What Happens if You Crash a Test Drive Car in Australia?

Driving an own vehicle is everyone’s dream. Before buying any vehicle doing a test drive is common. This test drive helps identify all the  ups and downs in the vehicle. But have you ever thought of what will happen if you crash your new car in a test drive? But have you ever considered what will happen if you crash a car in a test drive, especially in a country like Australia? So today, we’ll learn more about what happens if you crash a test drive car in Australia.

Definition of a test drive

Before digging deeper, Let’s know about what is a test drive. Simply Test drive is a process a potential buyer gets the chance to operate, handle, comfort, and assess the performance. Else test drive is a way to make a decision on a vehicle about vehicle before making a purchase.

During the test drive, the one who wishes to buy the vehicle is allowed to drive the vehicle on the roads. But this driving must be done in a supervised condition. This helps to have a firsthand experience of how the vehicle responds to various driving conditions. Also, this helps to evaluate whether the vehicle meets the buyers’ preferences and requirements.

Also, Test drives are commonly offered by dealerships, private sellers, and rental car companies as a means of facilitating informed purchasing decisions.

Importance of test driving a car before purchasing

As we discussed earlier, Test drives are a vital step in the car-buying process. At the same time, there are many benefits you will gain by test-driving a car before purchasing.

  • A way to assess the Vehicle’s Comfort: We know that Test drives help to evaluate whether the vehicle meets the buyers’ preferences and requirements. Also, you can check if the seats are comfortable, if there’s enough legroom headroom, and if the driving position suits you. This is especially vital for long drives.
  • A way to Evaluate the Performance: Test drives provide a firsthand experience of the vehicle’s performance. You can assess factors like acceleration, braking, handling, and the responsiveness of the steering. This helps you determine if the car meets your driving expectations.
  • Helps to Understand the Features: Modern cars come with a myriad of features and technologies. Test driving allows you to familiarize yourself with these features, such as the infotainment system, safety technologies, and driver assistance systems. This ensures you can use them effectively and they meet your requirements.
  • Make a way for a Safety Assessment: Safety is paramount when buying a car. Test driving allows you to evaluate the vehicle’s safety features and how it behaves in real-world driving conditions, giving you confidence in its safety performance.
  • Legal and Ethical Obligations: Some authorities may have legal requirements for test drives before purchasing. Even if not legally instructed, conducting a test drive is often considered an ethical practice when buying a car, as it indicates seriousness about the purchase.

So now it is clear that there are many advantages of a test drive. Now let’s know how to arrange a Test drive.

How to Arrange a Test Drive?

Step I: Contacting the Dealership 

This step is much easy as only you have to do is to reach out to the dealership by phone, email or through the company’s website. After contacting them, you can express your interest in a test drive. You will be a valuable addition to the company.

Step II: Scheduling the Test Drive

After following this step, you will be able to arrange a convenient time for the test drive. The important thing to know is there are many dealerships that offer online scheduling options.

Step III: Documentation

Now, you have almost completed the test drive. Now, be prepared to provide some personal information and potentially your driver’s license before the test drive.

Step IV: Understanding Policies

Now familiarize yourself with the dealership’s test drive policies, including any age or license requirements.

Well, now it is time to buy your dream vehicle. But let’s think you crashed the vehicle during the test drive. Good or bad, you should have an idea about the legal framework in Australia regarding this.

The Legal Framework in Australia

Mandatory Insurance Requirements

There are some mandatory insurance requirements in order to perform a test drive in Australia. Mandatory insurance requirements will reduce the risk of injury or damage to the vehicle and the driver while performing the test drive. They are;

Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance

In Australia, all registered vehicles must have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance. This CTP insurance provides coverage for injuries or death caused to another person in the event of a car accident. This insurance is normally purchased when registering a vehicle. A must-know thing is this CTP insurance varies by state and territory in terms of coverage and cost.What Happens if You Crash a Test Drive Car in Australia

Comprehensive Insurance

While not mandatory, comprehensive insurance is highly recommended in Australia. It provides coverage not only for damage to other people’s property or injuries but also for damage to your own vehicle. Comprehensive insurance can protect you financially in case of accidents, theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.

Responsibility in Case of an Accident During a Test Drive

Though these licenses are almost with you, there is the risk of getting crashed during the test drive. So, if such an incident happens, everyone involved is responsible. By looking deeper into this, you will realize how you should take responsibility.

  • The driver: If the person test-driving the vehicle is at fault for the accident, they may be personally responsible for damages. This may differ with the amount of damage that occurred.
  • The owner/seller: The owner or seller of the vehicle is generally not held responsible for accidents that occur during a test drive unless they were careless or failed to reveal known defects.
  • Insurance: In most cases, the insurance of the vehicle being test-driven should cover damages. CTP insurance covers injuries to others, and comprehensive insurance covers damages to the vehicle itself. The driver’s own insurance may also come into play if they have it.

