how old do you have to be to test drive a car

How Old Do You Have To Be To Test Drive A Car?


August 10, 2022

How old do you have to be to test drive a car?

The majority of people begin their lifelong journey with an old automobile and then graduate to a new one when finances permit.

With this information in mind, how old must you be to test-drive a vehicle?

The only pre-requisite for test driving a vehicle is to have a license, and the minimum age requirement to obtain one is 18 in most states.

As a result, it is best to bring an adult with you when testing out an automobile.

The above is true for a new vehicle, but dealers usually let me test drive an old automobile as long as I have a driver’s license.

That said, it again depends on the dealer and the automobile.

A dealer is unlikely to allow me to test drive a high-performance or modified vehicle.

Dealerships won’t let the teenagers drive new vehicles with a license, even if they have been licensed.

The test-driving limit is in the passenger seat, and the salesperson or your parent drives it.

Am I Old Enough To Test Drive The Car?

It is vital to test drive a vehicle before buying it, whether it is old or new.

Before purchasing a used car or a new one, the first thing I do is test drive it.

Test driving allows me to learn about and have an understanding of the automobile.

Apart from on a smooth road, I would want to see how the car performs when driven in particular situations.

I am looking for a vehicle that has space, is safe and reliable, and can serve me well.

I also need one that is both roomy and safe, as well as one that I love to drive.

I do not want to drive anything that does not sync with me or simply meets my requirements.

red Mercedes-Benz coupe on road

If you want to discover the best vehicle for you, it is important to go through this process.

You will wind up with a car that is not ideal for you and may not be the one for you if you do not go through this procedure.

Ensure you have your license with you before beginning the journey.

The minimum age to acquire a full license in most states is 18, with 16 and 14 being the lower end of that range.

Then again, not all states adhere to this rule.

The following is true in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, and a few more jurisdictions.

However, the age limit for a full license in states such as Idaho, North Dakota, and South Dakota is 16 years old.

Some states, on the other hand, set the age limit for a complete license at 17 or even 16 years and 6 months old.

The same may be said for learners’ restricted and permits licenses.

Then again, while I am allowed to drive with a license, my dealer may not yet trust me, not when I am very young.

I would also have to pass the dealership’s age requirements.

I can not test drive a used automobile, much less a new one unless I fulfill both of these conditions.

What If I Want To Test Drive A Car As Being Teenager?

Unless the dealership permits me to test drive a vehicle, I have no possibility of doing so.

And if you are a teenager, chances are they will turn you down.

Because they are considered adults at this age, most dealers prefer their customers to be at least 18 years old or above in order for them to test drive.

The easiest method to avoid this is to have an adult accompany you, preferably your parents or guardians.

Nonetheless, the dealer has the option of whether or not I am allowed to drive the automobile.

Most dealers would not allow you to drive one under your parent’s supervision because if necessary, they would be present to lead or haul you to safety.

It is up to you to persuade the salesman if you truly want to purchase a car and test drive it.

gray sports coupe parking during daytime

Do your research and gather information about the vehicle before visiting the dealership.

Also, instead of asking to test drive right away, attract the salesman’s attention.

Inquire about the automobile and establish a rapport with him.

The above regulations are intended to protect you.

Over the years, there have been several incidents where drivers who were not insured had their cars damaged while test-driving them without permission.

The insurance company would be required to pay up if the driver caused an accident and was uninsured at the time of the collision.

Get The Most Out Of A Test Drive

Shoppers for their first automobile, especially teenagers, may be torn between the desire to purchase a vehicle and the fear of making an uninformed decision.

The best time to test drive your car is right after you have bought it.

When you get to the dealership, ask if you can test drive a car that you are interested in purchasing.

Here are some tips for testing out your automobile before buying it:

  • Test drive the car you are thinking to purchase: Call the dealership ahead of time and let them know which model you would like to test drive. It is not any random type, but rather the one that matters most. Do not be persuaded by his sales pitch.
  • Educate yourself: Examine the model and type you wish to buy. Make a list, keep your options open, and do not be afraid to go with what you know. Depending on your budget and specifications, narrow down your search to a few models.
  • Copy of the license: Before you test drive, your dealer will demand a photocopy of your driver’s license. They may have a photocopier, but bring in your license copy as well. After the test drive, return the license copy to them. Dealerships that are not legitimate might utilize your license copy for fraudulent applications.
  • Take your time and choose the route: It might take over an hour for a driving test. Make the most of your time by speeding things up a bit. Do not rush the process. In addition to testing on city streets, highways, and bumpy roads, check it out in traffic. Put it through its paces and make sure it performs as expected.
  • Comfortable or just adequate: What is the level of comfort in the vehicle? It is pointless to spend money on one that is not both practical and pleasurable. Check to see if there is a way to adjust the driver’s seat. Is it possible to reach the mirror and dashboard without difficulty? Make sure the mirrors and dash are within easy reach. Try out the visors and glove box to see how they operate.
  • How spacious it is: Make sure the vehicle is big enough for you to fit in and out without cramping or hitting your head. Is there adequate storage? Are you able to store all of your necessities?
  • Understand the car: Do you have a decent idea of how the gauges and displays in the dashboard operate? What about audio, Bluetooth, and the navigation system? Make sure you understand it from both a customer and an expert standpoint.
  • Inspect the car: Make a list of anything that looks wrong around the automobile, especially if it is a used vehicle. Dents, rust, and scratches all have an effect on the price.
  • Bring in an adult: Finally, if you are a kid, bring in a buddy or an adult who understands automobiles. The salesperson is motivated by his commission, and he’ll do everything he can to sell you a vehicle. An adult would be able to spot potential problems and would be better able to discern the salesman’s intentions.

