Test drive at private car sales

Johannes Kautenburger, test engineer and motor vehicle expert at the expert organization KÜS

Leaving their own car to a potential buyer for a test drive is difficult for many. But the test round is actually a must for buyers. Therefore, both ideally go on a test tour together.

Question: “I have ordered a new car and advertised my used one for sale. Several interested parties have already contacted us, but they want to test drive the car before buying it. Do I have to give them a test drive? "

Answer by Johannes Kautenburger, motor vehicle expert at the expert organization KÜS: “Due to questions of liability law and the risk of theft, many people willing to sell have concerns about giving their used cars to strangers for a test drive. But prospective buyers are usually dependent on a test drive if they do not want to buy a pig in a poke. Conversely, for the seller this means: trust is good, control is better.

The greatest security offers you the personal ride. At the same time, you can support interested parties if they cannot find their way around your vehicle immediately and answer them directly if they have any spontaneous questions. Above all, the ride offers better protection against theft. Professional car thieves often work with fake identities, which is why presenting a driver's license and ID card does not offer any real security. The car of the interested party can also be a trick as a "deposit", because that too can be stolen.

Whether you are traveling with us or not: The prospective buyer and seller should always conclude a written test drive agreement that clearly states that the test driver is liable for any damage and accidents caused during the test drive as well as for traffic violations. Such agreements are available for download as standard forms on the Internet. The vehicle owner and prospective buyer must both sign. The period of the test drive must be entered. In addition, the interested party should present their ID card and driver's license and the seller should take a photo of them.

If the vehicle is still registered with the seller, he should also clarify with his insurance company in advance whether there is liability cover for a test drive.
If damage occurs during a test drive, the driver must pay the costs according to the test drive agreement. If the car is fully insured, the compensation will usually only include the excess. In the case of liability insurance, in addition to the damage to the tested vehicle, the test driver must also compensate for the additional costs resulting from a possible upgrade.

The car for sale does not necessarily have to be registered by the seller in order to be able to take a test drive. Those who expect longer downtimes can save money by deregistering. Private buyers then alternatively have the option of applying for a short-term license plate for a test drive and for the transfer. However, this burdens prospective buyers with paperwork, a visit to a registration office and fees. Professional used car buyers usually use the red license plate instead of a short-term license plate, which also allows them to legally participate in road traffic with a vehicle that has actually been de-registered. "

On the picture: Johannes Kautenburger, test engineer and motor vehicle expert at the expert organization KÜS

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