Author Topic: Please help arbitrate this family dispute  (Read 7899 times)

FIRE47

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Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« on: February 02, 2017, 06:31:07 AM »
I truly don't know what is fair and what isn't in this case so here are the facts:

I carpool with relative A to work every day, I am right on their route (there is a 200 Ft side street they have to pull into to get me).

I am charged about $25 for 15 trips at about 3-4kms from our destination (one way), keep in mind there is 0 extra mileage for them. Their car gets about 35 mpg

Relative A hit an obstacle on the road (on my small sides street) one day on the way to work and incurred $800-$1000 worth of front body damage.

Relative A now declares that the $25 does not cover damage on my small 200 ft detour and the right thing to do is split the repair...

I don't want to get taken here as Relative A is generally always pulling at my heartstrings and getting money out of me but I also want to do the right thing or at least what most people would consider fair.

*The repair is mostly cosmetic but could over several years eventually cause further wear and damage to the vehicle which is 5 years old.

Please help.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 06:34:42 AM by FIRE47 »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 06:43:17 AM »
Yeah that's bullshit. Don't they have car insurance?

FIRE47

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 06:45:34 AM »
Yeah that's bullshit. Don't they have car insurance?

The argument is with the deductible and increased rates going forward its a bad decision to force them to make.

Jakejake

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 06:46:43 AM »
Is there a reason they hit the obstacle instead of going around it?

Was the driver at fault?

Blatant

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 06:48:01 AM »
While I generally agree with paying someone who's providing you a convenience (i.e., the $25 for the rides you're receiving), the damage sounds like it's entirely the fault of the driver. I can't believe a family member would have balls enough to even go down that path.

pbkmaine

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 06:49:16 AM »
Are you sure you want to carpool with this person?

FIRE47

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2017, 06:49:51 AM »
Is there a reason they hit the obstacle instead of going around it?

Was the driver at fault?

The obstacle was basically an ignorant neighbour had shoveled snow 3-4 feet into the road - with the low light morning conditions it was somewhat difficult to see and had frozen into an ice pack.

Were they at fault - well it was in the regular part of the road but most people would have avoided it imo.

Captain FIRE

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2017, 06:50:33 AM »
It may be bullshit, but how painful would it be to arrange a different ride to the place?  The $25 should cover all costs of wear/tear/gas/maintenance/repairs/their hassle/the amount you save by not having to drive yourself.  (It seems to match the IRS 0.50 cent rate - 3.5 miles * 15 trips * 0.50 cents = $26.25.  Was that deliberate?)  Perhaps the thing to do would be to raise the $25 so the driver feels s/he is getting something more out of the arrangement.  Ultimately though, regardless of whether you are obligated to pay (I don't think so) it's really a question of whether it would upset you if the relationship and/or ride situation would be harmed by refusing to chip in.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2017, 06:51:18 AM »

GuitarStv

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2017, 06:52:13 AM »
You're paying for a service.  The person you're buying from is free to set the rate for the service at anything they want.  You're free to walk or ride your bike to your destination if you feel the cost is not worth the service received.

FIRE47

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2017, 07:03:58 AM »
It may be bullshit, but how painful would it be to arrange a different ride to the place?  The $25 should cover all costs of wear/tear/gas/maintenance/repairs/their hassle/the amount you save by not having to drive yourself.  (It seems to match the IRS 0.50 cent rate - 3.5 miles * 15 trips * 0.50 cents = $26.25.  Was that deliberate?)  Perhaps the thing to do would be to raise the $25 so the driver feels s/he is getting something more out of the arrangement.  Ultimately though, regardless of whether you are obligated to pay (I don't think so) it's really a question of whether it would upset you if the relationship and/or ride situation would be harmed by refusing to chip in.

The rate setting was somewhat deliberate yes. I am moving soon so the arrangement will be changes - ironically they will now be on my route to work.

