Getting Insured For Test Driving A Car
Anyone buying a car could be taking an immense risk if this was done without a test drive. However testing a car without first making sure that insurance cover was in place could be an even bigger risk because the chances of getting caught by the police in an unfamiliar car are much higher than when you are driving a familiar one and the fact that you only intended to drive it for a short distance would cut no ice with the police or magistrates.
Buying From A Dealer
So, now that's out of the way, what options have you got? Firstly, if you are buying from a properly established dealership they should have arrangements with an insurance company to cover their clients when necessary. This usually involves just a few formalities on your part and should not cost you anything at all, in fact very often the insurer will throw in anything up to a months cover and all they ask you to do is fill in a proposal form for a quotation for a normal years' policy. You should be under no obligation to buy this, although obviously this is the whole purpose of the exercise from their point of view.
Buying From A Private Seller
If you are buying from a private seller the situation is entirely different. It could be that an insurance policy you have on another car covers you for any vehicle that doesn't belong to you bought it is important to remember that this would almost certainly provide third party cover only and if you had an accident that was your fault and damaged the car you would have to rectify it out of your own pocket; but if the owner was happy to take the risk then this may solve the problem. However, bear in mind that if you bought the car the situation would change completely. You could find yourself insured for the test, but uninsured whilst driving it home. How do you get round this?
Buying One Day Insurance
Simple. You take out a single day's cover on the car that you want to test. This will cost you a few pounds but far less than the consequences of getting caught driving without insurance, or having an uninsured accident, would cost. To do this you would need to have the registration details of the car you intended to drive so you could either arrange the policy before you left home or, if you have a mobile Wi-Fi enabled laptop, smart phone or tablet you could take out a policy just before you drove the car; the whole process only takes a few minutes. This may sound like a lot of fuss but do bear in mind that around 500 cars per day are seized by the police and impounded, and the majority of these are taken from uninsured drivers who thought that they would probably get away with it. They didn't, and you may not either.