[[This question popped up in a different comment thread, and I’ve pulled it out for its own page & conversation, seeing as how this is an issue for many of us. I’ll eventually re-post the comments already made, but here is a start:]]
My husband and I are expecting our first au pair in May. We have a one year old. While we asked all candidates about their driving experience, we never emphasized it as a requirement. I never planned to have an AP drive our one year old, and because I work part time we don’t anticipate situations where we would need her to drive our son.
I have been reading the AP mom blog and think it is a wonderful resource. From my reading, it seems like almost all host families have provided their APs with driving privileges. It also seems like not having driving privileges is a ‘deal breaker’ for some APs.
We don’t have a third car, meaning that if AP were to drive she would be using one of our relatively new vehicles. We are also responsible for all but $250 of the deductible if the AP has an accident. I was shocked by the extra expense of insurance to cover our AP, and since we don’t need her to drive as part of her work responsibilities, my husband and I have decided that we are not going to add her to our insurance and will take responsibility for getting her where she needs to go.
My question is, whether other families on this website have opted not to have their APs drive, or whether it is highly unusual not to allow an AP to have driving privileges for her personal time. While we have told our matched AP that we won’t need her to drive, I am concerned that once she gets here, this might be a source of conflict if ‘all the other APs’ are driving. We are very curious as to how others have handled this situation and kept their AP happy when you could not afford all the extras…
I want this to be a happy and productive year for all of us, but the expenses I never anticipated keep adding up and I feel that not having her drive is one way to save money and avoid the stress of having to replace a vehicle and face higher insurance premiums in the future!
Any and all advice would be appreciated! Charlotte