Test driving a car gets complicated if you need insurance. Fortunately for you, you are not responsible for insuring a vehicle. It is dependent on the circumstances of the accident and the type of coverage on the car. If a car is fully insured, you have nothing to worry about.
Certain dealerships have different requirements when test driving a vehicle. Sometimes the answer is yes, and sometimes it is no. If you decide to purchase from the dealership, they will give you an option to purchase their insurance through a company affiliated with them.
Private sellers are more complicated. You may have to have insurance to test drive their vehicle. Being unable to pay out of pocket puts you in a position to owe them after totaling their car.
Am I Legally Required To Be Insured During A Test Drive?
Many state laws do not require you to be insured while on a test drive. You may be covered in other ways. Dealerships, for example, insure their own vehicles, and the insurance is transferred upon purchase. Certain insurance policies also cover private owners, so you may be covered on a private test drive as well.
For a private seller, you may not be responsible for insuring the vehicle. It depends on the situation of the accident and the private seller’s own insurance. The private seller must have the minimum liability to cover damages, or there can be a legal process involved after the accident. Overall, the private seller must have the type of insurance on their vehicle to cover test drives.
What Insurance Process Do Dealerships Take?
For dealers, they need a type of coverage called garage liability. Garage liability covers brand new or used vehicles at the dealership. Your test drive is their responsibility to cover. Garage liability also covers the dealership’s employees.
Dealerships take their own precautions during a test drive. They will take your license and verify whether or not you have insurance. Some even go the extra mile and do a credit check to get a better picture of you. They will also offer you auto insurance once you decide to purchase the vehicle. Choosing not to take any insurance means that the seller will not let you drive off with the vehicle.
If you do not, they should be covered by garage liability. The purpose of collecting your license is to verify your eligibility for their car insurance. Unlicensed drivers are not covered by garage liability.
A dealership also verifies your lack of insurance to determine your eligibility to drive after purchase. When financing a vehicle, you must purchase the types of coverages required to be eligible for the loan. They are somewhat liable for selling you an uninsured vehicle, and they will not let you leave without proof of insurance.
Be Cautious With Private Sellers
It is a private seller’s responsibility to insure their own vehicle. They are supposed to cover you in the event of an accident. Double-check with your private seller, and make sure that the test drive is insured.
Poor liability coverage for a private seller may get you into trouble. Their liability minimum should be enough to cover a serious accident. Even though you should be covered for a test drive, there is the chance to be sued in the case of inadequate liability coverage.
Collision coverage is another failsafe for a test driving accident. This keeps the private seller from holding you accountable for the damages. Collision coverage includes damages to the private seller’s vehicle if the driver was found to be at-fault. The other driver’s liability would cover the damages to the private seller’s vehicle if the other driver was at fault.