Do I Need Insurance To Test Drive A Car?

By: Motor Easy
Temporary car insurance family in car

Are you insured on a test drive for your potential next car? Most of us mistakenly believe we are, according to a recent survey by motoring social media platform DriveTribe - nearly 70% of people believe they're covered when they're not. Worth knowing when your're risking a hefty fine, penalty points and even having the car crushed!

38% of people thought their fully comprehensive cover allowed them to drive someone else’s car on a third-party basis (most don't by default). While a further 30% believed they'd be covered to test drive if they had the owner of the car next to them.

Alan Inskip, CEO of short-term insurance provider Tempcover explains that “it used to be commonplace for insurance companies to include a ‘Driving other Vehicles’ extension that enabled drivers with a fully comprehensive policy to drive another car on a third-party basis. Nowadays, DOV coverage is the exception rather than the rule and, where it does exist, it has always been intended for emergency uses only, rather than test driving a car for sale.”

Inskip added “It is the car sellers’ responsibility to check that the person test driving their car has suitable insurance coverage. If an uninsured driver is stopped by the police, both the owner and the driver could be liable for a minimum six penalty points, a fixed fine of £300 and the owner might also see their vehicle impounded. Should the matter go to court, it could be up to 8-penalty points, a potential unlimited fine and the possibility that the vehicle might be crushed.”

The survey's next interesting finding suggests 12% of drivers would take the risk and drive without any insurance for a test drive. Just 11.2% of respondents said they would contact their existing insurer to extend their coverage for a test drive, while 8.7% said that they'd take out temporary insurance to cover them specifically for the test drive.

Commenting on the survey, Jonathan Morris CEO of DriveTribe, said “this survey suggests there is a pressing need for the insurance industry to educate the mass of drivers who assume that policies of old still exist today.”

 “With 2.7m vehicles sold privately each year, there are clearly large numbers of people inadvertently or perhaps deliberately breaking the law each time a test drive takes place.”

Taking out temporary insurance is now both quick and cost effective, an hour’s coverage is priced from £8.99 an hour, with the whole process taking under 2-minutes to complete online.

Temporary car insurance is a fast-emerging form of fractional coverage that is mirroring societies’ changing relationship with cars, as people become more accepting of other forms of on-demand transportation.

It can be useful for drivers who like to share the burden of long distance journeys, as well as saving costs for young drivers who can buy insurance only when they need to drive.

According to Inskip, “consumer awareness is currently low – a separate survey on DriveTribe suggests around 50% of people are unaware that you can purchase insurance by the hour.”

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