The price was basically carefully set by the other party at just enough that it wasn't quite worth it to just drive myself - think of Trump setting the rate for the ride.

I am less concerned with the costs involved and more just about doing what is reasonable - I don't want to be the one that is stubbornly doing something unfair without reflecting.

I am usually the one getting pointed out at family gatherings for my mustachian type behavior so it wouldnt take much for me to be spun as a villain to the rest of my family.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 07:07:11 AM by FIRE47 »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2017, 07:08:25 AM »
No reasonable person could accuse you of being unfair. Your relative did this all by himself. Now he's shifted to victim mentality and looking for someone to blame.

lizzzi

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2017, 07:15:59 AM »
I can see paying for the ride, but not for part of the damages to the car. It's the driver's/owner's responsibility. Tough beans.

Reynolds531

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2017, 07:16:30 AM »
Would an uber driver be able to demand this? Would a taxi driver?

Anyone he tells this story to is just going to laugh.

Jakejake

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2017, 07:23:50 AM »
I don't think it's reasonable to expect you to pay. He was charging you for the ride, and the amount he charged should take into consideration wear and tear on the car - with all that entails. He had no problem profiting off you when it was costing him nothing and not adding any mileage - it was a business venture.

Not to go on a capitalism rant here or anything, but he's not a big enough corporation to get away with collecting all of the profits but expecting you to assume half the risks. Not even cab drivers or uber gets away with that.

If the agreement in advance had been that you'd pay basically what it cost you to drive, plus pay half of any accident he got into, you'd have likely just driven yourself.

I have driven students on field trips before in my private car (with paperwork approved by the school!), and in one case we were hit by an insane driver going the wrong way on the freeway at 2am. Luckily everyone in my car was fine, but my husband had to drive from another state to come rescue us. It never would have occurred to me to ask the school or the passengers to pay for it, even though I would not have been driving there for my own personal reasons.

The one thing I haven't factored into this though, is the personal relationship between the two of you. Is he generally a jerk, or someone whose friendship you value? Is he in a situation where the bill is really a financial hardship for him? Is it for you? Do you earn substantially more than him? None of that means it's reasonable for him to expect you to pay, but it might be a reason for you to do it anyway.

One thing I'd do for sure is stop carpooling with him!

slugline

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2017, 08:12:24 AM »
You were not driving the car or did anything to cause the collision. You are not responsible for this.

Relative A's position only makes sense if these rides are understood to be a family favor instead of a purely financial transaction. In this case, if you choose to help with the repairs this should be understood as a family favor also.

Dave1442397

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2017, 08:16:10 AM »
No way in hell would I pay for someone else's damage caused by their own poor driving skills.

I think I'd say no to both paying for damages and any future carpooling with said person.

MBot

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2017, 08:20:45 AM »
There are two considerations here.

Is it your problem/responsibility? NOOOO. No reasonable person would charge you for their error. If it's anyone's fault it's the neighbour.

But... is it worth the family peace to cough up $400-$500 and then never, ever carpool or arrange anything with this person again? Or conversely, would it just encourage this behaviour and reward this kind of thinking to pay it? Then you especially don't want to do it.

It may be worth it to you. I don't know what the relationship is like or if not paying the few hundred would seriously strain or hurt the relationship with others, even unfairly. In that case it may be a relatively easy way for you to come off smellling like a rose and then wash your hands of it and be forever the bigger person

WildJager

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2017, 08:39:46 AM »
I am charged about $25 for 15 trips at about 3-4kms from our destination (one way), keep in mind there is 0 extra mileage for them. Their car gets about 35 mpg

3-4 kms?  Get it bike.  That's like 10 minutes of riding.  Be done with this whole mess and get some fresh air to boot.

Livingthedream55

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2017, 09:05:01 AM »
I can see paying for the ride, but not for part of the damages to the car.

