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How do I arrange to test drive a used car?

Not every seller will offer the chance to test drive a used car, so you should always find out in advance if it's possible

Words by: First published: 3rd July 2015
The most important thing to check is that the person selling the car you’re interested in actually offers test drives. True enough, it won’t be a problem at a franchise or independent dealer, but it may be more difficult at a supermarket.

Where test drives are available, precise details of how to arrange one vary from place to place; and, although some places say it’s fine to just turn up without an appointment and set up a test drive on the spot, we’d always recommend phoning ahead, not least to check that the car you’re interested in is still available.

You won’t need to worry about insurance, as that will be covered by the dealer you visit. However, you can expect to have to show your driving licence, first to show that you’re who you say you are, and secondly to prove that you can drive.

If you’re dealing with a private seller, on the other hand, things will be very different. For a start, you’ll almost certainly need to sort out your own insurance – although it’s worth checking this with the seller; and, you’ll need to show proof of your cover, along with your driving licence, before you’ll be allowed to drive the car.
Related topics:
Buying a used car