When I saw the first mention of this in the comments several weeks ago, I was surprised.
Au Pairs driving the Host Family car as a second job?
What Au Pair would even presume s/he could use the Host Parents car to drive on off-duty hours to earn some extra money?
With the Host Parents’ car? You know, the car that’s worth thousands of dollars, that costs thousands per year to maintain and insure? The car that’s a lifeline for the family and the Au Pair? The car that’s a privilege, not a right?
I sent the commenter an email asking for “the rest of the story”, but imagined that there really wasn’t much of a story to tell.
Then today, I received this email:
I recently rematched my au pair, for many reasons (lying, falling asleep on the job, complete inability to cook or drive, etc.). When she returned her smartphone, I found messages on it showing that she had signed up to be an Uber driver, using my car!
The good news is that I never allowed her to drive my car, because I had her evaluated by a driving instructor when she first arrived. She got the lowest possible score on every single skill on the driving evaluation. Still, she was planning to take driving lessons at her expense (I don’t need a driver for the kids), and she clearly planned to work for Uber or a similar company in the future. My insurance doesn’t cover driving for Uber, so it would have been a financial disaster for me if she had gotten in an accident while doing so.
Have other host moms run into this? I never thought I needed to include “no driving for Uber or any other commercial purpose” in my au pair handbook, but I certainly will now!
Au Pairs, if you are thinking this just might be a way to earn extra money — forget it.
There is almost no way that an Au Pair could meet the requirements for an Uber (or Lyft) driver. A driver must be:
- 21 years of age or older with 3 or more years of US driving experience
- Or, 23 years of age or older with 1 or more years of US driving experience
Beyond the age & experience requirement, though, the insurance requirement is something that an Au Pair just might be able to meet.
An Uber or Lyft driver has to be listed by name on the insurance policy of the car. (Most of us put our Au Pairs on our insurance policies, of course, if our au pairs drive our cars more than once a month or so.) So, an Au Pair who was older (23+) and extending (with 1 yr US driving already) and who was on the Host Parent’s car insurance policy could conceivably sign up…. but oh, what a bad idea.
What a bad idea.
Au Pairs should not be working jobs other than their Au Pair hours. It’s against the State Department regulations, and it muddies their relationship with their Au Pair responsibilities.
And, Au Pairs shouldn’t be putting miles on the family’s car(s). It is expensive to maintain a car, and expensive to repair a car, and these costs fall to the Host Family.
Seriously, are there really Au Pairs who’ve driven for Uber?
If so, we might want to start mentioning this in our Handbooks…..