+1

frugaliknowit

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2017, 10:06:46 AM »
I don't think it's reasonable to expect you to pay. He was charging you for the ride, and the amount he charged should take into consideration wear and tear on the car - with all that entails. He had no problem profiting off you when it was costing him nothing and not adding any mileage - it was a business venture.

Not to go on a capitalism rant here or anything, but he's not a big enough corporation to get away with collecting all of the profits but expecting you to assume half the risks. Not even cab drivers or uber gets away with that.

If the agreement in advance had been that you'd pay basically what it cost you to drive, plus pay half of any accident he got into, you'd have likely just driven yourself.

I have driven students on field trips before in my private car (with paperwork approved by the school!), and in one case we were hit by an insane driver going the wrong way on the freeway at 2am. Luckily everyone in my car was fine, but my husband had to drive from another state to come rescue us. It never would have occurred to me to ask the school or the passengers to pay for it, even though I would not have been driving there for my own personal reasons.

The one thing I haven't factored into this though, is the personal relationship between the two of you. Is he generally a jerk, or someone whose friendship you value? Is he in a situation where the bill is really a financial hardship for him? Is it for you? Do you earn substantially more than him? None of that means it's reasonable for him to expect you to pay, but it might be a reason for you to do it anyway.

One thing I'd do for sure is stop carpooling with him!

If you wanna soften the blow of not paying for the damage, I have a suggestion:

Explain to your relative that it was your understanding that the rate of $xx per week (or whatever) included "wear and tear".  Since that's apparently not the case, perhaps a rate of $XX + Y would have (or ask him what rate would have...).  Since we have done a total of XY trips together, I will rebate you Y * XY trips.

Going forward, DON't carpool with him.

BlueHouse

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2017, 11:04:15 AM »
I was firmly in the stop carpooling side of things because this guy is a jerk.  He's been taking advantage of you from the beginning by having YOU subsidize HIS commute, rather than a true cost-sharing where each benefits. 

then I saw this:


I am moving soon so the arrangement will be changes - ironically they will now be on my route to work.

So now I think, yes, pay them a little bit extra and then when it's you're turn to drive to work, charge this usurer an astronomical fee for you to pick him up.  When he complains, it will all be fair, because that's what you paid him when the shoe was on the other foot. 

Sorry, but your relative sounds like a cheap bastard.  Cheap, not frugal.

Catbert

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2017, 11:50:24 AM »
I don't think you have an ethical need to share the cost of the repair.  If they had been giving you a free ride for a long time, maybe it would be the right thing to do.  But he has been charging you fair market price for the ride (i.e., more than the incremental cost of giving you a ride) so it's a business deal.  Accidents are the cost of doing business.

This may be the end of the ride sharing.  It sounds like you can just start driving yourself if it gets too uncomfortable.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2017, 12:05:17 PM »
You're paying for a service.  The person you're buying from is free to set the rate for the service at anything they want.  You're free to walk or ride your bike to your destination if you feel the cost is not worth the service received.

This ^^^. Either pay the driver what he/she wants or find another way to work. Those are the "fair" options.

I do a lot of driving for my friend's group. They chip in some gas money, which is nice. I have done ~ $1K of damage to my truck on one of these trips - nobody paid any of the damage. I have also taken on a bunch of potential damage and liability if there were to be a serious accident.

Now it's my call to drive or not to drive, but as soon as you accept a ride from someone you benefit from a lot of what they are doing for you. So looking at it like "the incremental cost/effort" to pick me up is small therefore I don't owe them much is BS. In this case in particular the damage happened while the driver was doing the extra work of coming to get the OP.

Legally the OP owes them nothing. So if you want to say "it's your problem" that's legit, but don't get mad at them when they raise their "rates" to cover this legitimate expense. If you don't want to pay the higher rate get to work on your own.

As I have often been the one with a truck in my friend group I have seen time and time again how poorly people estimate the costs of operating a vehicle, the hassles involved in coordinating with their schedules and the implications of risk and liability that occur for the driver, but not the passenger.

