Who Pays for Repairs After a Car Accident During a Test Drive?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Have you ever thought about what would happen if you got into an car accident during a test drive? Normally, the dealership will be responsible for paying for any test drive crashes and will do so through its own insurer. However, if the test drive accident was your fault, the dealership may attempt to collect reimbursement from you.

If you were not negligent in causing the test drive accident and had clear authorization to drive the car, a dealership will generally be unable to hold you liable for any damages.

If You Cause the Test Drive Accident

If you are responsible for a car accident during a test drive, the dealership can try to hold you liable. Generally speaking, in these cases, your own car insurance policy would kick and pay for a test drive crash just as it would be if you got into an accident when driving a rental car. Make sure your car insurance policy includes coverage for accidents that happen when you are driving a rental car or are on a test drive.

If You are Injured in a Test Drive Crash

If you are injured during a test drive crash, there could be compensation from both insurance companies (dealership’s and the negligent party) depending on the circumstances. If the other driver was at fault, then the car accident liability rests with his auto insurance company and they would pay all damages and compensation for pain and suffering. If it is determined that in some way the test car you were are driving contributed to the test drive crash because it was faulty, the dealership’s insurance would be on the hook to compensate you for your injuries and pain and suffering. Remember to secure the names of witnesses and take pictures of the accident scene immediately after the car accident in order to substantiate your account of how the accident happened.It is a good idea to consult with a car accident attorney if you have been injured in a test drive.

Any car accident case can create legal complexities and this becomes even more true in a test drive accident where the car you are driving is not your own. If you get into a test drive accident, you should consider speaking with a car accident lawyer in your area to learn more about your rights, obligations and state law.

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