Attorney using "cared for" persons car to provide carecare

My husband and I have POA for finances for both of my parents.
We have one car 
My father's in a care home and my mother lives at home . We visit my mother at least once daily , 7 days a week to make her a meal, check she's taken her meds etc etc. 
We also do all the shopping and laundry , take her to any appointments and take her to visit my father. 
Before my father went into a home we were his main carers providing care twice a day, 7 days a week so we were clocking up the miles on our car , plus using petrol obviously 

Mother is 87 now and   owns a car but hasn't driven it since November.  It was just sitting on  the drive. 
 Very recently she's been told she's not to drive because she needs cataract surgery. She's  made the decision that even after surgery if eyesight is much improved she won't drive again as she doesn't feel confident.  
 
We've brought her car to our house and  been using it to provide her care and take her to appointments and to visit Dad etc etc. 
We don't use it for anything else. 

Last year her insurance was £1800 because of her age,  she had an SP30 last year or the year before and  a couple of years ago  or so whilst driving her car as a named driver  my father was in an accident involving a bus  where he was found  at fault.
It might be that now that she wouldn't be a driver the cost would come down considerably if she continued to insure it in her name , but that seems a bit of an odd thing to do when she's never going to drive again 

We would like to continue to be able to use her car for her care. It's 12 years old with low miles and a great little car.
Because my husband works part time   having non independent parents in 2 different locations  with no  access to a second  vehicle at our house  makes life really  difficult for us as her carer

I know we could just make ourselves RK and owner with her permission  and insure it ourselves etc , but we can't afford to insure it plus  my mother pays for the petrol as we only use it for her care .  She suggested we take/ use the car and is happy to pay for the petrol etc.  This is something she can afford to do and her income is almost double ours. 

Re our duty as attorneys and the OPG,
would it be acceptable for us to use her money  to continue to pay for the car  insurance and petrol ?  Practically we'd have to use our POA bank cards for her account to pay for petrol.
 Would it be better if she remained the legal owner of the vehicle but we became the RK and insured it or best to leave it as it is? 

Sorry it's complicated
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Comments

  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,297
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    If she has capacity then it’s her decision to make, regardless of the LPA. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • cymruchris
    cymruchris Posts: 4,884
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    Although not intentional in what you're wanting to do - being the main drivers as named drivers, while the main driver doesn't drive it at all could put you in the position of 'fronting' - where less than honest people put an older more experienced driver as the main driver to save money on insurance. It's not what you're doing - but what you're doing could be classed as 'fronting' - as the main driver has to be just that - the main driver - the most miles. So you might unintentionally end up with a claim not being paid for example as a result if the insurance company found out.

    This gives a bit more info:

    https://www.moneysupermarket.com/car-insurance/what-is-car-insurance-fronting/

    If the car is being kept at your address most of the time, and you are now the only drivers, then the insurance needs to reflect that. When my dad gave up driving and I was his carer, we transferred the registration document into my name although the car was still technically his, and I took out a new policy in my name. I didn't even need to put him on as a named driver, as he'd decided he didn't want to drive again. You might want to chat it through with your mum and potentially do something similar, being clear that the car is hers/theirs, and that you just want to ensure that you are covered by insurance properly while using the car for their care and benefit. 

    An ex-bankrupt on a journey of recovery. Feel free to send me a DM reference credit building credit cards from the usual suspects :) Happy to help others going through what I've been through!
  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Posts: 5,421
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    I would have thought it would definitely be cheaper for you to insure the car instead of her - she can still own the car but you can be the registered keeper and insure it in your name. I have a second car that I insure for one of my kids to learn to drive - no no claims because that is used on my other car, but the insurance is less than £250
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,297
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    edited 21 January at 9:58AM
    Again, if she has capacity there is nothing to stop her from gifting you money for you to insure it yourselves and then use the car for her errands.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,213
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    If she is giving up driving then she can simply gift the car to you and can continue to contribute the the expenses in running it. As has already been said she still has mental capacity so the LPA does not come into it.  
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,297
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    edited 21 January at 9:59AM
    And at the point that the LPA may need to kick in, best interests is about what the person would have done if they were able to decide for themselves. 
    So having clear evidence that your mother wanted to contribute towards keeping the car running for her own use would  enable that to continue doing so while she could still afford it. 
    And it would be hard to argue that maintaining a second car for her appointments, and to maintain the contact with her husband would not be in her best interest, all else being equal.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,141
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    If she is giving up driving then she can simply gift the car to you and can continue to contribute the the expenses in running it. As has already been said she still has mental capacity so the LPA does not come into it.  

    As above, the simplest solution might be
    • her to give you the car as a gift,
    • her to give you additional money to cover running costs of the car

    Perhaps one thing to consider is whether your mother's estate is likely to be liable for Inheritance Tax. If it is, your mother can give gifts of up to £3k per year without it being added to her estate.

    Is the car worth more than £3k?

    It might be worth printing out an online valuation of the car on the date it's gifted, to avoid any arguments in the future.


  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,213
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    eddddy said:hy
    If she is giving up driving then she can simply gift the car to you and can continue to contribute the the expenses in running it. As has already been said she still has mental capacity so the LPA does not come into it.  

    As above, the simplest solution might be
    • her to give you the car as a gift,
    • her to give you additional money to cover running costs of the car

    Perhaps one thing to consider is whether your mother's estate is likely to be liable for Inheritance Tax. If it is, your mother can give gifts of up to £3k per year without it being added to her estate.

    Is the car worth more than £3k?

    It might be worth printing out an online valuation of the car on the date it's gifted, to avoid any arguments in the future.


    Gifts are not added to your estate, non exempt gifts simply take 7 years to drop out of your estate. 
  • whatsthenews
    whatsthenews Posts: 156
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    eddddy said:
    If she is giving up driving then she can simply gift the car to you and can continue to contribute the the expenses in running it. As has already been said she still has mental capacity so the LPA does not come into it.  

    As above, the simplest solution might be
    • her to give you the car as a gift,
    • her to give you additional money to cover running costs of the car

    Perhaps one thing to consider is whether your mother's estate is likely to be liable for Inheritance Tax. If it is, your mother can give gifts of up to £3k per year without it being added to her estate.

    Is the car worth more than £3k?

    It might be worth printing out an online valuation of the car on the date it's gifted, to avoid any arguments in the future.


    Thanks eddddy. I wouldn't think the car's worth more than about £1500. It's a 60 plate Nissan Note 1.6 automatic . Only 50k miles on  and very clean inside , but it's got quite a few scrapes and dings on it. 
    IHT not an issue. 

  • whatsthenews
    whatsthenews Posts: 156
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    Thanks everyone. All advice makes sense. I think our heads are in a spin ATM 
     I've spoken to Mum tonight and she's happy for us to do whatever we want with her car. She's also fine  paying the insurance for as long as her and Dad are in 2 different places.
    We've got everything crossed that a new care home ( We're having  dreadful problems with the one he's been in for the last 3 weeks ) who assessed them both last week can give them rooms. Once they're both in res care we can manage with one car. 

    Thanks again. 👍🙂
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