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Asking buyers for proof of insurance before test drive


rainagain

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I had a time waster looking at my Stilo last night who wasn't sure if her policy covered her to drive it third party or not. I let her drive it anyway (if you could call her taking 10,000 miles off the clutch's life driving), but her daughter decided she wanted something a bit more exciting, not sure what she was expecting from a 1.2 five door family car.

 

So as per the title do you guys normally ask for proof of insurance before you let a prospective buyer test drive your car? I was thinking of doing this for the next person who comes to see it. It's something I've never been as asked for myself when I've been a buyer, so I don't know how common this is.

 

 

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I do, but the onus really is on the person driving it - if they crash its their responsibility, that said, you lose the car because your policy wont cover you and its doubtful you would get anything off the test driver.

 

I once had a bloke leave me the keys to a very nice RS2000 and his girlfriend who got ever more nervous during a prolonged (lone) test drive of an XR2.

 

Sadly he came back so the RS and girlfriend had to be returned.

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The few times we've sold cars privately, its been sort of obvious even over the phone whether the potential buyer is worth bothering with.

 

When the right buyer turns up, you will know by gut feeling if you have to worry about such things, does it quack and waddle?

 

The same applies when buying too, 10 mins on the phone should paint a fair picture of the person at the other end.

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The few times we've sold cars privately, its been sort of obvious even over the phone whether the potential buyer is worth bothering with.

 

When the right buyer turns up, you will know by gut feeling if you have to worry about such things, does it quack and waddle?

 

The same applies when buying too, 10 mins on the phone should paint a fair picture of the person at the other end.

 

Any tips on what you should ask them, to weed out the time wasters? My usual 'technique' is to ignore emails/text that look like a five year old wrote them and also the 'how much 4 cash m8?'. The woman did sound quite interested on the phone, the 'car guy' she brought with her was really positive about my car and was telling her to buy it!

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There is an offence of permitting somebody to use your vehicle without insurance.

Ah, but if someone says "yes I have got insurance, but forgot my certificate" how do you prove otherwise?

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Ah, but if someone says "yes I have got insurance, but forgot my certificate" how do you prove otherwise?

 

This is an awkward one.  If you allow them to drive solely on condition that they are insured to drive the car, and you can prove to the court that you imposed this condition, then that is a defence against a charge of permitting someone to drive whilst uninsured.  If you merely said "OK, whatever", then you're potentially in trouble.  It's a very thin line - and it's the reason why I took out demonstration cover on my insurance, so anyone is covered as long as I'm sitting in the car with them.  Cover to drive other vehicles is getting rarer - especially for younger drivers.

 

By the way, the penalties for causing or permitting are the same as the penalties for actually driving - so that means at least 6 points, a BFO fine and a possible ban.  Plus premiums that go through the roof for the next few years.

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This is an awkward one.  If you allow them to drive solely on condition that they are insured to drive the car, and you can prove to the court that you imposed this condition, then that is a defence against a charge of permitting someone to drive whilst uninsured.  If you merely said "OK, whatever", then you're potentially in trouble.  It's a very thin line - and it's the reason why I took out demonstration cover on my insurance, so anyone is covered as long as I'm sitting in the car with them.  Cover to drive other vehicles is getting rarer - especially for younger drivers.

 

By the way, the penalties for causing or permitting are the same as the penalties for actually driving - so that means at least 6 points, a BFO fine and a possible ban.  Plus premiums that go through the roof for the next few years.

 

:shock:  Ok the next driver is getting asked for proof of insurance and a DNA sample

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Guest Breadvan72

I do, but the onus really is on the person driving it - if they crash its their responsibility, that said, you lose the car because your policy wont cover you and its doubtful you would get anything off the test driver.

 

I once had a bloke leave me the keys to a very nice RS2000 and his girlfriend who got ever more nervous during a prolonged (lone) test drive of an XR2.

 

Sadly he came back so the RS and girlfriend had to be returned.

 

 

Incorrect, so far as criminal law is concerned - the onus is on YOU to satisfy yourself that the driver is insured.  You risk a conviction if you don't take reasonable steps to check the insurance position.   Also, a person injured by an uninsured driver could sue the person who carelessly let that person drive without checking the insurance position.    Having said that, did any of us do proper checks at Shitefest?  Answer, no, we all took it on trust. 

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Any tips on what you should ask them, to weed out the time wasters? My usual 'technique' is to ignore emails/text that look like a five year old wrote them and also the 'how much 4 cash m8?'. The woman did sound quite interested on the phone, the 'car guy' she brought with her was really positive about my car and was telling her to buy it!

 

Not sure there's a technique more a feeling of would you invite this person into your home, the lady who bought someone with her to check the car out sounds ideal.

 

Yes we ignore emails and texts unless in proper English, not bothered about speeling so much as its no guide but text speak gets ignored.

 

If i was buying i'd ask details about the car, its ownership and maintenance history, faults etc and if self serviced try to get a general car conversation going to see what knowledge there is at the other end, when the time comes, if appropriate i might ask if the price is negotiable....so i expect a similar approach from a buyer.

 

Two sentences into a call if the buyers magic phrase ''what is the lowest price you will take'' appears,  the conversation ends pretty quickly, usual suspects and no time given to them.