To the OP you are getting rides for less than the cost of public transport. That's a killer deal. You are not appreciating what your relative is doing for you.

FIRE47

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2017, 01:14:11 PM »
You're paying for a service.  The person you're buying from is free to set the rate for the service at anything they want.  You're free to walk or ride your bike to your destination if you feel the cost is not worth the service received.

This ^^^. Either pay the driver what he/she wants or find another way to work. Those are the "fair" options.

I do a lot of driving for my friend's group. They chip in some gas money, which is nice. I have done ~ $1K of damage to my truck on one of these trips - nobody paid any of the damage. I have also taken on a bunch of potential damage and liability if there were to be a serious accident.

Now it's my call to drive or not to drive, but as soon as you accept a ride from someone you benefit from a lot of what they are doing for you. So looking at it like "the incremental cost/effort" to pick me up is small therefore I don't owe them much is BS. In this case in particular the damage happened while the driver was doing the extra work of coming to get the OP.

Legally the OP owes them nothing. So if you want to say "it's your problem" that's legit, but don't get mad at them when they raise their "rates" to cover this legitimate expense. If you don't want to pay the higher rate get to work on your own.

As I have often been the one with a truck in my friend group I have seen time and time again how poorly people estimate the costs of operating a vehicle, the hassles involved in coordinating with their schedules and the implications of risk and liability that occur for the driver, but not the passenger.

To the OP you are getting rides for less than the cost of public transport. That's a killer deal. You are not appreciating what your relative is doing for you.

I do appreciate what he's doing - my car only gets about 3-4k kms a year and will last almost forever at this rate.

And I do acknowledge the arguments you bring up as he has brought them all up already - I just wanted to see some unbiased opinions to kind of calibrate myself so I'm glad to get the point of view of another driver in a carpool.

In reality if I would have just paid him $5-10 more a month I could have absolved myself but now I'm not so sure if the rate was high enough to be all encompasing... :S

Guesl982374

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2017, 01:24:24 PM »
I agree with everyone else. Just curious, what did he hit?

SnackDog

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2017, 01:26:24 PM »
What if your relative had totaled his car and disabled a young attorney? Would you be on the hook for half the car plus half the damages awarded in a law suit?  I sure hope not.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2017, 01:27:31 PM »
OP you are setting up a contract with him and that means you can structure it in a way that makes sense to you [assuming he agrees]. So this incident aside let's say you want to have no responsibility for anything beyond your "fare" offer him a higher rate and make it clear this includes any accidents, speeding tickets, etc.. If he agrees then you get what you want - a low-ish cost fixed rate transport with no additional complications.

The key is the discussion and agreement on what the services entail and what is excluded.

robartsd

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2017, 02:37:15 PM »
You have been paying at least $0.33/mile for the travel you shared: $25/(15 trips * 2 ways * 4 km * .62 mi/km). This is about 2/3 of the IRS mileage rate ($0.50/mile) that accounts for all the costs of owning and operating an average vehicle. If your schedule causes very little if any inconvenience to the driver, this is more than fair.

If your relative would like to pay for repairs out of pocket to avoid insurance claim but lacks funds, you could offer to loan some money at a reasonable interest rate - put the agreement in writing and give a written statement with every payment. ($430 amortizes to 18 monthly payments of $25 at a 6% interest rate.)

BlueHouse

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2017, 02:44:26 PM »
You're paying for a service.  The person you're buying from is free to set the rate for the service at anything they want.  You're free to walk or ride your bike to your destination if you feel the cost is not worth the service received.

This ^^^. Either pay the driver what he/she wants or find another way to work. Those are the "fair" options.


You guys saw that the title of this thread identified this as a "Family" dispute. No way, no how, should a family member charge you a "fair" amount.  That's just un-familial! 