What To Look For During A Test Drive?

Do not let anyone hoodwink you into doing something you are not ready for because of your age.

So, when going for a test drive, trust your instincts and ignore their sales pitch.

When you test-drive a car, the first thing you should feel is the vehicle while driving.

The drive’s smoothness, quiet engine, easy steering in your hands, and brakes under your feet are all indicators of being in touch with the vehicle.

These are the things that tell you if you are in sync with the vehicle and if anything’s amiss:

  • Steering: The steering should not suffer from any wobbliness. On city streets, overly heavy steering can be tiring to use, whereas light steering might make it difficult to drive.
  • Brakes: You should feel confident enough to drive your vehicle on the roadways after installing new brakes. What is the speed at which the brake engages? It should stop quickly but without drama. Make a mental note of how the brakes perform beneath you.
  • Transmission: What kind of gearbox do you want? Manual or automatic, which is your preference? For a first-time owner, an automatic gearbox works better. Keep an eye on how the gears shift up and down, and whether they move easily. Can you change the gears in a manual transmission without crunching them?
  • Suspension: How well does your car handle rough terrain? You should barely feel the bumps. Keep an eye out for rattling noises from the suspension as well.
  • Maneuverability: Is it simple to maneuver your automobile in traffic? Does it handle rapid shifting and lane changing smoothly? This indicates how quickly it accelerates. Parkas close to tight spots as possible, and parallel park if feasible.
  • Engine: Before you start and after you’ve driven for a bit, inspect the engine. It should be cold to the touch at startup. When out driving, keep an eye out for smokes. You shouldn’t hear any engine noises either.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Test Drive The Car With My Kids?


You can take your children for a spin in a vehicle.

However, the first time around, I would not recommend it.

Use the first trip to separate out the undesirable prospects.

Take your family again when they are more comfortable and in car seats and booster seats if necessary.

Depending on their comfort level, you might get a varied response from the children.

Who Pays For The Damages Caused During The Test Drive?

If you are the cause of an accident during a test drive, your insurance would kick in and pay for it since, in insurance language, you will be renting a car.

However, if the other driver is at fault, his insurance would cover the expense.

In the event that your automobile is to blame for the accident, the dealership will be required to compensate you for your injuries.

The other parties thought they would try to pin it on you and your driving because they assumed you had a policy with them.

Remember to check your insurance coverage before going for a test drive.

Make sure your insurance covers car accidents when you’re driving a rental.

How Old Do I Have To Be To Rent The Car?

To rent a car in the United States, you must be at least 21 years old.

The majority of rental businesses demand their renters to be at least 25 years old.

They allow anybody above the age of 21 to hire, but they charge youngsters aged 18-21 a Young Renter Fee.

Only a small number of rentals allow 18-year-olds, but they will be charged a fee.

Car rental firms like Avis, Budget, Alamo, National, and others charge a fee of at least $41 per day on top of the daily rate for teenagers.


A thorough inspection is necessary before purchasing a vehicle.

It allows you to get a sense of the vehicle and how at ease you are inside it.

A test drive becomes even more essential if it is a used automobile.

To drive a car in New York, the minimum age is 18, as long as you have your full driver’s license.

It is usually 18 in most states, with a few exceptions for individuals who are 16 or 17 years old.

It also depends on the dealerships.

Because the car dealerships require you to sign a release before taking a test drive, this is why.

Any signature by a minor is considered invalid.

You can get an adult to go with you to the dealership in order for this to work.

Even if an adult does so, it’s up to the dealership whether or not they allow you to drive.

The individual may even take control of the vehicle and test drive it for you in this instance.


Jeffrey Bryce is an experienced motorcycle rider with years of experience caring for motorcycles. His natural fondness for motorcycles have made him come up with, which is dedicated to answering and teaching you how to care for your bike with the care it requires. LetsGoForARide is the one of his important lifework in reaching out to communities of motorcycle enthusiasts on how to take care of their bike and choosing the correct spare part.