How to Handle a Test-Drive Accident
Testing out a new vehicle at a dealership is a fun and important part of the car buying process. But what happens if an accident occurs during the test drive? Will your auto insurance policy cover the incident? Will the dealership make you pay for the damages out of pocket? Discover how to calmly navigate this unfortunate scenario so you can be prepared if you ever find yourself in this situation.
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Basic guidelines for dealership policies
For starters, it’s important to realize that each dealership will have a unique policy for dealing with test drives and test-drive accidents. While some dealerships might just ask for your license during the test drive, others might require you to sign paperwork that specifies you’ll pay for any vehicle damages in case of an accident.
In general, though, bigger dealerships tend to have better insurance policies for their test-drive cars. That means they’ll usually just file a claim with their own policy instead of filing for one with your insurer or asking for you to personally pay for the damages.
Factors to consider
Each test-drive accident is unique. How you and the dealership address the problem depends on quite a few variables such as your state’s laws, whether or not you have auto insurance, and whether or not you were at fault for the accident. Watch this short video to better understand the differences between a fault state and a no-fault state.
Will this go on your driving record?
Only if you were at fault for the accident. You can also expect to pay the dealership’s deductible amount to help cover the damages to the test-drive vehicle.
Prevention is the best policy
It’s wise to ask as many questions as you can before the test drive so you know what you’re getting into. Ask the sales rep if the dealership has fleet insurance for all of its test-drive vehicles. If they do have it, ask what the deductible amount for the policy is. Also ask if anyone else has crashed a test-drive vehicle, and if so, what happened to them.
Try to avoid a test-drive accident in the first place by implementing safe driving habits. You’ll spare yourself the headache and expense often associated with these scenarios, especially if the dealership’s policy refuses to cover the vehicle’s damages.
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