For many people, getting behind the wheel for the first time is one of their favorite childhood memories. But it wasn’t always this way – in fact, in the past, you actually had to be 18 to get your license and start driving!
Let’s take a look at how old you have to be today, both in Canada and the United States, to take your first spin around the block in your very own car.
How old do you have to be to test drive a car?
When it comes to test driving a car, there’s no hard and fast rule about how old you have to be. That said, if you’re interested in test driving a new car before you buy it, you can consult an individual manufacturer for their requirements.
It varies from automaker to automaker, but most allow customers as young as 18 years old (sometimes even younger) to take cars out on test drives under certain conditions and restrictions. A vehicle may be limited by age or by miles driven at time of rental or purchase.
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Can a 16-year-old test drive a car with a parent?
Federal law requires anyone who is younger than 18 and driving with an instruction permit or provisional license to be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years old. This rule includes test drives in dealer showrooms, but it doesn’t apply when your parents are driving you around—regardless of how old you are.
Some states have additional laws about test-driving, so it’s important that you research your state’s regulations before taking a car out for a spin. For example, in some states, anyone under 18 must use an adult safety belt and/or ride with someone at least 20 years old. In New York State, drivers under 17 can drive on any public road between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Do car dealerships allow a 17-year-old to test drive a car?
Most dealerships will allow teenagers as young as 16 years old to test drive a car; there are, however, a few caveats. First, you have to have a valid driver’s license—and if you don’t yet have one, most dealerships won’t let you take one home. In addition, you have to have your parents with you when test driving a car.
When it comes time for someone else at home (like your older sibling) or in your group of friends (if they haven’t driven much before) to check out what it’s like behind the wheel, be sure he or she is accompanied by an adult.
Can I test drive a car at 18?
In most cases, you have to be 18 years old in order to test drive a car. However, some dealerships might make exceptions if you’re with a parent or guardian who is there as your co-signer. It’s always best practice though to ask beforehand so that there are no surprises on either side.
In some states (particularly in rural areas), 16-year-olds can legally drive with parental consent, but it varies by region and state law. If you’re 16 or 17 years old, check with your state department of motor vehicles before making plans for a test drive.
Related post: How Long Does It Take To Learn To Drive?
Test driving a car under 25: everything you need to know
Test driving a car before you buy it can be an invaluable experience if you want to be sure the car you’re buying fits your needs and that you love how it drives. But what if you’re under 25 years old?
Does this mean you won’t be able to test drive the cars you want before making the decision to buy one? Not necessarily! Here are some helpful tips to help you successfully test drive a car under 25, no matter where in the United States you live.
Can you test drive a car under 25?
Technically, you should have a job or be in school to test drive most cars on dealership lots. Car rental companies will allow people of any age to rent their vehicles, but they can’t leave without written permission from their parent or guardian. The question remains: are there any other ways for someone under 25 to test drive a car? The answer is yes!
Can you test drive a car with a driving permit?
A key component of test-driving a car is ensuring it fits well within your budget. In other words, even if you’re set on test-driving a sports sedan—or any type of vehicle that costs more than what your budget can support—you should still consider test-driving a vehicle that meets your financial requirements.
If possible, try to test drive several cars in your price range so that you can compare them. You’ll then be able to determine which one best suits your needs.
How old do you have to be to test drive a car at Carmax?
Test-driving a new vehicle is usually one of our favorite parts of buying or leasing a new car. It’s exciting, it gives us an opportunity to get behind the wheel and see how it handles, and it helps us determine if we actually like what we’re seeing.
But some people may be wondering how old you have to be in order for Carmax — or any dealership — to let you test drive your dream vehicle. We’ve got all of your answers right here! After all, who doesn’t love knowing more about their buying options?
How old do you have to be to test drive a car at a dealership in California?
To test drive a car at an automobile dealership in California, there is no minimum age requirement. To buy or lease, however, there are certain eligibility requirements that vary by county. Generally speaking, though, if you are 16 years old or older and have parental consent, you can apply for and take out loans on your own (although you’ll likely still be required to bring a parent or guardian with you).
You might even want to consider leasing if buying just isn’t in your future. With leasing programs available for drivers as young as 21 in some states, many young people are now ditching traditional financing models and opting for much more affordable short-term plans with lower monthly payments.
How old do you have to be to test drive a car in Texas?
If you live in Texas, there’s no minimum age requirement for test-driving a car. However, state law requires that anyone with an expired or invalid driver’s license has to be accompanied by someone over 18. Drivers must have their valid insurance card, vehicle registration and any other required documents before they get behind the wheel.
It’s important to note that it is illegal in Texas for anyone but licensed dealer or salesman employees to sell vehicles directly to consumers. Salesmen are allowed (and encouraged) by law to let people test drive vehicles before making their final purchase decision—but it’s not up to them whether or not someone can actually buy that car.
How old do you have to be to test drive a car in Florida?
Contrary to popular belief, there is no minimum age for test-driving cars in Florida. Dealerships are required by state law only to verify that you’re capable of operating their vehicle safely and effectively, and there are several different methods they can choose from. At minimum, most dealerships require that potential drivers pass both an eye exam and a basic road test—which can be waived if your driver’s license has been active for at least two years.
Other dealerships will also evaluate whether or not someone is able to handle all necessary functions of a vehicle—such as steering and accelerating—by using their own set of criteria.
How old do you have to be to test drive a car in Ohio?
There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding how old you have to be in order to test drive a vehicle in Ohio. The actual age restrictions can vary based on your local state law, but as of right now, there is no minimum age requirement for test driving cars in Ohio. As long as you’re over 18 years old, have valid identification and insurance, you can legally test drive cars with dealerships across Ohio.