 

I have a secret weapon here, SWMBO, a woman not to be trifled with,  usually fields calls and has an uncanny knack of knowing what the person is like within seconds and deals with those she gets bad vibes from immediately, she's seldom wrong, wimmins intuition? i dunno....when time comes for price negotiation, buying or selling, again i leave it to her.

 

edit...when i sold my Hilux, the buyer a car trader phoned, we had a conversation for about 10 minutes on a variety of subjects during which time we got a feeling that each other could be trusted, barely mentioned the vehicle i'd given a very full description in the ebay ad.

He paid £15k by credit transfer within hours without ever laying eyes on the motor and sent one of his chaps 150 miles by train to drive it back, we were both very satisfied with the deal.

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I reckon most people don't check to be honest. Fully comp is supposed to cover you for other (taxed, tested and insured) cars but it's not always the case and mostly won't apply if the owner has trade insurance.

 

If you let someone drive your motor and they crash it uninsured, you're in the shit as someone mentioned above it's an offence to let them drive it without insurance, so basically up to vehicle owner to check buyers insurance covers them.

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On the opposite side of the fence, always take my insurance certificate and licence along when going to look at a car (unless buying off a mate they know I'm insured) I haven't sold a car for years but I would definately ask a buyer to bring proof of insurance or its a passenger ride for them

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Usually when someone turns up to view a car I'm selling I'll drive it, the length of the drive usually depending on how serious they appear to be. If I think they're a timewaster they get literally a spin round the block to show it moves, if they're 'here to buy barring any fubars' then they get longer run with a good hard blast up the dual carriageway for good measure.
 

The bloke that came for the mine the other day was a rare exception and I had to make a quick call, he'd made quite a journey to come and see me and seemed a decent sort but he wanted a shot for himself so I got in the passenger seat and hoped for the best.
He ended up driving it far slower and more gently than I would have, and never even got out of 3rd gear. I'd have pinned him to the seat with its awsum acceleration powahs if I'd been driving, but there were old ladies in their Micras queueing up to get past us.

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Ah, but if someone says "yes I have got insurance, but forgot my certificate" how do you prove otherwise?

You dont - you tell them to foxtrot oscar - otherwise you could end up with six points on your licence.

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Years ago I always had any driver (over the age of 21) cover on my cars, fully comp, plague of locusts, slaying of firstborn ,etc. it was all covered. Sadly the Co-op no longer seem to do this. LV now covers me third party to drive other cars, except for any loaned to me by a garage which are then fully comp.

 

My rule on driving other cars is that either I have to be a named driver on the owner's policy (and there is a very limited number of people stupid/brave enough to do this) or I have to be able to afford to replace the borrowed car.

 

I also fall into the category of buying things I haven't seen and insuring them for the "test" drive home, usually thinking why the hell have I done this again.

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The buyer could leave you full asking price in cash.... In forged notes.

The buyer could leave you their car whilst they test drive..... Which turns out to be stolen.

Certificates can be forged, people lie. Essentially it comes down to instinct and the ability to accept it's your fault if it goes tits-up.

 

I had a guy leave me a mint Golf G60 whilst he test drove a £300 Polo I was selling. Sadly, he came back.

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The buyer could leave you their car whilst they test drive..... Which turns out to be stolen.

 

A garage in Swansea had this last year "buyer" turned up apparently interested in buying either of two of their cars, took first one out for test drive and brought it back, took the second one out "to compare" and buggered off leaving the stolen car they arrived in on their forecourt.

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That's an interesting point.  If the potential buyer leaves you the full asking price in (real) cash when he takes the car for a test drive, does that then mean that it technically becomes his car, thus exonerating you from any responsibility should he be IN10ing?

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Even if the buyer has insurance, if he scrapes the car down the side of a gatepost or whatever (ie damages your car but nothing else) can you actually force him to claim?

 

Years and years ago when I first worked in car rental I was always told that we wouldn't let private people insure hire cars themselves as in the event of an accident they couldn't be made to claim. Is that correct / still the case?

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Incorrect, so far as criminal law is concerned - the onus is on YOU to satisfy yourself that the driver is insured.  You risk a conviction if you don't take reasonable steps to check the insurance position.   Also, a person injured by an uninsured driver could sue the person who carelessly let that person drive without checking the insurance position.   

 

The question is, what constitutes 'reasonable steps'?

 

'Are you insured?'

'Yes'

 

Sounds reasonable to me, but I'm not a judge.

 

The injured person would sue the uninsured driver, and the insurers of the car would pay them, then they would sue the poor, careless seller.

 

It's all to much hassle. I'm never buying anything that's going to be worth more than scrap money by time I want to sell it. Oh, wait...

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The last 3 cars I've bought I didn't test drive, the mk2 polo had no keys or paperwork, the Carlton, i just turned up had a quick look, filled in the paperwork and drove off, the 340, I spoke to the seller for 5 mins, asked if he could tax it and id square him up when i got there, it was a 3 hour drive, got to the car and he had actually went and paid for the tax, i gave him the money, removed the horrible alloys and fitted my own then found out there was no v5. The first drive was interesting... Lowered suspension, welded diff, no interior, no radio and a flickering alternator light on a long drive back home....

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