If a car is driven by someone without the owners permission and then is involved in an accident is the owner of the car liable?

  • Generally speaking no. However permission can be implied in many cases. If this person who was driving the car without permission has driven the car in the past with permission you could have a problem. Also anyone living in the household may be deemed as having implied permission to use the car. If the car was truly stolen then the police would need to have been notified.
  • In the UK and across the EU - European Union tries to protect the injured party as best is possible and this may mean tracing a claim back to a policy of motor insurance. Thus, even though the owner of the car is not strictly speaking liable - the owner's insurer might have to pay out if the driver does not have the means to pay the claim. See the related link entitled "accident car insurance" to see more about the motor policies which will pay third party compensation in the UK.