Captain FIRE

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2017, 02:58:39 PM »
You have been paying at least $0.33/mile for the travel you shared: $25/(15 trips * 2 ways * 4 km * .62 mi/km). This is about 2/3 of the IRS mileage rate ($0.50/mile) that accounts for all the costs of owning and operating an average vehicle. If your schedule causes very little if any inconvenience to the driver, this is more than fair.

I missed it was km not miles in my math, but OP did say they were one way trips (and I also counted it as 3.5 since he said it was 3-4).  So it's much worse than you (or I) initially projected:
$25/(15 trips * 3.5 km * .62 mi/km) = 0.77

The relative really should be able to cover all driving costs with that reimbursement - without considering that the relative also needs to drive that distance anyways. 

Retire-Canada

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2017, 02:59:20 PM »
You have been paying at least $0.33/mile for the travel you shared: $25/(15 trips * 2 ways * 4 km * .62 mi/km). This is about 2/3 of the IRS mileage rate ($0.50/mile) that accounts for all the costs of owning and operating an average vehicle. If your schedule causes very little if any inconvenience to the driver, this is more than fair.

The whole premise of that mileage rate breaks down if you are talking very short trips because you cannot amortize the true costs over such a short commute. The car does not just materialise into existence for 4kms each way then disappear. The owner has to buy, it maintain it and store it so that the OP can benefit from it. The OP also gets away with zero risk/liability from the operation of the vehicle, but gets to benefit from the low cost commute. The driver also has to detour to pick up the OP and drop them off, which is not zero effort.

A more realistic cost for this service is to ask yourself what a taxi/uber would charge for this trip then take out 15% - 25% for profit/admin costs since it's a relative.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 03:01:58 PM by Retire-Canada »

Goldielocks

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2017, 03:19:16 PM »
I truly don't know what is fair and what isn't in this case so here are the facts:

I carpool with relative A to work every day, I am right on their route (there is a 200 Ft side street they have to pull into to get me).

I am charged about $25 for 15 trips at about 3-4kms from our destination (one way), keep in mind there is 0 extra mileage for them. Their car gets about 35 mpg

Relative A hit an obstacle on the road (on my small sides street) one day on the way to work and incurred $800-$1000 worth of front body damage.

Relative A now declares that the $25 does not cover damage on my small 200 ft detour and the right thing to do is split the repair...

I don't want to get taken here as Relative A is generally always pulling at my heartstrings and getting money out of me but I also want to do the right thing or at least what most people would consider fair.

*The repair is mostly cosmetic but could over several years eventually cause further wear and damage to the vehicle which is 5 years old.

Please help.

Throwing the repair into it, just muddies the waters.  At the base of it is that your relative has not been charging you enough for their inconvenience.

If you were cycling to their home, and waiting for them while they finished breakfast, then left together, (only you are the one waiting) maybe your amount is fine, but picking up someone else is a hassle, and doing it routinely should be compensated. When I carpooled, this is how we did it, and i only paid half the gas.  Think of it this way, what if every day you picked up their kid from school and walked them to your relative's home.  (assuming you were close by)  you were only walking, so it is no cost to you, but wouldn't you like a bit of money for having to be responsible all the time, but would do it for free if only occasionally?

Around here, regular carpooling costs START at a little over transit (bus) fare, for convenient routes.  e.g., $5 per trip or $10 per day (round trip).   This is between private individuals, and similar across a lot of different groups.   Transit would cost about $3.75 per trip.


My two cents would be to acknowledge their angst about the repair and suggest to increase your carpool rate to $5 per one way trip.  (or whatever you decide).   OR, offer to get yourself to their home to leave together in future.

robartsd

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2017, 03:24:38 PM »
A more realistic cost for this service is to ask yourself what a taxi/uber would charge for this trip then take out 15% - 25% for profit/admin costs since it's a relative.
The big cost of a taxi/uber is paying the driver, not paying for the car. The 2016 IRS $0.54/mile rate includes the costs of buying, maintaining, storing, and liability risks ($0.19/mile for just incremental costs of operating the vehicle).

