Taking a new car for a test drive before buying it can help you figure out if the vehicle is compatible with your lifestyle. It is important because your car is a lifetime investment. Moreover, you are spending a fortune to afford to own one. Of course, you would want to ensure that everything is perfect.
So you take a brief test drive, accompanied by a salesperson sitting in the passenger seat. However, you pressed the fuel pedal to test the speed. Unfortunately, you rear-ended another car as you lost control.
The car that you test drive is yet to be yours. Therefore, should you pay the damage? Read on as we explain in detail.
Should you pay for the repairs in the event of test-drive car accident?
It depends on the severity of the damage – whether it is light or substantial.
Small damage usually concerns some scratches and dings on the auto body. These are usually covered under fleet insurance. It is common for most dealerships to have their unregistered test drive vehicles.
Fleet insurance provides liability insurance for all vehicles in the company under one policy. These policies provide provisions to allow company employees to drive any vehicle in the fleet and be compensated in the event of an accident.
Generally, the dealership will absorb the repair costs for minor accidents. So you may not have to pay for the slight damage.
However, the case is different if the damage is quite severe. For example, if the test-driven vehicle is turned over or wrecked until it is completely damaged.
The accident will require an investigation in order to determine who is at fault for the accident. You will need to lodge a police report and let the investigation takes place.
If you are proven to be the party at fault, you must pay for the repairs. This is where the insurance policy of your other car will help you to cover the damage.
But, please take note that it would be tough if you do not have existing car insurance. You do not have another choice but to fork out your cash.
Example of test-drive car accident
Let us refreshes a similar case in 2021 where a driver, presumably a potential customer, test drove a Mercedes-AMG E43 on an empty stretch of road. The driver was caught driving way over the speed limit.
However, the high-performance car understeered and crashed into a big metal pipe. As a result, the car suffered quite heavy damage to the front bumper and the hood.
In this case, the driver is responsible for the crash. He needs to make a police report within 24 hours in order for the dealership to claim their insurance.
If he owns a car, the damages will be covered by his car insurance policy. But if he doesn’t have an insurance policy in place, he will have to fork out his cash.
Excluded situations: You do not have to pay for the test-drive car accident
Other driver hits your car
You are not responsible for the repair damage if the accident was caused by the other driver.
The dealership will handle the accident reporting and claims will be made against the other driver’s car insurance.
The test-driven car was faulty
The dealership needs to be responsible for the repairs if the accident was caused by a vehicle defect.
Their insurance company will have to compensate for any injuries suffered by anyone involved in the incident.
It’s normal to get excited to test-drive the soon-to-be-your car. As a result, you may be getting out of control and thus, committing a careless mistake when driving.
But, accidents can happen regardless of time and place. You may end up crashing the test-drive car. Whatever that may happen, please consult your insurance agent first before admitting fault if ever you’re involved in any car accident.
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