Advice wanted: How to Keep Track of Au Pair’s personal car use?

by cv harquail on December 17, 2008

SuperStock_1597-36851 How do you and your au pair keep track of her personal use of your shared car, so that she pays for her own gas while you pay for the gas used when she’s on duty?

I must admit, I’ve had the luxury of (most times) having a third car that was pretty much only used by our au pair. She was responsible for the gas herself. When I (rarely) needed to use that car instead of my own (like when I just didn’t want to move it out of the driveway just to go to Quick Chek), I’d leave a few dollars in the console, or put some gas in myself.

Sometimes we have that luxury of a whole separate "au pair car", other times we just give up and pay for the au pair’s personal use of the car (when times are flush, gas prices are low, and she doesn’t’ drive much anyway). But what about the in-between? What advice do you have for Maya?

As Maya writes:

I have tried to estimate how much driving will be needed for my kids in order to give her gas money at the beginning of the month for kid’s driving and the rest would be her costs, but it fluctuates so significantly that I have no idea on how to even approach this.

I mean, there are seriously months where there would less then 100 miles of kid driving required, it was the case with October and November, and now December, and some moths where that would be close to 400 miles, which will be January, March, and April. February and then May and on, there will be barely any driving at all, so we are back to about 60-70 miles per month.

It would feel strange to me to keep giving her different amounts for gas every month, but then as gas prices fluctuate, the gas money would fluctuate too, so may be this is not that strange at all.

(See the rest of Maya’s comment, here.)

Has anyone had success using a mileage log? Or a trip odometer? Do tell!


Fernanda December 17, 2008 at 12:56 pm

Hi ..

I am not there pairs, but want to be much, but I have no money to pay the agency and all other expenses and do not know if I have already got 22 years and work here in Brazil I was even formed and with various courses is very difficult .

But do not come here to talk about me, I say how I see the quality and concern and respect that all you have with the au pair, I would very much like if one day I can be au pairs that my host family is a family who join the site AuPairMom . com.

Congratulations on the initiative of you.
What all can a perfect au pair.


Dawn December 17, 2008 at 2:05 pm

We are a 3 car family — my husband is typically the only one to drive his truck, but the au pair and I basically “share” the other two. During the week, when she has to drive the kids places, she drives our minivan and I drive our compact. Then on the weekends, she has the use of the compact and I use the van. She does occasionally do “personal” driving during the week, but the majority of her personal driving is on the weekends. (We’ve basically decided that the weekday non-work driving is so minimal that we’re willing to “cover” her personal gas usage during the week rather than trying to track it.)

SO, what we do is that we always pay for the gas in the van, since it’s always used (by me or the au pair) for driving the kids around. I try to keep the gas tank full, but if she needs to fill it when she has the kids, she gives me the receipt and I reimburse her. With the compact, I make sure that I leave it with a full tank when I get home from work on Friday afternoon, and she is responsible for refilling it on Sunday before we trade keys back.

I’m simply not organized enough to do a mileage log and try to correlate that to gas usage and gas prices! Plus, our relationship with our au pair is very informal (much more on the “family member” side of the family/employee line), so it would feel awkward to me to be “nickel and diming” the gas usage. (For every time she uses one of our cars for personal use during the week without paying for gas, there’s probably another time when she’s run a quick errand for me with the compact on the weekend and not been reimbursed, so it all “comes out in the wash.”) Our system is not totally precise, but it’s close enough to feel fair to both us and our au pair.

Ann Levine December 17, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Thanks so much for this! My current au pair doesn’t drive but my new one starting next month does and I think we’re going to try to go the third-car route to avoid any tension…..

Fernanda December 17, 2008 at 2:37 pm

Anna, wish good luck with your new au pair and lots of happiness.
I plan to get going at the end of 2009, the Cultural Care. You know tell me if this is the best agency in the U.S. there?
Thank you

Dawn December 17, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Fernanda, in my opinion, all of the U.S. agencies are very similar because they all have to comply with very strict regulations from the U.S. State Department. Cultural Care is certainly a good agency and I’m sure you’ll be happy with them. Best of luck to you!

Fernanda December 17, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Thank you, I’m sure it will be very happy with the Cultural Care they are very attentive.
Good luck to you all.

Maya December 17, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Dawn, this is very good suggestion.

