How to stay safe when letting a buyer test drive your car

With traditional car dealers offering peanuts for used cars, selling your car privately is something many of us have experience in. While wasting time with messages and phone calls may be a nuisance, when it comes to letting your prospective buyer test drive your car it can become downright dangerous.

There are a few simple steps you should follow to ensure that you and your car are safe while giving someone a test drive.

1. Always ask to see a driver’s licence

The most obvious and important part of a test drive is sighting the driver’s licence of the prospective buyer to confirm their identity and prove that they can legally drive your car. Always take a photo of their licence to keep on record – if they run a red light during the test drive you will be able to complete a statutory declaration to have the fine sent to the driver.

There is no legal obligation for a prospective buyer to show their licence, so if they refuse – don’t let them behind the wheel.

2. Send a photo of their driver’s licence to a friend

Always take a photo of their driver’s licence and send it to a friend. Stealing the car is one thing, but taking the car with you still inside is another. If the worst should happen, then someone else will know who you were with and can contact the police.

3. Never leave the keys with the buyer unless you are in the car

The buyer should only have the keys while you are in the car. When preparing to set off for a test drive, sit in the passenger seat before handing the keys to the buyer. Similarly, when the test drive is finished – ask for the keys before stepping out of your car.

4. Always go with the buyer on a test drive

This may seem like a no-brainer, but some buyers can lull you into a false sense of security. It’s OK to sit in the back seat if they have brought a friend or partner along – but it’s important to be in the car to supervise during the test drive, even if it’s just to stop them curbing a wheel.

5. Have a test route planned ahead of time

It’s important to have a test route planned ahead of time, not only to give the prospective buyer a thorough experience behind the wheel, but also a route which is safe for both you and your car. Keep to populated areas and avoid quiet back roads and industrial parks.

Don’t let the driver choose their own route, you never know what they might have waiting around the corner.

6. Arrange to meet with the buyer in a populated area with security cameras.

Avoid having the buyer come to your home if you can. Instead, arrange to meet with them in a public space such as a shopping centre car park – ideally where you are in sight of CCTV cameras.

7. It’s just a car

If the worst should happen, always remember – it’s just a car. Make sure you are safe and report the car as stolen as soon as possible.

Of course, if this all seems too much you can always give HelloCars a try. We will buy your used car and guarantee to pay at least $1,000 more than
a dealer. Get your free, no obligation online quote now.