0844 493 7789*
*Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.
Mon - Fri 08:30 - 21:00
Sat 09:00 - 17:00
Sun 10:00 - 16:00
CLAIMS NUMBER - call 0333 400 7365
Convertible car
Get a Quote button
Retrieve Your Quote button

Test Drive Insurance Guide

Woman takes car for test driveTest drives are an important part of buying a new or used car, but don’t forget to make sure you’re properly insured before you set out. Here’s a guide to help you understand test drive insurance.

Test drives and car dealerships

Test driving a car being sold by a car dealership or garage is usually a simple process, as most businesses of this type will have their own insurance which will cover test drives by customers. However, you will almost certainly need to show them your driving licence, so always take this with you when you visit car showrooms.

Another point to bear in mind when you test drive a car from a dealer: they’ll usually ask you to sign a form agreeing to pay the insurance excess if you should have an accident. The amount will vary depending on the car dealer’s policy, so be aware this can sometimes be quite high!

Test driving a car being sold privately

In this situation you need to be more proactive. When you test drive a car being offered for sale privately, either you or the seller must have adequate insurance to cover you.

The options

Your own insurance must be worded in such a way that it says clearly that you are covered to “drive another car with the owner’s permission”. This is called Driving Other Cars (DOC) cover. If your policy includes this, you’ll be covered for test drives, but usually only on a third party basis. This means if you have an accident, the car you're driving won't be covered for any damage. Check your own policy for details.

If your policy doesn’t already include this, talk to your insurer as they may be able to offer you extended cover (and comprehensive insurance) for a temporary period while you are test driving various vehicles. There may be an additional premium to pay.

If the owner of the car is keen to sell, he may extend his own car insurance temporarily to “any driver” to allow potential buyers to test drive the car. If the owner tells you this is the case, be sure it really is – if you’re caught driving without insurance it could mean points on your licence, a fine and maybe even a criminal record.

Similarly, if you are selling the car and permitting viewers to test drive the car, ask to see evidence of valid and adequate insurance before they drive.

Important note for named drivers!

If you are only a named driver on someone else's insurance policy, even if that policy includes driving other cars, you will probably not be covered for the test drive. Ask the policyholder to check their insurer, but in most cases the policy has to be in your own name. 

Is the car road-worthy?

The Road Traffic Act makes it illegal to sell or drive a car that is not roadworthy. Driving an unsafe car, even in a test drive, will invalidate your insurance and could cost you a fine and points on your licence.

Whether you’re test driving a car from a dealer or a private seller, it’s your responsibility to examine the car before you drive. Does it have a current MOT? Are there any obvious visible maintenance or safety issues? If in doubt, don’t drive.

Let Girl Motor arrange great cover for your new car.

Call us on *0344 493 7743 or go online

*Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.