How Old do I Have to be to Test Drive a Car?

If you are thinking about getting a new or used car, then you're obviously going to want to test drive it. It's the best way to see how the car handles and whether or not you are comfortable behind the wheel. Purchasing the car without taking the time to read online auto reviews and properly test drive it could mean that you end up with a vehicle you don't like driving. To avoid this scenario, all drivers should test drive a vehicle before making a final purchase. However, there are certain rules that must be considered before getting behind the wheel to do a test drive, as drivers must be of age and have a valid driver's license.

Test Drive Requirements

If you want to test drive a vehicle before you purchase it, then you need to make sure that you have a valid driver's license. To get a valid license you need to be at least the minimum age that your state requires. All states are going to be different and have different regulations, but, on average, most drivers can get a full license when they are 16. If you do have a valid driver's license then you will be asked to give this to the salesman when you are conducting your test drive.

In addition to having a valid driver's license, you must also be the age set out by the dealership itself. If the dealership says no, then you cannot test drive on of their vehicles. In some cases, drivers who are only 16 can test drive a vehicle if they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Not all dealerships are going to let drivers this young take out a car, but some of them are willing to agree to such. If you have a young teen driver that you'd like to help purchase a car, then you may want to call around to local dealerships and see what their rules are. That way, you can make sure you abide by the rules at all times.

In most cases, dealerships will require drivers to be at least 18 years of age to test drive a vehicle on their own. At this point, most drivers are considered to be responsible adults who can handle being out on the road in a car without the need for adult supervision. Some dealerships will still require that a salesman accompany you on your trip, but you will not need to have a parent be with you as well. Just make sure that you confirm the appropriate age level before you get behind the wheel.

Why the Age Requirements?

A lot of drivers might wonder why dealerships require an age limit for test driving a vehicle at all. Many have the mindset that if they are willing to spend the money, they should be allowed to test drive the vehicle no matter what. The truth is that dealerships have to look out for themselves and their customers. Having a set of established rules in place is the best way to do this.

What it really comes down to for most dealerships is insurance issues. If a person crashes a car during a test drive, then the dealership may have to rely on their insurance policy to cover the damages. Dealers do not want to have to constantly be making claims on their policies, so they adopt rules to make sure that this does not happen very often. Letting young, inexperienced drivers behind the wheel would increase the risk, so this is why many dealers require a minimum age for test drives.

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