We do not have 3 cars. We share two cars. However, my husband and I share our minivan and our au pair uses the sedan to drive kids around as needed during the week. The au pair never uses the minivan, but will have more or less free access to the sedan all the time. We rarely use it at all, only when minivan is in the shop or something like that.

I think you suggestion to consider weekday driving work mileage and weekend driving personal driving is very good. For us, it would depend on whether our current au pair will be taking weekend or weekday classes. Our last au pair took weekend classes so we could not use your method. If our current au pair will take weekday classes, you method would be perfect. Assuming she would not go overboard driving during her free time on weekdays (she is free from 9:30 am to 2 pm almost every day), it should work very well.

C December 17, 2008 at 4:42 pm

This question caused me quite a bit of grief. I was too nice to say anything for months, I even asked my AP coordinator what to do. She told me that most host families PAY for their AP’s personal gas use. Maybe that was true ten years ago when prices were low but part of me had a hard time believing this. The resentment really started to build for me b/c from the age of 16, I had to pay for my own gas when I wanted to go out. I called six families on my host family list and every family I spoke to had asked their AP to pay for their personal gas use. I finally mustered up the courage and told my au pair that she would be responsible for paying her own gas use. She definitely behaved resentful of this for one week, since we were changing the rules midyear. We worked out a price per gallon: for 2 weeks I kept track of how many miles our car would run on a full tank of gas and divided it by the total cost per gallon. When the price went down we adjusted the rate. Whenever she goes out for personal use she keeps track of how many miles she has traveled. After several weeks she totals it and hands me some cash. In the end it doesn’t cost her that much, but I wanted her to become responsible and at least aware of the oil crisis–I mean it impacts American culture and our quality of life! Now she herself notices gas prices around town…these girls come here so young and we need to teach them some lessons in growing up and that includes being financially responsible for ourselves.

Cindy December 17, 2008 at 4:46 pm

We have 3 cars, with the au pair being the exclusive driver of one of them. We use a mileage log. She gives us the gas receipts. My husband calculated the MPG for the car and last month paid her $2.50 per gallon, although gas costs less than that now. She fills the tank and we reimburse her at the end of the month for kid mileage, school mileage and cluster event mileage. She pays for all of her personal gas, which far outnumbers the mileage she drives for us. My kids are in school full time, so she has a lot of free time on her hands and drives a lot on her personal time.

cvh December 17, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Wow moms- lots of suggestions, and so fast! I want to chime in to emphasize the issues that C raises when she discusses having the AP pay for herself–

I think that it is CRITICAL that you ask your AP to pay for (most of) her personal use of the gas tank…

Even if your family is comfortable enough financially that you can absorb the cost of the gas your AP uses for herself, you should NOT.

An AP does need to experience being responsible for her own choices and for budgeting her money. Plus, if you absorb too many of the costs of her entertainment and (extra) comfort, it tends to make an AP unaware and unappreciative of all that you are doing for her above and beyond what’s part of the original deal.

(Keep in mind, the APs are told to expect to pay for their own gas. And, remember, while they pay for gas, that is only a portion of what it actually *costs you* per mile for her to operate the car, in terms of maintenance, insurance, depreciation, etc. She’s already getting a good deal with being given the use of the family car. Cars are most families’ 2nd or 3rd most expensive purchase, after house and college education!)

You don’t want to be so generous that she takes you for granted or assumes that you have lots of cash to spend on her.

While some APs come here having lived on their own, been independent, and learned to make wise financial trade-offs, others come straight from their parents’ homes. And, while they may be ‘family’, APs aren’t your kids, and shouldn’t be treated like your dependent. That undermines their ability to develop their own independence– which is what a lot of them are ultimately here to do.

The only exception I’d imagine to this is if you live really far out in the country … then maybe I’d suggest that you help to subsidize her travel to entertainment… (We knew an AP in Charlottesville who lived 20 miles outside of town, and her family gave her some gas money every month b/c otherwise it would have been too expensive for her to toodle into town for a movie or coffee, which she needed to do regularly so she didn’t get too lonely or isolated.)

Fernanda December 17, 2008 at 5:23 pm

In my opinion (perhaps a future vision of au pair), I think the car used for staff must be paid by the gas au pair so. Especially because I have my car here in Brazil and I know I have to worry about spending all that he gives, as gas and maintenance. An Au pair will not have your car, but if she is free to use it on weekends and even during the week for staff YES it should pay for gas you used. After all if we are leaving the country near our family is because we are responsible for ourselves we should be responsible for our expenses. Even though the salary of au Pair not much, but we should spend only what we can afford.

