To own a pickup truck is to constantly be subjected to a barrage of requests for favors—often to loan your truck out if not to actively help drive it and move some object large and heavy enough that it doesn’t fit in a regular sedan—from a cast of characters which is likely to include friends, family, in-laws, acquaintances, and people you spoke to approximately three times in a college statistic class. It’s part of the experience and most of the time it really isn’t that big of a deal to help out someone you care about. But for those other times, here are the 10 simplest ways to tell someone you can’t lend out your truck.
It’s In The Shop
We don’t necessarily condone lying to your friends unless it’s absolutely necessary, and this solution gives you an opportunity to stretch the truth without telling a bald-faced lie. For one thing, who’s to say what counts as “the shop?” If your truck is parked in the garage, and that garage has tools in it, does that somehow not count as a shop? We’d say it does. And this could apply to your carport or driveway too, if you really wanted it to. But if you insist on telling the truth at all times, you could just find out when the date of the truck loan would be taking place, and just schedule some sort of routine maintenance with your mechanic that day. You could even get it detailed. You don’t have to say what kind of shop it’s in. If you’re still not comfortable offering up this excuse just think of it this way: all the times you’ve loaned out your truck to friends and family before have no doubt but a bit of wear on tear on it—if you explain that your truck is in more delicate condition after all the moves and large appliance purchases you’ve helped out with, it lowers the likelihood that you’ll be asked to lend it out next time.
The Flux Capacitor Is Malfunctioning
Save this one for someone who: a. Doesn’t know the first thing about cars and b. You don’t really like all that much. Maybe this is someone who only ever contacts you in the first place to see about borrowing your pickup. Once you’ve explained that the ‘ol flux capacitor is on the fritz they will not only be in awe of your car knowledge, they will likely drop the subject and stay out of your hair for a while. If this is a very insistent individual, though, you might have to explain to them how rare flux capacitors are, especially in this day and age, and how you’ll probably have to end up getting the parts for it imported from Timbuktu, which could take a couple of weeks, if not longer!
Save this one for someone who:
a. Doesn’t know the first thing about cars.
b. You don’t really like all that much.
Maybe this is someone who only ever contacts you in the first place to see about borrowing your pickup. Once you’ve explained that the ‘ol flux capacitor is on the fritz they will not only be in awe of your car knowledge, they will likely drop the subject and stay out of your hair for a while.
If this is a very insistent individual, though, you might have to explain to them how rare flux capacitors are, especially in this day and age, and how you’ll probably have to end up getting the parts for it imported from Timbuktu, which could take a couple of weeks, if not longer!
U-Haul Rents them for $19.99
For the friends you really care about
This is for anyone who insists on honesty at all times, but needs a good reason not to lend out the truck. In fact, this answer is probably the best one for 99% of people who have trucks and don’t feel like lending them out. You can even offer to go halfsies on the rental with them just to show what a generous person you are.
U-Haul will rent anyone with a driver’s license and pulse a pickup for twenty bucks plus tax for a couple of hours, which should be plenty of time for whatever it was they were wanting to borrow your truck for except this way the actual car you use and rely on won’t have to sustain the wear and tear of picking up that couch they found on Facebook Marketplace.
Defective Spark Plugs
Okay so if you’re going to tell someone that your truck isn’t working because its flux capacitor is faulty, you’ve got to be absolutely sure they aren’t fans of the Back to the Future Franchise. With the ‘ol spark plugs excuse you’ll be able to fool fans of Marty McFly and people who actually do possess a little bit of car knowledge. Although a lot of your friends might not know what spark plugs are, much less what they do, the ones who do know can still be held off with this one. To start off you can just say “my car won’t start.” Then if they get inquisitive about other common causes like the battery, the alternator, (maybe they’re thinking, ‘hey, we can just give it a jump!’) you hit them with ‘I tried all that, it’s definitely the spark plugs.’ If they offer or know how to fix this issue you might as well just let them borrow it, you probably needed to replace those old plugs anyway!
Someone Else is Borrowing It
Because you’re your friend group’s resident truck-haver, this one is likely to be true on any given occasion. If a situation arises where multiple people are asking to borrow your truck the same weekend, assess each request and pick whichever one sounds the easiest. Maybe your best friend wants you to haul a boat over to the lake to go fishing and drink a beer or two, and meanwhile your ex wants you to help haul a bedbug-infested mattress to the dump. Just pack up your cooler and send them a text from the lake to let them know the truck is otherwise occupied.
My Insurance Won’t Let Me
Yeah, that’s right. If it were up to you your brother-in-law could borrow your truck to take his thousand-dollar smoker to the barbecue cookoff, no problem. But the thing is your insurance doesn’t cover other drivers. So it’s out of your hands. Now, is this actually true about your insurance policy? Who knows, who cares! For all you know it probably is, and it’s not like you’re about to read all those documents you signed when you first signed up for the policy to find out. The point is, rules are rules, at least so long as they are convenient excuses to get you out of lending out your truck.
I Missed Your Text
Anticipation and stalling, the animated ellipsis of obvious hesitation
There’s no reason this one can’t be true—just make sure your phone isn’t sending read receipts. In the future, some day when technology has advanced and we live in a more civilized world, you will be able to set a filter in your phone for the phrase “can I borrow your truck?” and it will automatically be deleted without you ever seeing it or being notified of the request. This way when friends and family come a-calling to borrow your truck you can just say you didn’t get their text and even the most incredulous let-me-see-your-phone types will have to throw their hands up and chalk it up to technological malfunctions. Until that day comes, though, just delete the text yourself and go back to watching King of the Hill reruns.
The Registration is Expired
Similar to the insurance won’t let me excuse above, this one is all about putting it out of your hands. If only there were something you could do to change the strictures of the legal system governing automotive usage! You’d do it in a heartbeat, surely, so that you could help your buddy pick up the two dozen milk crates worth of vinyl records he scored at an estate sale, but you simply can’t move the thing out of your driveway until you’re able to go down to the DMV and update your registration. If your registration isn’t expired right now, it probably will be sometime soon, and if your friend has an inquiring mind and points out, the next time you give him a ride, that you do have a valid registration and the date and year on it don’t line up at all with the timeline of it having been renewed recently, just quickly force the truck into a controlled slide. Once you recover you’ll have something more interesting to talk about and your friend will forget all about this harmless fib.
I’m Using It That Day
If you didn’t have an obligation that day, think of one. Maybe you’re gonna tow a float in the local homecoming parade. Or maybe you should just call up that friend of yours with the boat from before and go fishing and maybe drink a beer or two. You could drive aimlessly around the mall parking lot for all it matters, just think of something you “need” to do with your truck that day and tell whoever’s asking that’s why you can’t help them out.
I Don’t Really Feel Like It
Sometimes honesty really is the best policy, and as someone who drives a pickup you’ve no doubt done your fair share of errands and favors by now. Once in a while, there’s no problem with simply saying you know what pal, I just can’t do it that day. If they need a reason it’s that you simply don’t want to. And if they can’t find a solution on their own, we’ll helpfully refer you to reason number 3 on this list.