One of the most embarrassing things that can happen to you when you are shopping for a new car is to have an auto accident during a test drive. It’s even worse if you are the one who causes the accident. While auto dealers to have their own car insurance for vehicles on their lot, you may be liable if you caused the accident.
Let’s look at a few situations to see who may be responsible for paying the costs of repairs or injuries due to an accident during a test drive.
If You Are at Fault
If you cause the accident, the auto dealer will likely hold you responsible. This means that it is your car insurance that will probably pay the associated costs, just as when you cause an accident in your own car. This is similar to getting into an accident with a rental car.
If Someone Else is At Fault
If another driver causes an accident while you are on a test drive, their insurance will be held responsible for covering the accident costs. This is the same way auto insurance works if someone causes an accident and damages a car you own.
Liability States versus No-Fault States
Every state has their own auto insurance laws. Essentially, there are two approaches to car insurance: liability states and no-fault states.
In liability states, blame for the accident is assigned and the insurance companies divvy up the cost of the repairs or payments for injuries. Often, one party is found to be at fault and their insurance pays. Sometimes, the costs can be shared by both (or multiple) parties’ insurance companies.
In a no-fault state, each driver’s insurance pays for their own damages. In this case, the dealership’s insurance would pay for the damages, but they might turn around and hold your insurance company liable if the accident was your fault. This doesn’t usually happen, but the dealership does have the right to try to recover the deductible they may have paid and other associated costs.
Use Common Sense
To protect yourself, just use common sense when you take a car out for a test drive. If you’re trying out a fancy new sports car, it’s best not to speed off the lot to see what the machine can do. The dealership will probably notice, and if you do cause an accident it will come back to haunt you. They may claim you were driving recklessly.
Drive defensively and carefully when you are on a test drive. If you are going to test a car’s limits, do so in a safe area where you will not cause an accident.
And once you buy that new car, use the InsuranceWins form to get the right insurance for your new ride. It’s fast and easy and will hook you up with all the major insurance carriers to find the best policy for your new situation.