Maya December 17, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Hi C.

This is so interesting that you LCC told you that most host families pay for au pairs gas. I wonder if she did not know the real situation or just did not care and wanted you to continue shelling out money for the gas to make au pair happy.

I can tell you that my LCC was very non-committal about us creating a handbook for our old au pair when in reality, being a new host family I believe she should have insisted on it. I still don’t know what is the general situation in our cluster with the host families giving their au pairs handbooks, but my previous au pair told me that none of her friends have them. Maybe she just did not want me to do it. Oh well. As soon as we did make a handbook, she applied for transition. Interesting.

Anyway, I thought about keeping the mileage log and then figure out price per mile, but honestly, I just feel like it will be too much work for both me and my new au pair. I can see how it is really a fair way to do things though.

Can you please tell me how do you have her keep track of mileage? By just resetting trip meter every time she goes somewhere? What if she forgets to reset the meter? What if it becomes a habit?

I would appreciate if you can give us a bit more logistics on this.

Thanks in advance.

sunnyvah December 17, 2008 at 7:01 pm

Hi everyone,
I think the car is one of the most difficult thing in a family-au pair- relationship (well, of course just if everything about work and kids is fine…)
When I was an au pair in the states my family had 3 cars. I have to say that car usage was an important factor when I chose my family. Of course it´s more important that you have a good connection with the kids and that the family is the right one for you, but after that… I just knew that the car is very often a big issue! My family was just not the right one for me (just to say that at the beginning) and the car got unfortunately an issue aswell. At the beginning they told me, that i don´t have to pay for my personal usage. But I knew that the au pair before (she was the first one) didn´t drive a lot, because she didn´t feel comfortable driving. Under the week I had the minivan, as I was driving the kids from and to daycare everyday (at least one hour driving both ways). So i could use the van in the morning for my college class and personal use. I always tried to connect f.ex. Target with the daycare, b/c it was just 5 min away, aswell as my bank. So I don´t think i overused the van. In the evening or at the week end I had the car of my hostdad. And that was the biggest problem I had to ask everytime (well, I could live with that, but when I was off at the week end I had to tell exactly where I was going.) So when I wanted to go for a coffee after gym I had to call and ask if this is ok. And it was never like “ok, see you in a bit”. I always felt like I was causing trouble while using the car ( there were still 2 cars at home). So I got stomach ache everytime I had to aks for the car. I would have preferred if I just had to tell the time the car is back and of course kind of a mileage restrictions or how we figure the money part.
About gas: Well, they said I didn´t have to pay, but that would have felt weird for me (as our relationship wasn´t that great). So I didn´t fill the van and at the beginning I just tanked up the other car on sunday with approx. the same amount I needed,but I got the feeling, that they didn´t see that, so I started to fill it up. Sometimes I did this just every second week end (because I didn´t drive THAT much) and always more than I used, b/c a car costs more than just gas….
I had a regional restriction, so I couldn´t leave our city (which was ok and I knew that from the beginning).
But still, I´m a big fan of HANDBOOKS and wished my family would have had one of these. Of course it looks strange when you get over 10 pages of restrictions, but it helps you to know what the family expects. I had always to figure these things out and as my host parents were both not that big in comunication, it caused some unnecessary trouble

(of course you shouldn´t forget the “pragmatics” of cultures, as I learned :D I know, we germans are more direct and not that aware of the american way of “indirect speech”. So maybe I didn´t get some of the things and maybe I was sometimes kind of “rude” without knowing it.)

Anyway. My tip as an former au pair: Tell your au pair what you expect her to pay right at the beginning. It´s easier and everything you give after that is much more appreciated afterwards. You never know how you will get along before the au pair is there.

Take care (and I think it´s great to see, that it´s not just au pairs that think about all these stuff and put effort in it. THANK YOU)

P.S. When I was an au pair in Ireland (Best family ever btw) I didn´t have a car and still I had a great time (but one of my friends had one, so we were able to use it at the week end). It´s a question about your expectation, I knew right from the beginning that I wouldn´t have a car, so it was allright .

