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Feature: Who Is Liable for an Accident During a Test Drive?

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by Kivi

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01.03.2021


Sorting Out Coverage in a Common, But Complicated Situation

This article may contain affiliate links.

Only through test driving, you can determine, which is going to be the best car for you. As your car salesman will navigate you through nearby streets, you will be running through your various checklists to decide your purchase choice. Unfortunately, accidents may also occur during test driving anytime and anywhere.

test drive liability; Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
It all starts at the dealership

You can always face an unavoidable collision because of a negligent party. If you were driving your car that is in your name, then the process will be quite simple. However, what do you do if the vehicle you were driving belonged to a certain dealership?

Such accidents can make your case a bit complicated, particularly while deciding which insurance carrier will cover the property damage and also your injuries due to crash. 

Accident liability during a test drive

According to Las Vegas personal injury lawyers of the Ladah Law Firm, the same rule applies to accidents during a test drive as in almost like any other normal car accident, where the drivers will be liable if the accident was caused due to their negligence. Then they must pay for the damages.

Although it may appear obvious, some people may argue with a salesperson as the car is the dealership’s property, hence they (the driver) should not be responsible for whatever happened because they did not own the car.

dealership test drive liabiity
Accidents can happen

However, that will not be true, as the salesperson may have temporarily transferred the responsibility of the vehicle in question to the test driver. This will mean that the driver must bear all the consequences based on the policy of the dealer and pay for any property damage and also ancillary costs.

The dealer may suggest that the test driver must buy the car based on the extent of the damage, but there is no legal obligation for doing so. If you choose to buy the car, then you will automatically become the owner and will be responsible for all the repairs.

If you were out looking to buy a car–and also the damages are not too big–then it will be a better option to buy the car rather than paying just for its repairs. However, if the damage is too big, then it may not be right to purchase it. Therefore, don’t allow the dealer to force you to think you are obligated to buy it.

Dealership insurance

If it is proved that the other driver was responsible for the accident, but he/she does not have any car insurance, then the dealership can process the claim through their insurance to recovering the damages.

Most car dealerships carry fleet insurance for all vehicles in their possession. Test drivers are also covered under fleet insurance. Fleet insurance usually includes the entire damages and injuries suffered due to an accident during a test drive.

In case the driver is a minor, then the dealership must recover the cost through their insurance. However, if the test driver is responsible for the accident, then the dealership may file a third-party claim.

Suggestion: 2 Top Cars to Test Drive

2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

2021 BMW 330e Plug-in Hybrid

The post Feature: Who Is Liable for an Accident During a Test Drive? first appeared on Clean Fleet Report.



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