Personal property is just that: Personal.
Your friendship does not entitle you to the possession of another’s stuff.
So, what happens when a friend decides that they are owed items that belong to you?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Karma_Crave when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for not wanting to lend my car to my friend for their cross-country road trip?”
OP got right to the issue at hand.
“I’m in a bit of a predicament and I’m not sure if I’m being unreasonable or not.”
“A close friend of mine is planning a cross-country road trip and has asked to borrow my car for the duration of the trip.”
“The thing is, my car is my pride and joy.”
“I’ve spent a lot of time and money maintaining it and I’m just not comfortable with the idea of someone else driving it for such a long distance.”
“I also have a lot of sentimental value attached to it and the thought of it being so far away from me makes me anxious.”
“I understand that my friend is excited about this trip and I don’t want to be a party pooper, but at the same time, I don’t want to put myself in a position where I’m sacrificing my own comfort and happiness for someone else’s.”
“I’ve tried explaining this to my friend, but they just don’t seem to understand why I’m not willing to lend them my car.”
“They’ve accused me of being selfish and have even called me an a**hole for not wanting to help them out.”
“I’m not sure if I’m being unreasonable or not.”
“On the one hand, I feel like my car is my personal property and I have the right to decide who uses it.”
“On the other hand, I don’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings or ruin our friendship over something like this.”
“Am I the a**hole for not wanting to lend my car to my friend for their road trip?”
OP was left to wonder,
“How can I navigate this situation without causing any hard feelings?”
“Thanks in advance for any advice.”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some pointed out that ownership is a thing.
“Your car, your decision.”
“Have them rent a car with no mileage limit.”
“I can’t imagine the gall someone had to ask and then be offended by a ‘no.'”
“As for your second question, ‘No, I will not lend you the car for your cross-country trip. I’m super excited to hear about your trip when you return!”‘ ~ CrunchM
Others pointed out human nature.
“and this would presumably be the hat trick:”
“3. From a ‘friend’ so they won’t get too mad if we scrape it up a bit…”
“I know I’m dramatic-doomsayer, but this is such a horrible deal for OP!” ~ Steamedfrog
Some were confused.
“Who plans a cross country trip without a vehicle they can drive??”
“I’m so confused. It’s not like they asked to borrow your truck to move, they are literally driving across the country.”
“Do they know what that does to a car?”
“How many miles it puts on your car?”
“The wear and tear? Not too mention the possibility of accidents… and just what are YOU supposed to drive while they are gone?”
“They are being absurd.” ~ Livid_Yogurtcloset67
“That was my thought! We’ve been wanting to do a cross country trip but have been discussing renting a car for it.”
“I don’t want to put that milage and wear and tear on my car! Let alone handing it over to someone else to do.”
“No thanks!” ~ PitMama930
No should be enough.
“Also, have they even offered to pay wear & tear on the car?”
“Do they have sufficient insurance to get you an equal quality car if they cause an accident? What happens if the car gets stolen?”
“So many nos.” ~ MariaInconnu
“No is a complete sentence. You don’t need to explain yourself further when it’s your own property. If they don’t like it, they can pound sand. How childish are they?” ~ MyTesticlesAreBolas
“NTA, never under any circumstance lend anyone your car.”
“Anything that will happen to your car it will be your problem.”
“Like you said, it’s your personal property.”
“And anyone who values you will value your decision not to loan your car.”
“If your friend so desperately wants to do this trip, they can rent a car.” ~ One-Awareness3671
There were others who simply called out OP’s friend.
“Why is she so entitled that she plans a whole road trip without planning for the vehicle first?!”
“It’s a major inconvenience for most people to loan their car for a day much less several days.”
“You can’t just assume that people can spare their car, especially for something non-essential.”
“She should have found a friend with a car to join her, asked her family, saved for a rental car etc.”
“And that would come before any other trip planning since the whole trip hinges on it.”
“This person sounds wildly irresponsible which is one more reason not to loan OP’s car” ~ asecretnarwhal
“Also if they got in an accident or it got stolen your insurance might not cover anything if the insured party isn’t present.”
“My insurance didn’t cover my ex when we were together so he wasn’t supposed to drive my car I learned that the hard way sadly.” ~ -wendymarvel
“Your friend is then going to answer with, ‘Well I can’t go on the trip now since you won’t let me use your car.'”
“And your reply should be, ‘Oh, I’m not a car rental company, but you can rent one at Hertz or Avis, or you can take a bus, or you can fly, or you can go by Amtrak…'”
“‘You have lots of ways to get there. And I’ll be right here when you get back.”‘
“And if they say, ‘Well I can’t afford that.’ Then you say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry you can’t afford your trip now. Maybe you should save some more and do it later.”‘
“(Question, OP: does this ‘friend’ have a history of these ridiculous asks with you?”
“Because that is far over and above what even my best friend or I would ask of one another–how’s she supposed to get around if I have her car for a week??”
“Is this really a friend, or a user who shows up when they want something?”
“Have they done anything for you in the past that warrants such a ridiculous ask??”
“And if you say ‘no’, do they lay it on thick with the guilt trip?)” ~ Amazing_Sundae_2023
“Yeah the “friend” is really just a parasite. They are definitely the type to always need to borrow something” ~ ligmaballsprettypls
Then there were logistics to consider.
“All of this.”
“Even if your insurance covers others driving your car, it’ll be your problem to deal with, in addition to getting it back home, in the first place, if something happens to it.”
“And if the friend damages something like the engine, there’s a zero percent chance they will cough up the money to fix it, and insurance won’t cover it.”
“Then there’s the cleanliness factor, and general care for it, and you said you had sentimental attachment.”
“Plus, wear and tear. Assuming you’re in the US, going coast to coast and back, is easily 7k+ miles.”
“Friend can rent a car or walk, but it’s not your problem, and don’t let them use the car.” ~ Hippopotasaurus-Rex
“Don’t lend them your car, it’s a legal / bureaucratic / insurance nightmare in the waiting for you if anything happens during their cross country trip.”
“I won’t even strart to list the possible liabilities.”
“And you are right to just say ‘no'”.
“Don’t say excuses, don’t explain anything or they will likely try to convince you, come up with solutions for the problems to get the car, no matter what explanation you give.”
“No is a full sentence, and a perfectly satisfying answer.”
“You don’t have to explain to them why you don’t let them use what’s yours. They are not owned and explanation, excuse.”
“NTA they can buy their own car or get a rental car” ~ Cute-Shine-1701
“AYTA? It’s not a no, it’s an H-E-Double-Hockeysticks No.”
“It’s not even a remotely reasonable thing for someone to ask you to do, and you would be mildly insane to do it.”
“Is it safe to assume that they don’t have a car and therefore do not have insurance?”
“So many ways it could end badly, and the best case is they use a non trivial portion of the life of the wear/maintenance items on your car while depriving you of it for an extended period of time.” ~ wtshiz
Consent does not just involve bodily autonomy.
Consent is the right to say yes – or no – in any situation that warrants it.
Remember that being your friend does not mean you lose that right.