Remember the joyride scene in the 1963 Ferrari California Spyder from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”?
In the movie, a valet takes the classic Ferrari for an afternoon spin but has the car back in the garage before anyone notices it’s gone. The scene was a lesson in how to properly take a car that isn’t yours for the ride of your life.
Doing so in real life is wildly irresponsible, dangerous and illegal. But it happens, probably more than we know. Leaving your car and keys with a valet, mechanic or anyone else who doesn’t own it is an open invitation to “borrow” the car until you return.
One of the safest places to leave your car is with the dealer from whom you made the purchase, but a Canadian couple have found out even that can be risky.
Yesterday I read a story about a couple who left their leased Audi S4 with their dealer for some repairs, only to check in later and find that the car had been lost. Later, it was discovered that the car had gone home for the weekend with a mechanic, which the dealer now says was needed to diagnose the car.
Seems legit, right? Needless to say, outrage followed.
Shortly before I read the article I made an appointment with my Audi dealer for some repair and maintenance work. How’s that for coincidence?
Granted, my Q7 wouldn’t be nearly as much fun to take home for the weekend as an S4, but if a mechanic had a hankering for a weekend with an SUV that has almost 100,000 miles and the sticky remains of iced tea adhered to the controls, mine would be the one to take.
I’ve never owned a car that would be worthy of a joyride, but if I did, this news wouldn’t bother me too much. I think, for the most part, people are respectful of other people’s cars and wouldn’t borrow them without permission. If it did happen, and the car was damaged, I know insurance would step in and take care of the problem. Not a big deal.
Would it bother you if someone took your car for a joy ride?