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How Old Do You Have to be to Test Drive a Car

February 11, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

Whether you’re a mechanic or a person looking to purchase a new vehicle, test driving the car is essential to determine if the car trouble has been resolved or to feel the car’s performance.

However, specific laws state how old a person must be to test drive a car. These age restrictions are necessary to ensure the safety of the individual test-driving the vehicle and protect the dealership from liability.

One of the importance of test driving a car, especially for anyone looking to purchase a new vehicle, is that it allows you to feel the car’s features and performance in a way that’s not possible through online research or reviews.

In this article, we will explore how old you must be to test driving a car and why age restrictions are necessary.


Why Age Restrictions?

While test driving can be a stimulating experience, certain age restrictions determine whether someone can test drive a car.

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Here are some reasons why these restrictions are necessary:


One of the main reasons for age restrictions on test driving a car is to ensure the safety of the individual and other road users.

Test driving is usually done on public roads, which can be dangerous for inexperienced or unlicensed drivers. For this reason, many dealers require individuals to have a valid driver’s license to test drive a car or have a guardian in the car.

By enforcing age restrictions, car dealers can help ensure that only those capable of safely test-driving a car are allowed to do so.


Dealerships may be held liable for any accidents or damage during the test drive, especially if the driver is under the legal driving age or doesn’t have a valid driver’s license.

The dealership also risks being of legal action by the guardian. Or the authorities For this reason, many car dealers have strict age requirements ranging from 18 to 21 for test driving a car to minimize their liability.

Legal Requirements

Aside from a valid driving license, some dealerships may require individuals to provide proof of insurance before test-driving a vehicle. Other dealerships may need individuals to complete a credit check before test-driving a car, especially if the individual is interested in financing the purchase.

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It’s also worth noting that these age restrictions are not just put in place to protect the dealership but also protect the individual. If individuals who are too young or inexperienced are given access to test drive a car on public roads, it could result in severe accidents or even worse.

How Old to Test Drive a Car

The legal age to test drive a car varies from state to state and country to country. In the United States, the legal driving age is typically 16, but the age to test drive a car can vary depending on the dealership’s policies. Some dealerships may allow individuals as young as 15 to test drive a vehicle with a parent or guardian’s permission, while others may require the individual to be at least 18 years old.

Here’s a list of things to keep in check if you want to test drive a car at age 16.

Go with a Parent/Guardian:

Taking your parents or guardians to the dealership when you want to purchase a new ride is an ideal way to show the dealership that you’re not there for jokes. Your guardian may have to sign a permission waiver to allow you to drive.

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Have purchasing intent:

You’ll be allowed to test drive if you show enough seriousness by asking and answering a few questions and proving that you have the cash to pay for the car.

Book an Appointment:

Booking an appointment with a salesperson and explaining the situation will help them trust you more. They may ask you some questions and require proof of insurance before allowing you to test drive.


Can a 17-year-old test drive a car UK?

No, you can legally test drive a car in the UK until 18. Although individuals can get a diving license at 17 in the UK, they can’t drive until they’re 18 years.

How old do you have to be to test drive in the UK?

To test drive a car in the UK, you must be 18. Although, car dealerships have their different requirements.

How old must you be to test drive a car in the US?

To legally test drive a car in the US, you have to be 18 years of age. Else you’ve to go with a Parent or guardian.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.