April 8, 2019

Can au pairs drive?

The ins and outs of au pairs behind the wheel.

3 minutes
About au pairs

From bringing your kids to school to grabbing groceries, having an au pair that can drive is important for many host families!

In this article, you’ll learn rules and regulations to help your au pair stay safe behind the wheel—and give you peace of mind.

Even if driving is not an active part of an au pair’s responsibilities, most host families provide car access so their au pair can meet friends during free time, attend monthly LCC meetings, or travel to class. So it’s essential to ensure that your au pair is given everything they need to succeed on the roads.

Read on for some ins-and-outs of preparing your au pair to drive!

Help them obtain a legal license

Each state has different requirements for overseas visitors who wish to drive. Nonetheless, we recommend that au pairs obtain a state license upon arrival regardless of what state they’re in. Contact the local Registry of Motor Vehicles as soon as you select your au pair. If you require your au pair to drive, you’re responsible for the cost of obtaining a state driver’s license.

Prepare them to get behind the wheel

Like many young Americans, au pairs have varied levels of driving experience. We strongly recommend that you talk with your au pair about local driving practices. Take time to familiarize them with your family vehicles as well as roads and highways in the area. Many au pairs will not be comfortable driving a new car in a new place right away. Families who require their au pairs to drive larger vehicles (like SUVs or minivans) should take special care to help their au pair get used to it.

Help them practice before they drive with children in the car. Au pairs and host families should start by driving together so that au pairs can get accustomed to the car and local traffic. If an au pair does not feel comfortable driving, we encourage them to discuss this with their host family. It is better to be honest than to pay the price of a car accident later.

Here are important points to discuss about car use:

Set up proper auto insurance

If an au pair will be using your family car, you’re required to add them to your auto insurance policy and cover these costs. Because insurance companies have different requirements (e.g. some require a state license or a social security number), it’s best to get these details as soon as you find your au pair.

Note that allowing an au pair to use the family car means taking a risk. Accidents are possible, no matter how good someone is at driving. Because the au pair’s medical insurance does not provide coverage for any liability or property damage, the family is responsible for ensuring that they’ve added proper insurance to their own policy. In case of an accident that results in injury, the au pair’s own medical insurance is secondary to the auto insurance policy.

If the au pair is involved in a car accident while on duty, which includes travel to and from LCC meetings and classes, the family will be responsible for all associated costs. If the accident occurs while the au pair is off-duty, the au pair is responsible for paying the deductible up to $500. The au pair is not responsible for a deductible of more than $500. Remember, the au pair’s stipend cannot be withheld for this or any reason.

Assessing an au pair’s driving skills

If you’ll require your au pair to drive, bring it up with them as early in the process as you can—even in interviews. The sooner you get talking about it, the sooner you can assess the au pair’s comfort level on the road. You can also talk to your support team at Cultural Care.

Once your au pair arrives in your home, spend some time together behind the wheel. Equipping au pairs to drive can make your life a whole lot easier. All it takes is a little homework to ensure everyone’s safety!

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