C December 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm

I have a relationship where I trust that my AP tracks her own gas my simply looking at the odometer from point A to point B. If I find out later that is she has been dishonest, well then we might consider having a talk, but for the most part she is very honest. She doesn’t travel that often or far. She keeps a track of her own gas usage. At the end of the month she totals up her milage and multiplies it by our cost per mile which is comes to .15 to .20 per mile. If the price of gas increases, we will adjust this rate and she will probably be more cautious about how often and how far she travels, as we all are in this economy.

And please have all CP coorindators to encourage handbooks and dispell the myth that host families should cover personal gas use! It would have saved me a lot of grief!

Ann December 23, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Our au pairs (we’re on our 2nd) don’t have access to cars, so I don’t require them to have driver’s licenses. (My husband and I have only one official parking space and two cars, which we both need for work). We live in an urban suburb with reasonable access to public transportation. If an adult purchases the city’s public transport card, then children ride along for free, so that’s how the AP takes our child everywhere. We are also within walking or stroller-pushing distance of many parks and activities.

In terms of expenses, we run on a “reimbursement system” – I ask the AP to pay for work-related (child-related) expenses up front out of her own pocket, which I repay her at the end of every week, by adding on to her stipend check. She logs these expenses daily in our au pair notebook. I find that asking them to pay up front makes them more budget conscious.

These include public transportation expenses (bus/train) related to taking our child to activities; museum entrance fees (we use library passes to keep these minimal); and other incidentals like snacks while on a day trip or arts and craft supplies that we might run out of during the week. Because the AP’s and my child’s use of public transportation is varied depending on season and planned activity, we felt that reimbursing on actual per-trip basis made more financial sense than buying a monthly pass up front. We also live within walking distance to our town center and another town center so the AP can walk to her English and evening classes if she’d like.

We also reimburse the AP, or drive her, for transportation to her monthly meetings and required AP classes; for social activities we don’t reimburse her public transport expenses but sometimes we can drive her one way. There’s a fair number of AP friends that can pick her up in “their” cars, but there are also others that also just have access to public transportation, so they will meet on the bus and take it together into thte city.

Re handbooks, I have given each a 15-20 page handbook when she arrives. We may also have more “guidelines” because we live in a condo building so there are other neighbors to be considerate of, and we ask our au pairs to speak only their home language with our child, for bilingual education purposes. However, from what I’ve heard and read on the iVillage au pair board for three years, it’s much easier to relax rules and schedules midway through the year than go the other way.

MomLulu February 9, 2009 at 9:11 am

I always tell my au pairs at the 2 week orientation meeting that they pay for gas when using car in their free time. Each family has a different way of doing things, depending how much their AP drives for them or how many cars they have or where they live (country side vs. city). As a former AP that also had to ask for permission every single time I agree it is stressful, but understandable. Although eventually as the trust between us formed it was OK to “just inform” them that I am taking a car – that helped with the stress factor, but they kept informed every time I went out. And it gave my family a chance to say no if they needed it etc. I kept track of my own miles (family never asked me to do that) and filled it as needed. If I drove kids more than usual I just told my family and they gave me some cash or filled the car themselves. But I didn’t drive far with kids, so this worked.

I cannot tell you how much I stress to every family to create a household handbook and how many do it just days before the au pair comes or after her arrival…I agree it is better to start with more rules and you can always loosen up later when things go well.

david February 19, 2009 at 7:07 am

So we told our aupair where the house credit card was for emergencies, repairmen, etc. Taking the kids out to pizza hut on occasion. Well, the credit card is no longer in its place on the counter and is now permanently in her wallet. Last months bill for gas, fast food, shopping for her and her BF, and fast food for ‘our kids’ (one pizza hut bill was $45!) was over $500.

Help…how do we go back without making it sound like we’re switching mid-stream.

cvh February 19, 2009 at 5:00 pm


You have to switch in midstream. The issues is, how best to do it.
Take away the credit card. You have given her the opportunity to manage ‘credit’ and spending, and she hasn’t.

Sometimes I think that it’s easiest to nip the problem in the bud with a technical solution. For example, I would either (1) cancel the card, or (2) ask her to give you the card back. {Me, I’d probably wimp out and cancel it. “Opps, the bank canceled it b/c they thought the card # had been stolen.”} Or, tell her you just can’t afford (in this economic climate) to have a situation where you cannot predict what the bill is.

