It is a good idea to think very carefully before loaning your car to another person. Who takes the rap if there is a speed camera or parking ticket? There are a range of legal consequences for the owner of a vehicle if an offence is committed in the car even if it is by another driver while you are not in the car. You could end up in serious legal trouble and debt.
As the owner of a vehicle, it is your responsibility to reasonably ensure the driver has a current, valid licence and is not likely to drive in an irresponsible manner.
The trouble with loaning your car to someone else is that if they receive a speeding fine or other type of traffic infringement while driving your car, you will be sent the fine as the registered owner of the vehicle.
You are responsible for the fine unless you can nominate the actual driver by their name, address and licence number. You have a very limited time in which to do so.
You can ask the person who is loaning your car to fill out a form called a ‘Statutory Declaration’ that can be downloaded from the Roads and Maritime Services (‘RMS’) website. The form is a solemn declaration that the other person was the driver and not you. If this occurs, they get the demerit points, not you.
What Happens if the Person who Committed the Offence is not Co-operating?
If the person refuses to co-operate and formally own up to their infringement, you may have to go to court to defend the matter to avoid losing points from your licence and paying the fine.
If the fine remains unpaid, you could lose your licence and your registration can be cancelled.
The rules cited are quite clear. As the registered operator of the vehicle, you are the ‘responsible person’ for the motor vehicle. When loaning your car to another person, you are still the ‘responsible person’ for the motor vehicle. There can be more than one ‘responsible person’ for a motor vehicle at any one time. For example, the owner and the driver.
If an offence is committed by someone else driving your vehicle, as the ‘person responsible’ for your vehicle, you are presumed to be guilty for the offence as if you were the actual person who committed the offence unless you had a satisfactory explanation regarding the offence, such as you were not the driver at the time. 
You have a duty to inform RMS if you are not the driver of the vehicle who committed the offence. The legislation states that you must nominate the driver of the offence within twenty-one (21) days of receiving the notice, or 28 days if the notice is served by post. 
If you fail to nominate someone outside the strict limitation period, even if the driver admits to committing the offence, the Court may be unable to accept this as a defence. You may end up paying:
- Legal fees for yourself;
- Legal fees for the RMS;
- The penalties for the infringement; and
- A fine of up to $2,200.
If you find yourself in this unfortunate position, you will need to obtain professional legal advice.