Life Advice



Ask Amy: Auto lenders are rethinking the terms

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: After a car accident last year, my older brother “Danny” was without a vehicle. (The accident was not his fault, and his car was totaled.)

Danny works full time from home, and so he decided not to replace his car and purchased an e-bike, which he uses for local errands.

My husband and I have two cars, and rarely need the use of both during any given day. We are planning to sell our “second car” in a few months and want to keep the mileage low.

After checking my insurance coverage, I offered my brother the use of my car for times when he might need it.

He hasn't exactly abused this offer, with only six "loans" over the course of a year – but it's starting to feel uncomfortable.

He doesn't refill the tank before returning it, and I also usually have to prompt him to bring it back.


A few weeks ago, he borrowed the car to attend an event 120 miles away. He picked it up on Friday morning and returned it on Monday.

I checked the mileage and discovered that the car had been driven nearly 500 miles.

Allowing for the 250-ish miles round-trip to and from the party, my brother somehow clocked an additional 250-ish miles.

Checking the mileage made me feel petty, but my relationship with him is not one wherein I could easily address any of this with him.


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