Car dealerships are commonplace for people to go when they want to test drive a car. But what if you’re not old enough?
But how old do you have to be before you can take the wheel?
The answer varies by state – and it’s not always as young as 16.
This blog post will discuss the legal requirements and restrictions that apply to someone who wants to test out a vehicle, whether they’re of age or not.
Legal Requirements to Test Drive a Car in the Different States
Do you have to be 18 years old to test drive a car?
The answer is no.
Some states allow 15-year-olds to take the wheel, and even if there’s an age limit for driver’s testing, it doesn’t necessarily apply just for company representatives.
A person can get their learner’s permit at 16-years-old and then pass their road exam before they turn 17 with parental supervision.
However, some states like New York do not provide this privilege until one turn 18 or older, without any exceptions.
In Colorado, drivers under 17 are only allowed behind the wheel of vehicles during supervised practice driving lessons where someone over 21 holds up a logbook detailing when these types of drives took place.
In Illinois, some parents take matters into their own hands and allow their children to test out new cars by letting them take control of the steering wheel when they go for a drive around town.
The most important thing is that you know your state’s laws on this issue before diving headfirst into it because there are many different ways people can learn how to drive a car without having to wait until 18 years old or older needed to be.
Can You Test Drive A Tesla At 18?
Last year, my brother got his learner’s permit and immediately started driving on the streets with my dad in the passenger seat.
It seemed like a great way to get some experience before I had to take driver’s ed classes for this summer – but then he told me that you can’t test drive a Tesla at 18!
It turns out that only adults over 25 years old are allowed behind the wheel of an electric vehicle until they’ve completed more than 15 hours of training.
So now we’re waiting another two months and counting down (alongside our fingers) until I turn 18, so we can finally go shopping for one together–and make sure it has all-wheel drive 😉
Tesla Testing Drive Requirements:
The vehicle must be properly insured by the company so that no additional insurance is needed if you’re from out of state.
You can test drive a Tesla at 18, but only with an adult over 25 years old in the passenger seat.
Otherwise, we’ll have to wait two more months, and our fingers are counting down 😉
The driver needs 15 hours of training or instruction on operating their vehicle before they can take any passengers for testing purposes.
This requirement applies to all types of vehicles, including electric ones – though it may seem unfair because there’s not much experience necessary when driving an electric car alone (like adjusting cruise control).
You also need a clean driving record without any accidents or traffic violations to qualify for daytime testing.
Can A Teen Test Drive?
Teens can test drive if they have a license.
They will need their own insurance, and the car should be insured, too.
The person taking them for the ride needs to go with them in the passenger seat to supervise as well since teens cannot take care of themselves while driving yet.
People must understand how old you have to be before getting your driver’s permit, so they know what requirements are when it comes time for this process.
In many states, 16-year old’s may qualify for a learner’s permit, which allows behind-the-wheel training with an accompanying qualified adult up until 18 years of age without restriction on hours, day or night–provided restrictions of the learner’s permit are followed.
This may not be an option in other states due to age restrictions on when a person can get their driver’s license (typically 18 years old).
Other requirements for getting your driver’s license include having proof of identity and social security number and passing written, road sign recognition, vision check, eye exam and skills test or obtaining a learner’s permit.
How Long Can a Test Drive Be?
A car dealership will often times allow a test drive for 30 minutes or so.
Some people are given 60 minutes to test out the new vehicle as long as they have not yet signed anything on their end of the transaction and just want to know if it’s worth buying from this specific dealer.
The best part about being allowed a full hour is that you can really put some miles in, stress testing your engine, suspension, brakes and other critical components without any worries.
Can I Test Drive A Car Alone?
The answer is no.
If the driver of the vehicle is less than 18 years old, they may not operate or ride in that type of motor vehicle unless supervised by another person who has attained at least eighteen (18) years of age and holds either an operator’s license endorsement for that class of vehicle or a motorcycle instruction permit issued pursuant to §31-27-374(a)(iii).
The law states: “A minor under eighteen (18) years old shall not operate any motor vehicles on public highways outside municipal limits without being accompanied by a parent or guardian.”
For someone to legally test drive a car, one must first get their driver’s license from driving school, and then they can legally test drive a car.
How Old Do I Have to Be to Test Drive A Car in California?
If you are at least 16 years old, no special permit is required to test drive a car in California.
However, you must be accompanied by an adult who has either been licensed for two or more years and is the owner of the vehicle being driven on public roads or someone with a valid driver’s license that authorizes them to operate this type of motor vehicle.
(Californian Vehicle Code 23110) If the person driving does not meet these requirements, they may apply for a Test Drive Permit from any DMV field office within their county before beginning their test drive.
A valid photo ID such as a Driver License will be required during the application process. The fee ranges from $43-$56, depending on your county.
Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.