Do dealers have to ride with the customers on test drives?

Do dealers have to ride with the customers on test drives?

May 15, 2020

Depending on the operations guidelines and/or the dealership insurance, someone may accompany the customer on the test drive. We can provide information and insight, however, the decision on how to conduct this aspect of the business is ultimately up to you.

Dealerships who allow customers to test drive vehicles without going with them have a higher risk and incidence of claims from vehicle thefts, as well as accidents. A dealership can mitigate this risk by taking a copy of the drivers’ license and insurance card. This is not just a recommendation but may also be a requirement from the insurance company to provide coverage for unaccompanied test drives.

If it is a higher risk, why don’t they go with customer’s on test drives? Like most of life, it is not always this simple. Some smaller operations may only have one person working at a time. If they go on the test drive it does not leave anyone at the dealership to help other customers. Other reasons include safety. It may be that the person who will be available to go on the test drive could be put in a compromised position, making the safety more important than the increased risk for a claim.

Unfortunately, not all insurance carriers offer the option of unaccompanied test drives. If this is something that your business needs to be able to offer, it is important to discuss this with your agent. If your carrier does offer it, there is typically an increased cost associated with it. We always recommend going with customers on test drives if it is safe and feasible. Ultimately this is a decision that you must make with yourself, and your employees, best interest in mind.