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What insurance do I need to allow unattended test drives?

At the start of May 2020, the DVLA announced that unaccompanied test drives would be permitted when using a dealer’s official trade plates.

Typically, a salesperson or representative must be present to accompany people on test drives. The insurance required for this is accompanied demonstration cover.

However, with social distancing recommendations in place, the test driver and dealer aren’t safe while accompanied demonstrations take place. This situation is likely to continue for a considerable time yet – even after lockdown is lifted.

Hence, the DVLA has reacted sensibly to ease restrictions on test drives.

While many dealers have welcomed this latest news, it does raise questions about what insurance cover they need to have in place.

Unaccompanied Demonstration Cover: How do I get it, and what does it cost?

Unaccompanied demonstration cover is required to carry out test drives using trade plates. Without this, your motor trade policy won’t cover your vehicle.

Usually, this won’t form part of your insurance policy, so it will need to be added. Insurers are doing their best to keep any additional costs down to a minimum in the current circumstances. They are mindful that motor traders need this cover to keep their businesses up and running with social distancing measures in place.

Bollington can assist with the addition of unaccompanied demonstration cover on motor trade policies, particularly motor trade combined policies. Get in touch with us for more information on the availability of this insurance for your business.

What do I need to do to allow an unaccompanied test drive?

There are some considerations for dealers to make when allowing unaccompanied test drives.

Here’s our five-point guide to staying safe and allowing test drives:

  1. Safety is paramount. Before you do anything, make sure you have followed the HSE safety guidance and – where necessary – have a written assessment to ensure your business is Covid-19 secure. You should minimise contact with any potential customers, and make sure the vehicle is cleaned and wiped down before and after the test drive. Cleaning should include door handles, the steering wheel and gear stick, handbrake, rear-view mirror, switches, and seats.
  2. Make the relevant checks. This is even more important when sending a customer out on their own on a test drive. The usual things you might do – checking driving licences with the DVLA, completing all forms with relevant details, etc. – are essential. Make sure you run through a full checklist before handing over the keys, and see that they are safely returned  to a ‘dropbox.’
  3. Work electronically. Ensure ‘paperwork’ is filed electronically wherever possible (including electronic document signing).
  4. Make sure you have unaccompanied demonstration cover. Speak to Bollington about adding the protection you need to allow unattended test drives.
  5. Fit the trade plates to the vehicle. This is no different to an accompanied drive – trade plates are needed. Fitting them ensures you are complying with the terms required for unaccompanied demonstration cover to be valid.

Is unaccompanied demonstration cover different to accompanied demonstration cover?

Aside from the obvious difference that a test driver must be accompanied for accompanied demonstration cover to remain valid, there is no difference in the insurance provided.  However, unaccompanied demonstration cover accounts for an element of risk in handing over the keys to the test driver. Be mindful of the risks before allowing an unaccompanied drive.

As and when social distancing measures ease, accompanied demonstration cover is more likely to become the ‘norm’ once more.

Where can I get help and advice on unaccompanied demonstration cover for my motor trade business?

Bollington are on-hand to answer any of your questions and ensure you have the right cover for your business.

Contact your account manager or call us on 01625 854443 for more information on taking out unaccompanied demonstration cover, and keep your business trading.

Why choose Bollington?

  • Over 40 years in the Motor Trade industry
  • Competitive premiums and instant cover available
  • A wide range of insurers and competitive prices
  • Business interruption cover
  • Retrospective rebates to reward good claims records
  • Flexible payment options

Get in touch for your unaccompanied demo cover

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who is covered to drive on a motor trade policy?

    Drivers that are named on your policy are covered for motor trade use.  It is not the case that any driver can drive vehicles on your policy. There are also restrictions to cover – specifically, you can only drive a customer’s vehicle for motor trade use.  In certain cases, you can drive a vehicle that you own for social domestic and pleasure use, or for additional business use (e.g. if you work as a part-time motor trader and have a van that you use in conjunction with your work as a builder). You can also take out accompanied demonstration cover, which will allow a customer to test drive a vehicle in your possession, as long as somebody named on your motor trade policy is there to accompany them.
  2. Why do I need motor trade insurance?

    If you conduct business in any area of the motor trade, you will need to obtain insurance. Personal car insurance will not cover you if you are involved in an accident while driving a customer’s vehicle, for example, or when driving a vehicle home from an auction that you have purchased and intend to sell. If you are carrying out work in the motor trade then, as a minimum, you will need road risks insurance to drive vehicles as part of your motor trade activities. If you have business premises (i.e. you don’t operate your business from your home address), then you should consider traders combined cover.
  3. Do you offer a range of motor trade insurance quotations, or are you tied to one insurer?

    Bollington has access to a wide range of insurance companies, so is able to offer insurance with the company that best fits your needs in terms of cover and price.  You will often find that a broker is tied to one insurer, or has a very limited number of insurers that they can approach, so you’re only getting one price.  This is not the case with Bollington; we are able to provide insurance with household names such as Ageas (formerly Groupama), Aviva, Allianz, AXA, Travellers and LV, through a range of other insurance companies who can cover specific types of motor trade insurance, such as Tradewise and Tradex. In addition to this, Bollington has what is known as ‘delegated authority’ to underwrite insurance on the behalf of certain insurers, which gives us even more capability to make sure that we can provide insurance as often as possible. This means that Bollington can offer the widest range of motor trade insurance in the business, at the most competitive prices.

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