Compromising a Car Contract

opinion 1
This question is for both Nannies and Moms about the use of the nannies car. I have been a nanny for a while, and that includes jobs where I have used a family car, jobs where I haven't driven at all (public transportation or walking everywhere), jobs where I used my car but only rarely, and jobs where I used my car a LOT. I am wondering what the standard is for gas reimbursement, wear and tear, car insurance, and lastly - the messiness that kids leave in the car (even with us trying to be on top of them about food, mud, etc). I am starting to get frustrated with using my car. I know, I know, I shouldn't have accepted the job knowing that I was going to use my car so much. I am not looking for advice as to what I should do, because this job is only temporary so it's not worth it to me to go through the motions.

But, rather, I am wondering what other nannies and parents think about this. Do some nannies have a seperate "car" section in their contract? I think it's great when families offer a family car to use for the nanny at work, but obviously not all families can do this. Some families offer gas money, and that's great too. If that's the case, do you write down every single mile you drive and go from there? Or, do the parents just throw you $20 at the end of the week? Also, do you change your insurance around? I am wondering for the future, as I feel like I would want to instate a "car" section in my contract, stating guidelines for gas, insurance, wear and tear.. and do I dare add in a interior cleaning of some sort? Any advice/stories/suggestions would be awesome.


MissMannah said...

In one of my jobs, I ended up using my car a lot but didn't have anything in the contract about gas reimbursement. I didn't think it was necessary because they were paying me quite well but then I saw how much I was spending on my car and I ended up kicking myself for that. In my current contract, it says they will pay me the standard 51 cents per mile for any trip that is more than 5 miles roundtrip. I feel like this is fair because it seems silly to nickel and dime them for a little trip around the corner, just a couple of miles.

As for interior cleaning, I think you need to crack down on the kids harder. I have never had a problem with kids messing up my car because they've never brought messy stuff in there. If we have drinks, it will be in a sippy cup and most snacks can be cleaned up with a vacuum. On rainy days, I'll almost always have a newspaper to put down on the floorboard for the kids to walk on and I have never allowed them to put feet on seats.

Renee IL said...

I use my car for transporting the kids to/from school. There's nothing in my contract about gas, as school is less than a mile away, and I don't mind that. Unlike Mannah, though, I also find it hard to keep the car clean, even when trying to be super vigilant (3 year old and twin 15 month olds... it just happens). I just have the car detailed every 4-6 months, and the family reimburses me for it.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

The standard reimbursement for mileage is the IRS rate. Don't accept any less. I track miles daily and do a spreadsheet each month. If you want to add a monthly wash or a 2x per year detailing, ask the parents if they will do that.

As for insurance, you need a business rider - if you talk to your agent, they should be able to tell you exactly what that means and what is covered. Some nannies have the parents pay for the rider, some cover it themselves.

As far as the kids spilling food and drinks in your car, you can solve that by following my lead. Of course, I am the mean nanny - nothing to eat or drink in my car but water, and I make 'em use sippies or straw cups. I have no interest in driving a car that stinks of old food.

Nanny A said...

gas money is definately a must, easy to keep a log and addup every 1 or 2 months, came to over $600 dollars last Jul/Aug, wondered why I was broke all summer! 2012 IRS rate is 0.555 cents per mile

Chrissy said...

I asked my family to start reimbursing me for gas several months ago. I was told they will not pay the IRS rate (as they think that is too high) so I asked for $10 to $20 extra a week. I don't drive far distances but all the little trips add up. They began giving me $15 extra per pay which is every 2 weeks (so $7.50 a week). I didn't say anything about it as I almost lost my job just bringing up gas reimbursement. (DB was FURIOUS I would ask for such a thing!)

CityNanny said...

OP here
A similar thing happened to me a few jobs ago. The parents were giving me FIVE DOLLARS a week. It was ridiculous. I didn't know what to do or say, and that was before I had a backbone so I just let it go. It's ridiculous.

Chelsea said...

I have been thinking about this lately too. I have always gotten gas money from the families I work for, but I am looking to trade my car in soon, and it has so many miles on it (most of them from driving the kiddos around!). I don't really mind that as much, but last week was so rainy, the kids got mud all over my car. I am trying to be more diligent about getting them into my car without creating a mess, but no matter what activity we do - my car is always a MESS. Glitter projects, sand from the park, and indents in my seats from their carseats. I know this is part of the job, but I feel like it is something that I didn't think about until now!

Lauren said...

Good question.

I have been at my current job for almost 10 years, and drive the family's van on the job. I will be starting a new job come summer/September... and will demand IRS reimbursement rate of $.55 /mile AND hope to negotiate a thorough car cleaning ($24 at my favorite place) twice per year.

SoftHeartedNanny said...

Every family I have ever worked for up until the last one, has given me a car to use if they expected me to drop off/pick up, run errands, take the kids to activities, etc. If not, they have given me a generous stipend for the car use including insurance, gas, mileage and one family paid for the flat tire I incurred on the way to work!

This last family gradually had me increase the use of my car, and when I mentioned gas money, they told me ok, and began giving me $10 a week. I explained that my car was a lease and I really couldn't go over miles, and I was met with silence. Even when a new summer camp for their special needs child was found 14 miles away, that meant I had to drop him off in the morning, then return home and go back in the afternoon and pick him up and then return home, for a grand total of nearly 60 miles a day, 300 miles a week, 1200 a month, 2400 miles of my 10,000 per year allotment went towards this!!!!!!! When I complained about this, i was told I was being unreasonable and that I stated I would drive in my original craigslist ad. LOL. Yes, I lacked backbone with this family, BIG TIME! My advice to ANYONE is to write a contract, and even if the family isn't asking for driving initially, you NEVER know what will come up! Ask for your 50 cents a mile, ask for car cleaning once a month (baby bottle milk sprayed and dried onto your interior is a killer!) and ask for an insurance stipend. After all, when your car is backed into by a phantom disappearing mother while taking your charges to gymboree class, who has to pay the deductible?

My very lucky daughter who nannies and goes to grad school, works for a wonderful family! They give her a car to use while there, but sometimes she uses her car straight from class, to pick up the twins at school. The mother told her to take the Lexus home with her so that she didn't have to use her car. When she got a flat tire outside their house, they gave her an extra $50. Very nice! Rare, but very kind of them!