However, regardless of your age, if you are listed on someone else’s insurance policy and plan on testing out an insured car that isn’t registered in your name, take a look at some quick tips from Kelley Blue Book (KBB) before going through with your test drive.
How old do you have to be to test drive a car in Missouri?
To test drive a car in Missouri, you must be at least 18 years old. However, there are other factors that can impact your ability to test drive a vehicle—namely your insurance coverage. Most auto dealerships require all drivers to have some kind of proof of insurance before they let them take out any vehicle off their lot. In Missouri, as in many states, all drivers must have liability insurance when on public roads, so you’ll typically be fine with proof of ownership and liability insurance.
Make sure that your policy includes comprehensive and collision coverages if you plan on taking out an expensive or new vehicle for testing purposes; comprehensive coverage protects your physical well-being in case of injury or property damage while collision covers damages incurred by colliding with another object.
How old do you have to be to test drive a car in Georgia?
There is no specific law in Georgia that directly addresses how old you have to be to test drive a car. Under state law, all vehicle drivers must be at least 16 years old, so there’s no explicit age requirement. However, some dealerships may have policies in place that require customers who wish to test drive cars on their lot to meet certain age requirements.
For example, BMW of Buckhead doesn’t allow anyone under 18 years old to test drive one of its vehicles on its lot unless they’re accompanied by an adult over 21 years old who has a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance. Still not sure?
How old do you have to be to test drive a car in NC?
A car salesperson must be at least 18 years old and have completed high school. However, if you are at least 17, your parent or guardian can sign paperwork allowing them to take ownership of your vehicle (more on that below). Moreover, there is no set limit on age when it comes to test-driving cars in North Carolina.
The state’s Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) only says that no one shall operate or be permitted to operate any motor vehicle as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(49) unless such person has a valid driver’s license. So anyone who is of driving age should be able to test drive cars provided he or she has an NC driver’s license and proof of insurance for each vehicle being driven.
How old do you have to be to test drive a car in Minnesota?
The Minnesota Department of Safety website says that in Minnesota, those 18 and older can legally test drive a car without any restrictions. Underage drivers will have to provide their license as well as fill out an application form at participating dealerships. This online document serves as your test-drive consent form and needs only be completed once every two years when renewing your driver’s license.
There are also other requirements for drivers younger than 18 but if you’re just looking for permission to take a joyride, there is no official minimum age (though auto insurers typically consider those below 19 too risky).
How old do you have to be to test drive a car in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin drivers are required to be at least 16 years old with a learners permit. Once drivers reach 18 years old, they must still have their learners permit for 180 days before obtaining their full license.
For more information on Wisconsin’s driver requirements, refer to our guide here. Below is also some more information on using your driver’s license in other states once you’ve received it!
How old do you have to be to test drive a car in Canada?
In Canada, there is no minimum age requirement for test-driving a vehicle. In Ontario, auto dealers must allow customers younger than 19 years of age to test drive if they have written permission from their parent or guardian. If you are between 16 and 18 years old and want to test drive a car on your own, ask your parents or guardians for permission before heading out!
Also, make sure that whoever is with you when you take your test drive (whether it’s an older sibling or parent) has their driver’s license so they can legally operate the vehicle during your test ride.
What is the age requirement for test driving a car?
Test driving a car requires that you are at least 18 years old, but there may be other stipulations for your specific state. For example, in some states test drivers must have at least one year of licensed experience, or have had their license for more than 6 months. These rules vary by state and may even change between dealerships; they’re dependent on Federal guidelines.
Your best bet is to get in touch with your dealership or local DMV to confirm what’s required in your area. And if it’s possible (if your state allows it), having someone over 25 take the wheel can only increase your chances of getting that new set of wheels!
What do I need to test drive a car?
Now that you’ve found yourself in a position where test driving a car is necessary, it’s time to assess what you need. First, make sure your state’s minimum insurance requirements are met. You also need your driver’s license and proof of auto registration if applicable; often dealers will make sure all of these things are up-to-date.
Finally, wear appropriate clothing – i.e., not your prom dress or sweatpants! It might seem like an unnecessary step, but even our safety clothes impact how we perform behind (or inside) of cars! Make sure they don’t impede on your ability to drive comfortably and accurately.
Can I test drive a car alone?
One question that many young drivers ask is whether or not they can test drive a car alone. Many dealerships are willing to let an individual who is over 18 years old take their own vehicle for a spin, and in most cases, that driver will be at least partially responsible for any damage they cause while on said test drive.
But before you get behind the wheel with your dream ride, make sure you understand how much insurance coverage and liability there is while on your test drive. And it’s also important to know how much of an upfront cost might be covered by your bank; some lenders require drivers to purchase expensive collision coverage if they want to take out a loan for one of these vehicles.
How long is a test drive?
Most people don’t want to buy a new car without taking it for a test drive first. That makes sense! We’re used to physical shopping experiences, where we can take something home or at least walk around with it before making our purchase. But in reality, there are no set rules about how long your test drive should be.
If you have time and live close enough, go for an hour or two—the longer you spend in that vehicle and really exploring all of its features and nuances, the better prepared you will be when making your decision.
Can you test drive a Tesla?
Tesla is one of many companies pioneering test drive experiences for people who are young and want cars but aren’t in a place financially where they can go buy them. Tesla lets anyone who’s interested in buying one of their cars test drive one, although there is some paperwork that needs to be filled out first.
This gives people access to nice cars without having to make such a large financial commitment at first. It’s also another way for people to get exposed to Tesla since it gives them an actual experience of how well these work and what life is like when you don’t have one as opposed to just seeing them or watching videos about them online.