Can I get in trouble if I take my parents' car without their permission?

I'm 16 and want to get my permit. My parents won't let me practice driving yet. I'm considering taking their car to practice at night. What could happen if I take their car without permission?

Answer
“I’m sure it’s frustrating that your parents won’t let you practice driving, they likely just want to ensure you’re safe!
Several things that could happen if you’re unlicensed and choose to take your parents’ vehicle without permission.
First, you could get into an accident with their vehicle. Since you are an inexperienced driver and plan on taking the vehicle at night, you’re likely to get into an accident. As you’d be taking the car without your parents’ permission, their car insurance company could deny coverage.
Your parents would be responsible for any damage or injuries you cause. They may be required to pay out of pocket to cover any costs or face legal issues relating to the accident.
Additionally, if you are pulled over or caught driving without a license, you may not be able to get your permit until a certain age. Typically this could be a few years, meaning you may not be eligible for your permit until you’re 18 or older.
Although it may not seem like a big deal to take your parents’ car, you could face serious consequences by doing so. You should study to get your permit so that you can legally begin practicing driving with your parents.
And as a fail safe, use the Jerry app to see what you might pay for insurance once you can drive legally. Once you realize that hundreds or even thousands of dollars is at stake, you can resist the urge to drive the car.”
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Emily Maracle
Answered on Sep 10, 2021
Emily Maracle is a car insurance specialist living in New York. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she has a degree in English Literature and a background in customer service. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and living sustainably. In the future, she can't wait to upgrade to a hybrid or electric car.
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