Potential Legal Penalties 

  • Civil liability: The at-fault party may be sued for damages by the injured party.What Happens if You Crash a Test Drive Car in Australia
  • Criminal charges: In cases of reckless or drunk driving during a test drive, criminal charges may apply.
  • Insurance claims: The parties involved may need to file insurance claims to cover damages.

What happens if you crash a test drive car in Australia?

If you crash a test drive car in Australia, several steps and potential consequences can occur:

Immediate Actions at the Accident Scene:

  • Ensure the safety of all parties involved.
  • Check for injuries and provide necessary medical assistance.
  • Exchange contact details, driver’s license information and insurance details with all parties involved
  • Depending on the accident’s severity, you may need to report it to the local police.
  • Serious accidents, injuries, or significant property damage typically require police involvement.

Reporting the Accident:

  • Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible.
  • If you were test-driving a vehicle, the insurance coverage associated with that vehicle should cover damages.
  • The owner or seller of the vehicle may also contact their insurance company to report the accident. They should provide their insurer with the relevant information.
  • Your insurance and the owner/seller’s insurance may be involved in processing the claim, depending on the circumstances. Insurance companies will investigate the accident and assess liability.What Happens if You Crash a Test Drive Car in Australia
  • Depending on the insurance policy, you may be required to pay an excess (deductible) when making a claim.

Liability and Legal Consequences:

  • Suppose you were at fault for the accident. In that case, you may be held civilly liable for damages to the owner/seller’s vehicle and any injuries or damages caused to other parties.
  • If you were driving recklessly, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or violating traffic laws, you may face criminal charges.
  • The injured parties, including the owner/seller of the vehicle, may take legal action against you to recover damages.

Insurance Coverage:

  • As we discussed earlier, in Australia, Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance covers injuries to other parties involved in the accident. This insurance is generally mandatory for all registered vehicles.
  • If the owner/seller of the test drive vehicle had comprehensive insurance, it should cover damages to their vehicle.
  • If you have your comprehensive insurance, it may also come into play, depending on your policy.
  • If the situation becomes legally complex or if you are facing civil or criminal charges, it’s advisable to consult with a legal attorney who specializes in traffic and personal injury law.

Also, keep in mind that the specific legal and insurance outcomes can vary depending on the circumstances of the accident, the insurance policies involved, and the relevant state or territory laws. It’s crucial to follow the appropriate legal procedures, report the accident promptly, and cooperate with law enforcement and insurance companies when dealing with a test drive accident in Australia.

Real-life incidents of car crashes during test drives in Australia.

After her son crashed a car while taking it for a test drive, a Perth woman informed prospective buyers that her son may be responsible for nearly $16,000 in damages. Although the car had mandatory third-party insurance, the insurance provider believed the amount could be recovered was closer to $12,500.

What Happens if You Crash a Test Drive Car in Australia

Kim’s son, who had just put down a down payment, was towed back to the dealership, where the salesperson informed him, the vehicle was only covered by the minimum third-party insurance required by law. Due to his inability to pay the insurance company in full, Kim’s son is fighting to reduce the amount owed. He claims that this is the case.

Tips for a Safe Test Drive

Getting a car crashed in a test drive due to unavoidable reasons is normal. But if the reason is avoidable, it should be avoided. So, you can follow the following before doing the test drive.

Inspecting the vehicle before the test drive.

  • Before the test drive, thoroughly inspect the vehicle for any damages, such as dents, scratches, or other visible issues.
  • Mark any existing damage by taking photographs and making notes. This will help avoid clashes later if the owner claims damage occurred during your test drive.

Ensure that the vehicle is good to drive.

  • Check the general condition of the vehicle. This includes the condition of tires, brakes, lights, and fluid levels.
  • If you have any doubts about the vehicle’s condition, ask the seller for maintenance records and seek their assurance that the vehicle is safe to drive.

Try to perform Safe Driving Practices During the Test Drive.

  • Follow all traffic laws and regulations, like speed limits, road signs, and right-of-way rules.
  • Use turning signals and obey traffic signals.
  • Avoid aggressive or reckless drivingWhat Happens if You Crash a Test Drive Car in Australia
  • Stay focused on driving and avoid distractions, such as using a phone and eating
  • Do not drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any impairing substances


In conclusion, there are numerous negative effects of crashing a test drive car in Australia, including financial, legal, and personal repercussions. Drivers and dealerships must both accept accountability for their actions and abide by the rules and laws on test drives. In order to reduce the risks and guarantee a smooth test drive, awareness and preparation are essential.




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