Retire-Canada

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2017, 03:30:58 PM »
Around here, regular carpooling costs START at a little over transit (bus) fare, for convenient routes.  e.g., $5 per trip or $10 per day (round trip).   This is between private individuals, and similar across a lot of different groups.   Transit would cost about $3.75 per trip.

Using transit fares as the cost basis is a reasonable way to go. $5 x 15 = $75 vs. $25 the OP was paying.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2017, 03:37:07 PM »
The big cost of a taxi/uber is paying the driver, not paying for the car. The 2016 IRS $0.54/mile rate includes the costs of buying, maintaining, storing, and liability risks ($0.19/mile for just incremental costs of operating the vehicle).

As I noted above the IRS mileage cost fails due the short distance of the commute. Your suggestion is the OP benefit from the existence and maintenance of the car by only paying the incremental cost, but the car does not magically appear just for this purpose and then disappear. It has to be bought/depreciate and be maintained by the owner so the OP can get driven to work. So the costs are not simply the those around the 4kms for each trip.

Hence why I suggested using the taxi/uber costs as the basis. If you want to discount those rates a bit more to remove some of the driver's pay that's fine, but ultimately the car did not get to the OP's house on its own nor did it drive itself so remunerating the driver to some degree is not inappropriate.

AZDude

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #36 on: February 02, 2017, 03:42:45 PM »
I truly don't know what is fair and what isn't in this case so here are the facts:

I carpool with relative A to work every day, I am right on their route (there is a 200 Ft side street they have to pull into to get me).

I am charged about $25 for 15 trips at about 3-4kms from our destination (one way), keep in mind there is 0 extra mileage for them. Their car gets about 35 mpg

Relative A hit an obstacle on the road (on my small sides street) one day on the way to work and incurred $800-$1000 worth of front body damage.

Relative A now declares that the $25 does not cover damage on my small 200 ft detour and the right thing to do is split the repair...

I don't want to get taken here as Relative A is generally always pulling at my heartstrings and getting money out of me but I also want to do the right thing or at least what most people would consider fair.

*The repair is mostly cosmetic but could over several years eventually cause further wear and damage to the vehicle which is 5 years old.

Please help.

Is Relative A blind or otherwise handicapped? To hit something that causes $800+ in damages usually is caused by negligent driving, especially if this is a "small side street".

Tell relative A to fuck off, and start taking the bus to work(or biking/walking since its only 4km).

robartsd

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2017, 03:55:03 PM »
I agree that the amount paid has not compensated the driver's labor, but the IRS rate is intended to fully compensate for the cost of the car. Since the IRS rate is based on average usage of an average car, it is just as likely that the actual costs are lower than this rate as it is that they are higher. If the payment was only intended to compensate for the use of the car, not the driver's labor, the IRS rate is an appropriate benchmark. I don't think the OP or relative ever intended for the driver to be compensated (other than saving most/all of the costs of the commute).

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2017, 04:04:11 PM »
If the agreement in advance had been that you'd pay basically what it cost you to drive, plus pay half of any accident he got into, you'd have likely just driven yourself.

Since it's family this is tricky, but I think the above is the main point to make to them or anyone else that scoffs at you for being cheap.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #39 on: February 02, 2017, 05:09:42 PM »
Are you serious?!?! Why aren't you riding your bike?!?! Facepunch

Reynolds531

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2017, 06:43:34 PM »
You have been paying at least $0.33/mile for the travel you shared: $25/(15 trips * 2 ways * 4 km * .62 mi/km). This is about 2/3 of the IRS mileage rate ($0.50/mile) that accounts for all the costs of owning and operating an average vehicle. If your schedule causes very little if any inconvenience to the driver, this is more than fair.

If your relative would like to pay for repairs out of pocket to avoid insurance claim but lacks funds, you could offer to loan some money at a reasonable interest rate - put the agreement in writing and give a written statement with every payment. ($430 amortizes to 18 monthly payments of $25 at a 6% interest rate.)

