Co-owner of a car: advantages and disadvantages

When you buy a car, it is generally registered in the name of a single owner: let’s see together how you can do to jointly register it with several people and in which cases this is convenient.

How to jointly own a car

Joint ownership of a car is possible by law like other assets of any kind; for this reason, the procedure is practically identical to the traditional one and requires that all the natural persons participating in it are present at the time of purchase. Let’s say you want to buy a car and intend to share the property with your girlfriend, wife or friend; you just have to carry out the normal buying and selling procedures by presenting the documents of the people participating in the purchase, placing the necessary signatures where required. In practice, you do not have to carry out any particular operations that are different from those normally known.

As you may have guessed, there is no need for a family relationship or other type of bond between the co-owners and you can easily decide with whom to buy your car without problems.

But why should you jointly own a car? The question might sound inappropriate; you may want to do it for transparency towards a person you love or for any other reason that exclusively concerns the relationships you have privately with another person.

In reality, even in this case we are faced with a sort of “trick” that becomes useful in those cases in which you inherit a vehicle or have to face insurance costs that are anything but negligible. In this regard, the famous Bersani law comes into play; let’s see what it foresees in these cases.

The advantages deriving from the joint ownership of a car

To tell the truth, if you jointly own a car with several people you do not get any advantage except in a specific case, for which you could buy a vehicle together with a partner expecting to benefit in the near future from a better class of merit in relation to car liability insurance.

But how does all this work? Let’s say you are fathers of families who have had a driving license for many years and have an advantageous insurance policy as regards the bonus-malus class of merit; your child is about to buy his first car and the insurance puts his RC policy in fourteenth class, as required by law. Your child, if he resides at home with you, can link his policy to yours and benefit from a better class of merit, paying a much lower amount as a result.

In this case, the joint ownership of the vehicle is still superfluous, it is indeed deleterious, because within the family unit each individual can benefit from the most advantageous merit class according to the official residence alone; moreover, you would find yourself paying the car liability insurance policy in relation to the bonus-malus provided for your child’s contract (we will see later why).

Things change radically if one day your child decides to go and live alone, to get married or in any case to leave the family unit; in this case, if the car is not jointly registered, he will also be forced to abandon the merit class and start again with a new policy. If, on the other hand, the car is jointly owned, the holders of the best class of merit, in this case you as the father of a family, can give it up and leave it to your child; it is understood that you will in any case have to start again with a new policy and relative class of merit, as the latter is only one and you actually transfer it to another natural person.

The disadvantages of jointly owning a car

With regard to the RC policy, jointly holding a car is an operation that entails a certain economic disadvantage, especially in the event that you do so for reasons related to the difference in merit class. In fact, if you own a car with your child, you will find yourself paying a higher insurance premium, exactly the one linked to the merit class of his policy; in practice, the law provides that the insurance applies the worst bonus-malus, because it considers the lesser experience of the younger policyholder in relation to Civil Liability to be fundamental.

A law made to avoid co-ownership

For various reasons relating to the behavior of motorists on the road and other reasons ranging from tax to judicial reasons, the Bersani law has introduced these regulations which in fact oblige you, in a certain sense, to each have your own private car. The fact remains that no one forbids the joint ownership of a car.

We therefore assume the following fixed points:

  • the bonus-malus merit class of the motor liability insurance policy is linked to the residence and all those who live at the same address can rely on the most advantageous class within the group. Residence is a fundamental condition and must be official, while the family relationship is not relevant in any case (you can be friends, cohabitants, acquaintances, etc.);
  • the joint ownership of a car has the only advantage of allowing you to transfer the merit class to the joint holder in the event of death or in the event that the latter leaves the residence he has in common with you (inheritance of the merit class).

The advantages are to be found in the inheritance of the assets; if, for example, you are the lucky owner of a Ferrari, you will easily realize that any joint ownership of the vehicle could save you for example from a possible inheritance tax, which in this case would be decidedly onerous.

To be precise, there is still a law that prohibits the use of a third party car , so you may be interested in jointly holding a car for personal reasons and related to another kind of convenience that has nothing to do with insurance.


Leave a Comment