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Returnig extra gas when borrowing a car

Question:

I lent my car to a friend for Pesach, and I gave it to him with a quarter of the gas tank, and I asked him to return it with the gas tank a quarter full as he had received it. He returned a FULL gas tank. Is this a ribis problem, that he returned more gas than I had asked him.

 

 

Answer:

Hello,

It is not a problem or ribbis and the reason is because essentially he borrowed a car, and even if he would pay you rent for the car, it wouldn’t be ribbis. This is because ribbis only applies when borrowing an item such as money, or food, where the intention is, that the person will use up the item and return something else instead. However when the actual item is being returned, one may charge money for it, and it is considered rent, and not ribbis. When lending a car, the person is not meant to use up the item lent and return something else instead, therefore a car rental is not considered ribbis and permitted. The gas that the person added, is a hakaras hatov for lending him the car, and therefore not considered ribbis. It is not considered as if he lent gas, rather a car, and the gas is a side point, as payment for the car, therefore it is permitted.

Best wishes

Sources:

Mishnas Ribbis 6 footnote 5, The Laws of Ribbis chapter 1-10.

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2 Comments

  1. True that the car is not considered a loan. because the owner receives the same car in return. but I don’t understand why is the gas not considered a loan. for the gas was given to be used. And the owner receives different gas in return.
    And therefore receiving more guys in return might be ribis.

    1. Correct, however the poskim say that it isn’t considered borrowing gas, rather a car, and the gas is a side point.

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