What Happens If You Crash a Car During a Test Drive?

woman phones for help after car accident


You take a trip to the dealership to test drive a car you’ve been eyeing for a while now. Everything is going great so far — the interior looks amazing, the car drives smoothly, and the features are everything you imagined. Then, during your test drive, the unthinkable happens. You collide with another driver on the road — not quite what you expected.


So, what happens if you get into an accident while test driving a car?

Once the accident occurs, the first thing that’ll probably come to mind is whether you’re responsible for covering the cost of the damages. While there’s a chance your personal car insurance may be considered responsible, each state has different laws that determine responsibility, according to a recent article. It really boils down to whose insurance is considered the primary coverage — the driver’s or the dealership’s.

Typically, car dealerships carry specialized insurance consisting of a blanket policy covering the dealership’s overall inventory rather than each vehicle individually. Since this type of coverage protects all the dealership’s inventory, chances are the vehicle you’re test driving is covered by the dealership and its insurance company. You should confirm with the dealer what coverage is in place prior to taking the test drive.

Safety precautions for test driving a car

While going for a test drive is common for car shoppers, there’s a lot of risk involved from a car dealership standpoint, which is why most dealerships take certain precautions before allowing you to test drive a car. Usually, the dealership will make a copy of your driver’s license for their records before allowing you to go on a test drive just in case something happens.

Car dealerships can also deny you a test drive for many reasons, including:

  • You don’t have a driver’s license
  • You appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • You want to drive a car that is very high-performance, such as a luxury sports car

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