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Do I really need car insurance for a test drive?

gices
(Level 5)
21 Feb 2012 08:34, updated
25 Sep 2008, published
A car is an important asset for anybody and it makes our rather difficult life somehow easier - no need to carry heavy bags of shopping from the supermarket; you enjoy travelling more because it is your private vehicle and you don't have to put up with inconsiderable, arrogant and disgusting people that you see on public transport. Although it is a great thing to possess a car, it is an even greater thing to buy the right car, one which you will enjoy whenever you will be driving.

This is where test driving plays an important role. For you to be sure that the car you are about to buy is perfect for your needs, you will need to take it for a test drive. This will give you the opportunity to 'get to know' the car and enable you to decide whether the car is right for you.

What happens if I have an accident when test driving?

You cannot predict what is going to happen and although a test drive lasts for about 30 mins on average, you cannot be 100% sure that you will have a safe drive! Therefore you will need to make sure that you have an adequate level of car insurance cover in place when you go test driving.

The first thing you can do is check your car insurance documents and if you can find the words 'can drive another car with the owner's permission', then you are more likely to have third party cover for test driving. This is usually referred to as DOC (Driving Other Cars cover). It is a good idea even then, to give your insurer a quick call to see if they will indeed insure you because sometimes they may not want to insure you to drive a sports car when you usually drive a small car. If you don't find these words on your policy, then what you can do is check with the car dealer to see if they've got insurance for anybody who wishes to test drive their cars. Should they not have it in place, then your other option is to buy short term car insurance for that specific purpose.

If your car insurance has 'Driving Other Cars' cover and you damage the car you are test driving by hitting a tree, for example, then the insurance will not cover the damage to the vehicle as it's third party only. So you will be liable for the repairs. Short period insurance, on the other hand, provides comprehensive cover and you will be able to claim back the repair costs should you happen to damage the car during a test drive.

The important thing to remember is that if you are going to test drive a car, you need to have insurance cover before you start driving. Private sellers do not have special insurance on their vehicles which insure other people who are looking to buy them when they go for a short drive, so be careful and if you want peace of mind, then purchase a temp insurance cover to protect yourself from the unexpected.
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