Why You May Want to Think Twice Before Loaning a Church Vehicle

Is it wise to loan your church van or bus to other groups or members of the church?

The safe answer: NO. There are just too many risks involved, which is why we recommend never loaning church vehicles to other people.

The main reason is that if there is any accident or damage as a result of a negligent driver, your church, and not the loanee, will be held liable for any damages. Additionally, if the vehicle is used in any non-church related activities, it may void your protection under your insurance policy. If the driver is unreliable or simply chooses not to pay, your ministry would have to fork over the cash out of pocket.

If you do feel compelled to help the individual(s), it may be safer to simply provide financial assistance for repairs to their vehicle, if there is one, or for a rental car. Its a small price to pay to ensure your church's financial protection.

If you do feel inclined to loan out a vehicle, consider taking these steps first.

- Specify in writing who will be responsible for the vehicle and what your requirements are for operating. You should also request that they purchase special pysical damage protection, which should be verified on a certificate of insurance that is given to you.
- Verify the driver has a driver's license, a good driving record, and relevant experience needed to drive that vehicle type.
- Do not loan a vehicle that is not in top mechanical condition.
- Make sure that the vehicle will be used for church or school activities.

These rules/considerations should be reviewed by church leadership and added to your official by-laws.

Again, our recommendation on the matter is: when in doubt, just say no!

Don't risk your ministry by failing to be thorough.

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