FAQ: How does car swapping work?

car swapping

Car swapping is a wonderful way to get even more out of your next home exchange. Car rentals can be costly and complicated, and having a car waiting for you at your exchange home is delightfully simple. Of course, there are questions that come along with the possibility of having someone else driving your car for an extended period. Here to help are the answers to some of the top questions we receive about car exchanges.

Q: Do I need to insure my exchange partner to drive my car or will their own insurance cover them?

A: In the majority of cases, exchange partners are simply added to the host’s vehicle insurance, but since policies differ widely between people, companies, and countries, you’ll need to check with your insurance company.


Q: What happens if my exchange partner has an accident while driving my car?

A: During the planning stage of the exchange, you should each review the procedure for reporting an accident in the country you’ll be visiting, how to report an accident to the insurance company, and whether your partner would be responsible for a deductible in the event of an accident.


Q: Can we limit the number of miles driven during the exchange?

A: Yes, this can be agreed upon ahead of time using the vehicle exchange agreement document.


Q: Can anyone drive in the United States?   

A: If you are planning to drive in the USA, you will need to get an International Driving Permit.   An International Driving Permit is an official document translating the driving license that you have been issued in your own country, which you’ll need to obtain before you leave for your trip. When driving in the USA, you must carry both your International Driving Permit AND your license from your country.


Q: Should I do anything before the exchange to prepare my car?

A: Be sure that your vehicle’s maintenance is up to date and check all of the fluids and tire pressure. It’s also a good idea to clean the car inside and out before you leave for your trip, just like you would your home.

If you have additional questions about car swapping, our member support team is here to help!

3 Comments on “FAQ: How does car swapping work?

  1. We’ve found it impossible to add nonUK drivers to our car insurance so sadly have missed out on car exchanges. Now my policy is up for renewal I wondered if anyone else in the UK has had more luck, and if so, which provider did they use? Thanks, Yasmin

    • As long as your car is fully comprehensive your insurer will be able to add a named driver on to it for a fee for the duration of your trip. We have a Spanish exchange family coming. A month before their arrival we can contact our insurers and if they hold a full, clean driving license and have no claims or convictions then it shouldn’t be a problem. Hope this helps.

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