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What happens when a vehicle gets damaged during a test drive?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2021 | Dealer Fraud

A test drive helps you determine if a vehicle is the right fit for you. You can love a vehicle’s design and then realize after a test drive that the way it handles doesn’t work for you.

Of course, anytime you go for a drive, there’s always the risk of a crash. What happens if someone going for a test drive gets into a crash in a dealership vehicle?

Fault influences who pays for the crash

In many ways, a crash in a dealership vehicle is just like any other motor vehicle wreck. The driver who causes the crash is the one whose insurance will typically pay for the expenses. If you are not at fault after a crash during a test drive, the other driver will probably be the one who has to reimburse the dealership for the losses they suffered.

However, if you caused the crash, then the dealership might need to make a claim against your insurance policy if you have collision coverage. There is an obvious issue with this system. Specifically, a driver who causes a minor crash or who damages a vehicle during a test drive likely won’t want to tell the dealership about what happened to avoid financial responsibility.

You could buy a brand-new vehicle that has already suffered collision damage

You may not know until after you drive your brand-new vehicle home and then take it to your own mechanic for an oil change that it has major damage to the underbody. You had no reason to take the vehicle out for an inspection because you thought it was brand new.

The dealership did not disclose to you that there was an issue with your new vehicle. It’s possible that the dealership fails to adequately inspect its vehicles after people take them for test drives, and it’s also possible that someone noticed the signs of damage to the vehicle and chose not to make any kind of official record about the issue.

If your brand-new vehicle comes home with preexisting damage, you may be able to bring a claim against the dealership that sold it to you for fraud. Failing to disclose collision damage is a serious oversight on the part of a dealership, especially when it comes to a brand-new vehicle. You may be able to seek repairs or even compensation for how the damage will affect the resale value of your vehicle.

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