Perhaps we should worry less about the NSA and more about the
people most likely to pry into our lives: our friends, family and
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
- 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
- 5 percent borrowed from a neighbor, and 72 percent of those
Men were nearly twice as likely to snoop as women were, with 77
percent of male borrowers admitting to snooping vs. 44 percent of
We may never know the underlying reasons people feel compelled
to snoop, but the top reasons people gave in the survey
- 17 percent were searching for the vehicle's insurance
- 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
- 52 percent looked in the center console
- 39 percent got into the borrowed car's trunk to sneak a
- 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 cell phone, 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,
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