Then, offer her a different solution. … in my house we have “pizza money”, about $40, in an envelope. The au pair takes out the cash, and puts in the receipt. I don’t track it perfectly. I believe that the accountability of having to put in the receipt makes it less likely to be abused (tho this has not been an area of abuse in our experience).

You should also go through the bill and highlight the expenses that are appropriate. (The okay ones, focus on the positive). Also, tell her what the budget is for fast food and give her a list of 5 places to go.

For emergencies, put a credit card in a SEALED envelope that is only to be opened when the repair person comes. Tell her that the card is only to be used for emergencies and that it must stay in the cupboard so that it is there for you. If it is sealed, that’s oddly enough of an obstacle that she probably won’t open without authorization.

David, most people find that their au pairs have a place where they press the limits (mileage allowance, staying up late, buying makeup for self when “grocery” shopping). I think this is just how it is w/ young people who are learning. If you continue to tolerate this, you are teaching her and your kids that this is okay.

Use the situation and the conversation as a chance to practice good parenting.

sunnyvah February 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Well… I think it´s your right to switch mid stream… I mean this doesn´t youdn as if she´s able to handle your credit card. I think you should have another talk about what this credit card is for and how often you want your kids and her (not her BF!) to eat outside your house AND about appropriate prices! I mean it´s great to do sth special with the kids once in a while (a cookie from starbucks once in a while was really appreciated by my hostkids :) )
But 500$ is WAY to much and I´m shocked that an au pair would do this with money of someone else….
How about a deal like: you give her 20$ (or how much you think is necessary in a week) and anything else she has to pay first and then she gives you the bill and you pay her back. That way she gets a sense about the money. I don´t think she would have shown you the bill for shopping with her friend….
In a lot of countries credit cards are not that usual (actually my parents don´t have one and I just applied for mine as an emergency card for the states). So maybe she´s just not used to this.

Good Luck!

Franzi March 5, 2009 at 2:11 am

in my first host family, i had a milage log. i had to write down when i used the car and for how many miles and where i went. the log was divided into “driving for kids” and “personal” but i still had to write down where i went (exactly!).
everytime the host dad filled the tank, he sat down and calculated how much gas i had spend on personal trips and that was taken off my paycheck.

needless to say that this was way too much control for my taste. mostly because the whole calculation was down to the very cent. and it was not like that family was on the verge of starvation. it made me feel very uncomfortable to be under such scrutiny.

please don’t get me wrong, i understand that it is a privilege to have a car to use. i do not agree with the many au pairs who pick a family by posessions e.g. 3 cars, pool, big house etc.
but the way the log was kept was too nitty-gritty and because every single mile had to be accounted for, there were often discussions (eg a way that is usually 5.6 miles is neither 5 nor 6 miles) – yes, we argued about that!

i think it would be a good solution to keep a log according to the weekly schedule – how many drives for the kids? how many miles? and to repay the au pair the gas money used on a weekly basis. that way, only trips that were made are being repaid. if you would pay in advance and then there is a change in plans (no dance class or a parent is driving) then you technically would like your money back or carry it over to the next week etc — too complicated!

i think if this way of handling the gas money is made clear and the payments are on time, then i believe both sides can live with the arrangements.


Sarah the Au Pair March 7, 2009 at 6:00 pm

I’m not actually a parent but a former au pair myself. I have always had my own car when working as an au pair so have used that and declined use of a shared car (I’m a very safe driver of course but I knew I would be nervous about somebody scratching or damaging their car while it was under my care!). With both of the families we had a system (which they suggested, not me, on both occasions) where I would calculate or keep track of the number of miles driven each month and they paid me a certain amount of money per mile each month (I don’t remember how much this was – with one of the families it was probably less than it actually cost me but I didn’t really mind because I hadn’t been expecting any money in the first place, and with the other I think it was probably more than just gas price but she said she was factoring in ‘wear and tear’ or just general use into the price which actually was quite fair in the end because some days there would be a great deal of driving (for example, one day involved a 4 hour round trip to pick up their dog from some kennels while they were away) and quite often the children would spill things in the car which left stains/took a lot of cleaning up, etc).
Anyway, I would say that this is quite a convenient method to use. As long as you trust your au pair to be honest (which I would hope you certainly would as she is taking care of something much more precious than your car!) then it would be handy for her to keep track of the approximate number of miles she uses the car for driving the children each month and then either agree on a set amount per mile or calculate it each month according to the average fuel price that month. I don’t think it would be ‘strange’ for you to do this at all. I think it works out as being the most fair to both of you. And if it seems like too much trouble for her to keep exact track of the miles, you could agree on an approximate.
I hope this helps and I hope you and your kids are having a great time with the au pair!

