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Volunteering Using Your Car – Advice for Drivers and Charities

Volunteering Using Your Car – Advice for Drivers and Charities

We have had lots of enquires from our customers and felt we should issue an advice note for Volunteering Using Your Car – with advice for drivers and charities alike. At this time with almost a million people volunteering for the NHS and other organisations also on a recruitment drive, this time where people may have more time to volunteer, its important that we consider what needs to be done to ensure it is done legitimately, legally and safely

Drivers using their own vehicles in their voluntary activities should tell their insurers. They should make it clear that they will only receive out-of-pocket expenses, to make it clear that this is not commercial use of the vehicle. Most major UK based insurers have already said they will not charge clients for using vehicles during this pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t declare the usage to your insurers first. especially if the vehicle is being used to carry passengers, goods or deliver supplies.

Organisations should make sure that volunteers have told their insurers about their volunteer driving. A simple way to do this is to give volunteers a standard letter with a return slip for the insurance company to complete. Asking for proof that this has been done is a good risk control step for the charity or organisation to follow.


The organisation should ask to see an MOT test certificate if the vehicle is over three years old.

Vehicle condition

The organisation should be reasonably confident that the vehicle is safe. Maybe the Driver or Volunteer can runthrough a check list themselves and submit this to the organisation as evidence they are operating a road worthy vehicle – its still the drivers responsibility to ensure the vehicle you are driving is in a road worthy condition each time you use it, but the organisation have a duty of care to other service users and maybe the wider public, so being diligent and acting reasonably in order to mitigate risk is important.

Seat belts

There are legal requirements for wearing seat belts. It is important to remember that:

Visit RoSPA for more information on seatbelts and the law

Fitness to drive

By law, a driver must notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if:

The DVLA will then make a decision about the person’s fitness to drive.

Not telling the DVLA about a condition or disability is a criminal offence. The driver could also invalidate their insurance if they do not follow medical advice not to drive.


Drivers should be trained but given the short term nature of some of these volunteering periods, this may not be completely practical or a viable investment in the individuals, never the less appropriate information should be collated by the charity, such as driving license information – See below


It is a good idea for organisations to consider providing ID for volunteer drivers so that the people they are picking up can clearly recognise them. The identification should include the main telephone number for the voluntary driving scheme.

Seating capacity

The seating capacity of a vehicle as stated by the manufacturer and insurer should never be exceeded.

Accidents, illness or injury

In the event of an accident, the organisation and the emergency services should be informed immediately. All claims should be reported to the motor insurers regardless as fault as soon as possible.


Good practice guidance

Driver’s licence

Further information

For more information about volunteer driver schemes contact the Community Transport Association.

Ravenhall Risk Solutions are chartered independent insurance brokers servicing commercial and private clients across the UK. Based in leeds with offices in Belfast, we have access to specialist insurers which can benefit the NFP and NGO sector, if you need any advice on the above please contact our team

Volunteering Using Your Car – Advice for Drivers and Charities

Source NCVO