday car breakdown?

My friends and I went on a group holiday. Three of my friends wanted to come home a day early so borrowed my second-hand car, which I'd only had for a month, and drove it home - one of them was insured to drive it.!On the way back, they broke down. Because my cover only insures me in the car, they had to pay £200 for a tow home. They've asked to split the tow four ways to include me in the cost. The car's a write-off (£700 down the drain) plus I had to pay for the mechanic to have a look at it.!Is this fair?
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Replies

  • rachiibellrachiibell Forumite
    300 Posts
    A) You weren't even in the car
    B) You've lost your car
    If anything I would be asking them for money
  • tizerbelletizerbelle Forumite
    1.7K Posts
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    If it was a breakdown (and not caused by the driver at the time) then it would have happened even if you had been in the car - you'd have had to pay the mechanic and lost the car anyway. So the only additional cost is the £50 share of the tow fee - pay it. Are your friends worth losing for £50 - they must be good friends to go on a group holiday with and let them use your car.

    TBH I'd be mortified that the car conked out on them and would be reimbursing them the full £200.
  • scotsbobscotsbob Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    "on the way back they broke down"

    Incorrect, it was the car that broke down..your car.

    You pay the costs.
  • drummer_666drummer_666 Forumite
    984 Posts
    it says if you were driving you'd have been insured and wouldn't have had to pay the tow fee,so i say no don't pay
  • taintain Forumite
    699 Posts
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    I think it's pretty fair all round.

    Your car was knackered and has cost them all £50 and a lot of inconvenience.

    They chose to borrow the car and therefore in a roundabout way accepted responsibility for it which included the need to pay if it breaks down. But if they had any idea the car was knackered then I'm sure they wouldn't have borrowed it.

    So splitting the tow costs 4 ways seems about right.
  • Good friends are worth more than £50.
  • BeauborgBeauborg Forumite
    16 Posts
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    I'm surprised that these supposedly good friends are expecting you to pay. Don't they feel gutted that your car broke down while they were driving and is now a write-off costing you £700, especially as you'd only bought it a month earlier? Ok, it might have broken down anyway and it perhaps wasn't their fault - unless they were driving erratically. I would suggest that the £200 is their loss and the £700 is your loss. If they want to split the £200 4 ways then they should also split the £700 4 ways.
  • thegrifterthegrifter Forumite
    21 Posts
    Beauborg wrote: »
    I'm surprised that these supposedly good friends are expecting you to pay. Don't they feel gutted that your car broke down while they were driving and is now a write-off costing you £700, especially as you'd only bought it a month earlier? Ok, it might have broken down anyway and it perhaps wasn't their fault - unless they were driving erratically. I would suggest that the £200 is their loss and the £700 is your loss. If they want to split the £200 4 ways then they should also split the £700 4 ways.

    A very simple and sensible solution IMO, unless the car was an absolute wreck, no one could reasonably have foreseen the breakdown yet they were using the car at the time so their responsibility.

    Why would you pay a share of something you had already insured against?
  • gloriouslyhappygloriouslyhappy Forumite
    544 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
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    I'd be feeling sorry for you that your car's a write-off, and certainly wouldn't be asking you to split the towing bill, especially as you weren't even in the car at the time! As good friends, I think they should not be asking you for this contribution.

    How you handle your refusal, if that's what you chose to do, could decide how long the friendship lasts.. Lots of luck with this and getting new wheels sorted..
  • MissMills81MissMills81 Forumite
    17 Posts
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    You said your cover only insured you when you were in the car. I think if your friends were aware of that and chose to borrow your car without having any breakdown cover in place then they should accept the cost of paying for the tow. You cant be held responsible for the car breaking down whilst you weren't driving it.

    I think you are justified in not paying a share of the fee based on that principle however as others have said it depends on how strongly you feel about it and whether you would rather pay the £50 to keep the peace.

    Good luck
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