cvh March 8, 2009 at 2:44 am

Hi Sarah-
You’re the first to bring up the situation where the au pair uses her very own car to drive while on-duty … For someone in this situation, I’d suggest using the US Gov’ts guideline for how businesses should reimburse employees who use their personal cars on company business. As of January ’09, that was $.50 per mile …
THis way, the host parents compensate at least a little bit for you for what you pay in insurance and car washes….

Maya March 7, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Starting in January, we started giving our AP extra money at the beginning of the month for gas based on the calculations I made. I basically figured that my kids use up about 1.5 to 2 tanks of gas in a month. So, we give her amount to cover 2 tanks of gas at current gas prices. I did tell her back in January that if at some point she does not feel that this money is covering her gas expences for kids, then she should tell us and we will adjust, but she has not said anything.

It is working really well for us right now.

cvh March 8, 2009 at 2:38 am

Maya, it’s good to hear that this system is working for you… It seems like (1) being clear up front, (2) being more fungible with amounts, and (3) creating a bit of a cushion by giving a little more on the parents’ end seems to work for most of us. (and I think that Sarah the AU Pair would agree.)

Westchester Mom August 25, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Reviving this thread with another question:

This past year was our first year with an AP, and we since we originally had only 1 car when she started, the availability of the car was going to be more limited, and we agreed to pay for gas for all car usage. Now we have 2 cars: the van, for daily transportation for the children, and a second small car which I primarily use to travel to work. Once we bought the 2nd car, our APs car usage increased, and our gas budget has shot up significantly.

Now with our 2nd AP arriving, I decided to set some limits (driving within county only, 150m per week max, encouraging car pool, etc.), but I can’t see myself logging miles and charging her based on mileage. So I decided to charge a weekly ‘car usage’ fee of $10.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and discussed it with a few AP who seem to think it is a fair amount for having availability to a car. What do other moms think? Does it seem fair?

My 2 cents August 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I think this is area where you and the specific au pair from year to year need to chat and come up with the best solution based on what patterns you see. Maybe start with a plan but make clear it can, and will, change depending on your usage, her usage, pricing, etc. With one of our more social au pairs who used the car more, I would give her a set amount of money a week for the car based on gas pricing and my usage (the same every week) and she needed to keep the tank filled. Another au pair I started this practice but it became evident she wasn’t going to be using the car as much, so I starting just filling it myself and she will from time to time fill it as well.

Taking a Computer Lunch August 25, 2010 at 10:53 pm

DH and I use public transportation to commute and have 2 cars, a minivan (in which The Camel’s special car seat is) and “the AP car,” a subcompact with manual transmission.

The AP is completely responsible for gas in the subcompact, although when HD and I have “date night” we often top off the tank. We encourage the APs not to run on empty, as they never know when they will be stuck in traffic, and most listen to our advice. Our last AP, a beginner driver, was the only one who did not fill up and relied on us to top off, so we stopped using the subcompact altogether. Every other AP had noticed immediately when we had topped off the tank and thanked us verbally – our last AP never thanked us. So, when she left, I told her to top off the tank – the others I told explicitly not to bother.

We pay for maintenance and insurance on the AP car, and every one (with the exception of the last) told us explicitly how much they understood it was a privilege – especially when witnessing their friends’ attempts to gain access to the family car for a night out. Every AP is subject to HD’s driving test, and we do not issue a curfew. In the beginning of their year, APs tend to check-in. The only AP we ever issued a curfew to was our beginner-driver AP – she had never driven for more than a couple of hours at a time with an instructor, so the last thing we wanted her to do was to drive someplace far away and find herself too exhausted to cope.

If I were sharing the car with the AP, I wouldn’t bother requiring her to top off (except when she used more than 1/4 tank of gas), but I would as Westchester Mom suggested, charge a flat use fee. I think $10 a week is very fair.

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