Insurance for courtesy car users and test drives

On June 8th 2015 the Government abolished the paper counterpart to the photocard driving license for licenses issued post 1998. The abolition resulted in the cessation of motor traders to readily identify license endorsements of customers using courtesy vehicles and potential customers seeking an accompanied or unaccompanied test drive. A web page created to provide a driver’s endorsement history enables on line viewing with the driver’s permission. However, in order to validate the identity of the driver, they must provide their National Insurance number. in addition to their drivers’ license number, which is listed on the plastic photocard.

Many motor trade insurance companies will restrict or exclude road risks cover for persons with 6 or more penalty points. Serious offences such as DR offences may be excluded even if the penalty ban has been exercised. Additionally, a potential customer requesting a test drive as part of usual car-front footfall, is unlikely  to carry their NI on their person, consequently making it impossible to complete an immediate license check.

In the event that the driver does not hold a valid license, the insurer may refuse to consider a claim.

Following the Changes of June 8th, the insurance market has taken a varied stance on the subject of license checks with some insurance companies requesting strict compliance and others offering a more relaxed, declaration based check. It’s therefore advisable for motor traders to check with their insurer as to their position to ensure compliance with the policy terms & conditions.


Authors: Greg Mead

Published: 27 Apr 2016


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