A Friend Who Borrows Your Car Probably Snoops Through Your Stuff

What's Hot

How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2017Family

8 Major Freebies and Discounts You Get With Amazon PrimeSave

8 Creative Ways to Clear ClutterAround The House

Study: People Who Curse Are More HonestFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

The 3 Golden Rules of Lending to Friends and FamilyBorrow

6 Reasons Why Savers Are Sexier Than SpendersCredit & Debt

Resolutions 2017: Save More Money Using 5 Simple TricksCredit & Debt

Porta-Potties for Presidential Inauguration Cause a StinkFamily

Protecting Trump Will Cost Taxpayers $35 MillionFamily

Tax Hacks 2017: Don’t Miss These 16 Often-Overlooked Tax BreaksTaxes

5 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Pay Off 10 Years From NowCollege

10 Simple Money Moves to Make Before the New YearFamily

A new CarInsurance.com survey finds that people are very inclined to poke around a borrowed vehicle.

This post comes from Penny Gusner at partner site CarInsurance.com.

Perhaps we should worry less about the NSA and more about the people most likely to pry into our lives: our friends, family and neighbors.

Sixty-three percent of drivers who borrowed cars admit they snooped through the vehicles, a new survey from CarInsurance.com shows. Borrowers ran across information you might not otherwise disclose and items you might not otherwise advertise.

And if you lend your car to a colleague, someone you’re dating or a neighbor, they’re a lot more likely to dig through your possessions than someone who’s known you for years. It might be wise to take out any private or incriminating items before you hand over the keys.

Who is snooping and why?

CarInsurance.com surveyed 1,500 licensed drivers. Of those who borrowed cars, most borrowed from a family member — but they were least likely to snoop through those cars.

  • 52 percent borrowed from a relative, and 56 percent of those snooped through the relative’s car.
  • 26 percent borrowed from a friend, and 67 percent of those snooped.
  • 9 percent borrowed from someone they were dating, and 77 percent of those snooped.
  • 8 percent borrowed from a co-worker, and 79 percent of those snooped.
  • 5 percent borrowed from a neighbor, and 72 percent of those snooped.

Men were nearly twice as likely to snoop as women were, with 77 percent of male borrowers admitting to snooping versus 44 percent of females.

We may never know the underlying reasons people feel compelled to snoop, but the top reasons people gave in the survey include:

  • 17 percent were searching for the vehicle’s insurance card.
  • 20 percent said they were just curious.
  • 22 percent said they were looking for music.
  • 41 percent looked around the vehicle as they were storing something of their own.

Where are they looking and what did they find?

The center console was most popular for snoopers, though some owned up to looking in multiple places. Here are the most-searched spots:

  • 52 percent looked in the center console.
  • 39 percent got into the borrowed car’s trunk to sneak a peek.
  • 35 percent poked around the glove box.

University of Texas personality psychologist Sam Gosling suggests in his book, “Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You,” that you can uncover the secrets of a person’s true personality and character by secretly scouting out his or her possessions. We’re not judging, but over half of those who snooped around a borrowed car found one or more of the following items:

  • A cellphone, 27 percent.
  • Surprising photographs, 26 percent.
  • Liquor, 23 percent.
  • Expired registration, 23 percent.
  • Expired insurance, 19 percent.
  • Medicine, 18 percent.
  • Illegal substances, 17 percent.
  • Gun, 15 percent.

Seventy-two percent of the snoopers mentioned their find to the car owner. Would you?

They’re not just borrowing your car

Hopefully, the snooper in your borrowed car isn’t distracted by what he or she finds, because it would be your comprehensive, collision or liability car insurance that pays in the event of an accident.

Car insurance follows the car, not the driver, and claims against your policy — even if you weren’t driving at the time — can affect your future rates. You also assume vicarious liability for anyone who borrows your car, so when your insurance runs out, your personal assets are on the line.

Before handing over the keys:

  • Check that your car insurance policy covers permissive drivers (not all do).
  • Take personal items out of your vehicle if you don’t want to share them.

More on CarInsurance.com:

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your Budget

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,777 more deals!