Do not lend them  money for the repair you will never get it back!

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2017, 09:45:11 PM »
I suggest you get a better family member. This sounds like the sort of asshole that shows up a couple of days after a family member's funeral and starts taking shit out of the garage.

Dicey

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #42 on: February 02, 2017, 09:59:05 PM »
I've read all the comments. I see no clear cut answer. You're in a tough spot. I'm going to suggest another option. Could you calmly explain your position and then offer to pay a smaller portion of the damage? I'm thinking perhaps $200. You don't owe him that and the dude is not likely to be happy with anything less than the full amount, but at least you will have the peace of mind of knowing you did more than was absolutely necessary (whatever that is). You will also have a defense against any family pushback. "I gave him $200. I wasn't even in the car when it happened. What would you have done?" This is especially helpful if you're sure the others would have given him zip.

This is not a perfect solution, but families are weird. It might be good to take a step back from the situation and see if it isn't worth if for the sake of long-term family relationships. Might be, might not. Your call. Best of luck to you.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #43 on: February 02, 2017, 10:09:46 PM »
I agree that the amount paid has not compensated the driver's labor, but the IRS rate is intended to fully compensate for the cost of the car. Since the IRS rate is based on average usage of an average car, it is just as likely that the actual costs are lower than this rate as it is that they are higher. If the payment was only intended to compensate for the use of the car, not the driver's labor, the IRS rate is an appropriate benchmark. I don't think the OP or relative ever intended for the driver to be compensated (other than saving most/all of the costs of the commute).

Correct. Since this is not a taxi service, it is carpooling, the rate should be for the rider's share of car operating costs, plus the additional time taken to detour from the driver's original commute to pick up the rider.

SnackDog

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2017, 11:02:16 PM »
I was once a couple hours from the middle of nowhere on a joint trip with a family member who managed to break his car key in half. We had to wait about five hours for a locksmith to arrive and drill out the ignition, at great cost. We all felt terrible and I offered to pay part. My relative looked at me like I was crazy don't said "it isn't your fault!"

FIRE47

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2017, 09:47:41 AM »
Thanks for all of the advice as well as opposing points of view - after boiling all of the opinions down it seems to me I have likely been at the very least underpaying for the rides by perhaps $10 a month possibly much more.

It is for this reason that I am likely going to end up paying some portion of the damages - it doesn't sit right that I have been underpaying a relative for all this time.

I am of the mind though that his careless driving caused this and it wasn't a simple accident that was not avoidable. I have driven past the obstacle that he struck for the better part of 2 winters now (it forms every year).

My future advice to anyone doing this is to discuss things ahead of time - traffic tickets, damages etc

Don't cheap out on the rate you are paying - throw in a few dollars more and absolve yourself of anything like this ever coming up.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 09:52:34 AM by FIRE47 »

nobody123

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #46 on: February 03, 2017, 10:27:42 AM »
I can understand not wanting to file an insurance claim to avoid the jacked up rates.  Is the issue that they can't afford the repair, or that they just want you to pay half because it happened on your side street?

Personally, they agreed to the carpool at the $25 rate.  It's not like you borrowed their car or was driving when the damage occurred.  I think you owe them nothing.

If you feel like you should be paying $35 or whatever and want to continue the carpool, could you offer $400 up front and keep paying them $25 for 40 more weeks?  Or maybe offer to pay for their rental car while their car is in the shop.

feelingroovy

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Re: Please help arbitrate this family dispute
« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2017, 08:17:10 AM »

The obstacle was basically an ignorant neighbour had shoveled snow 3-4 feet into the road - with the low light morning conditions it was somewhat difficult to see and had frozen into an ice pack.

Were they at fault - well it was in the regular part of the road but most people would have avoided it imo.

In my town, it is illegal to shovel snow from your driveway into the road. It might be worth a quick call to town hall or your local police.

It could be that the neighbor is liable if your town has a law like this.