Should the Nanny Use the Family Vehicle or Her Own?

Families hiring a nanny have many things to consider, including whether or not their new nanny will use the family vehicle to transport their children or whether the nanny’s vehicle will be used. It’s important for families to discuss all driving-related issues with their nanny before offering a position. Below are the important issues to consider.

Nanny Driving Children

Reliability & Safety   There are certainly obvious benefits of allowing a nanny to use the family vehicle including that the family is able to control the reliability and safety of the vehicle. For example, the family can control whether the vehicle has adequate safety features and that it’s well-maintained. If the nanny’s vehicle will be used, inquire about the safety, maintenance and upkeep of her vehicle and also ask to view the interior and exterior of the vehicle.

Insurance    If a nanny will be live-in, then she is considered part of the household, and will definitely need to be added to the policy.  If she will be live-out, discuss your policy and how the nanny will be using the vehicle with your insurance company to see what they require.  Regardless, be sure to disclose the new driver to your insurance company BEFORE she drives the vehicle.

Also, keep in mind that if the nanny is under the age of 25 or does not have a clean driving record, your rates may increase as a result.  If so, consider adding the nanny as a driver ONLY on the vehicle she will be using to transport the children. Factor any rate increases into your cost of hiring the nanny.

Be sure to also discuss how costs will be handled if the nanny is involved in an accident in the family vehicle or if there are damages to the vehicle. For example, if the nanny is at fault for an accident or for damages to the family vehicle, will she be expected to cover insurance deductible costs.

If the nanny will be using her own vehicle to transport the children, be sure to verify that she is fully insured, and insist on seeing a copy of the policy and verifying it’s activeness.

Mileage Reimbursement   Another benefit of the nanny using the family vehicle is it means the family provides gas for the vehicle and will not have to deal with reimbursing their nanny for mileage.  When a nanny does use her own vehicle on the job, be sure to reimburse her at the IRS mileage allowance rate. The 2010 IRS Vehicle Mileage reimbursement rate is $ 0.50 per mile. Families can track their nanny’s mileage with the GoNannies.com Nanny Vehicle Mileage Expense Report.

When will the vehicle be used    It’s important to discuss when a family vehicle will be allowed to be used, particularly if you have a live-in nanny. Decide whether the vehicle is only to be used for job related purposes, or if the nanny is allowed to use the vehicle for personal use, as well. If the family will allow the vehicle for personal use, discuss whether the usage will be offered as a job perk or whether any financial responsibilities will be required in return, such as fueling up after use.

Run a Drivers Record Check   Regardless of whether the family’s or the nanny’s vehicle is being used, families should be sure to include a thorough Driving Record Check in their screening process to verify their nanny has a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.

Document the details    With all the items that need to be discussed related to using the family’s vehicle or nanny’s vehicle, including the details in a Nanny-Family Work Agreement can help insure that all information is agreed upon, reducing the risk of any problems arising in the future.

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6 thoughts on “Should the Nanny Use the Family Vehicle or Her Own?

  1. Our nanny had an accident in our car and we deducted the insurance costs out of her check. We fronted the bill and then set an amount to be deducted from each check to pay us back. Accidents happen, so we were understanding about it. Though if it happened again, we’d probably be less understanding…

  2. Get the mileage reimbursement in writing if you’re family says that’s what they’ll do! I worked for a family that claimed they would pay me back for gas incurred on the job but after weeks of trying to collect the money I had spent driving the kids around on the job they still hadn’t paid me back. I ended up seeking employment elsewhere because I financially just couldn’t wait around for forever to get paid back.

    • Yikes! My family and I agreed that they would reimburse my mileage every Friday and we’ve stuck to that. It’s ensured that I get paid back and we don’t ever have to go in circles about it – we just know that Friday is reimbursement day. We also do reimbursements for any other job-related expenses on Fridays too.

      • These are both good points and just another reason to get all of the details worked out and in writing prior to starting your job! Thanks for the input!

  3. We’ve done both before – provided a car and let the nanny use her own – and we found that for our family it made more sense to provide the vehicle. Granted, it’s an expensive investment, but we just felt better knowing that we approved the car ahead of time and know all of its features, safety, etc.

  4. My family has a live-in nanny and she didn’t have a car when she started working for us, so we provided the car for her. It’s worked out well though – when she’s on the clock we reimburse her for any miles driven and when she’s off the clock the responsibility is her own. It takes a certain amount of trust, but I feel confident in the fairness of the agreement we’ve worked out.

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