Test driving? You need insurance
I doubt if any of us would purchase a car without first doing a test drive. It doesn't matter if it is our first car or our 10th; there is always that desperate urge to ensure that it is the right car before signing that cheque, which calls for a tests drive. For some people, this could be only a few hours or a day, while for others it takes a minimum of two weeks to test a vehicle properly. If you are buying a high value car, a longer testing is necessary so you can try driving the vehicle in different terrains. Before driving a car on a test, however, it's vital to ensure that the car is adequately covered by insurance.
There are two major risks involved when driving an uninsured car that you are testing. The first and most horrible would be getting into an accident. Now, you may an excellent driver with a spotless driving record, but accidents can never be predicted. If this happens, you are looking at compensating the car dealer with a same-value car and possibly facing prosecution for driving an uninsured car.
The second risk which is equally horrible is getting flagged down by a traffic cop. UK laws clearly state that it is illegal to drive a car without the minimum legal cover, which is third party. If caught, the car will probably be impounded with you facing towing and storage costs, plus the need to buy specialist impounded car insurance before the car can be released as well as face a criminal charge.
Car insurance for a test drive is availed as a form of temporary insurance. You do not necessarily have to be the car?s registered owner to get this cover. Provided you will be doing the driving and the vehicle owner gives the go ahead, insurers will give you the cover. It is actually a small price to pay for the assurance of knowing that the car you intend to purchase is in good condition.
Car insurance for a test drive can be purchased online, making it easy to buy. The process is usually fast and in minutes, you will have printed your insurance documents, if you wish to have something to show. Most forecourt dealers have printers on site for this, among other business uses.
If buying the car from a friend or any other source where no printer is available, you can still purchase the insurance. As all the transaction details are sent to your inbox, it will be safe to take the car on the road, legally.
Maybe you are wondering if you still need to purchase car insurance for a test drive if buying the car from a friend. It depends. If the car is fully covered regardless of driver, you do not need to purchase additional cover. If however the car is only covered under specific drivers, has no insurance, or has been under a SORN declaration, you must buy car insurance for trying it out.