indulging · travel

Trading Cars During a Home Exchange

Home Exchange Tips from Go GinghamWhen home swapping, many times the exchange involves trading cars as well. When you don’t have rent a car while on vacation, that’s another big money saver while traveling! With cars, insurance follows the car and having a home exchange partner drive your car is the same as letting a friend borrow your car.

Only once in 10-years and 12 home exchanges have we had to pay an additional fee when driving a partner’s car and that was in Austria. It cost around 35 Euros for the week – which was much less than renting a car.

Trading cars during a home exchange tips…

  1. Pretend like you’re using a rental car and check out the car to make sure everything is in good working order before you leave.
  2. Have your car filled with gas and ready to go.
  3. Have your address with zip code printed in your house tricks manual so that it can be plugged into someone’s GPS.
  4. Make a copy of the car insurance card and registration so that if there is a problem, your home exchange partner has all the necessary documents.
  5. Make sure to specify what type of gas to put in your car. Just ask my husband why! He put gasoline in a diesel while driving in the Swiss Alps in our home exchange partner’s car. It all turned out fine but it did add time to our tight schedule – plus – cars that take diesel don’t like gasoline.
  6. Leave your mechanic’s name and phone number just in case. We’ve never had any problems but you never know.
  7. When using someone’s car, treat it like your own. Refill the gas and take the trash with you.
Frugal Travel San Francisco
Our home exchange trip to San Francisco. We didn’t need a car here!

Still worried? Give your car insurance agent a call and ask them how to handle it. This may give you piece of mind and you’ll enjoy your home exchange more.

Have you traded cars during a home exchange? Would you like to?

Go Gingham related links:

6 Essential Items for Air Travel” including how to limit drooling on your neighbor!
Our first home exchange is here
Frugal travel in San Francisco is here
Vacation meal planning
When traveling, I love to home exchange because it’s frugal and fun
Travel tips for a trip or stay-cation around the Northwest

Last week, I was on the AMNW TV show to share about home swapping. You can watch it below.

4 thoughts on “Trading Cars During a Home Exchange

  1. I actually leave a GPS for my exchangers, if I am exchanging internationally, with my house set on it as “home”. I also bought a GPS for Europe so I no longer have to worry about it over there.

    If I exchange within North America, the GPS goes with me.

    I leave a note in the car with the car documents stating that the exchangers are driving the car with my permission


  2. We are just this week enjoying our first home/car exchange and it is working out great! Thanks, as always, for sharing your tips, Sara!


Comments are closed.