Most car owners have been there: negotiating with the car salesman for that shiny new car when the salesman looks back at you, uttering those words, “Want to take it for a test drive?". You’re thrilled, and can’t wait to test its limits, but deep down you’re thinking, what if I crash it?
You’re not alone in these thoughts, but chances are you didn’t end up having the nightmare experience that these people did when they test drove, and crashed, a brand-new automobile. Keep your auto insurance rates down by learning vicariously from these test drive incidents gone horribly awry.
Odd Toyota Camry Crash
As reported by the Daily Mail in May of 2015, an unidentified Houston woman went to the Sterling McCall dealership with the hopes of purchasing a car. The woman, along with her father and a salesperson, took a white Toyota Camry for a test drive before losing control of the vehicle on the sales lot, wedging it between two parked cars. Nobody was injured but the woman had to be rescued from the vehicle as the driver’s side was pinned against one of the parked cars. It’s unclear if (and how much) the woman had to pay for the calamity.
Ferrari Goes Out of Control
On the streets of Ferrari’s origin – Maranello, Italy – a man got a little cocky while turning a corner. The video, originally posted on CarScoops, shows the driver apply too much speed around the corner, which then causes the car to fishtail into a residential gate. The front-seat passenger, presumably the salesperson, gets out of the car in disgust as the driver slowly gets out in disbelief. Word of advice folks: accelerate after you’ve turned, not during, especially if you’re driving a Ferrari.
Elderly Woman Collides SUV with Townhome
According to ABC-11 (WTVD) News, an 80-year-old Cary, NC woman got more than she bargained for as she was test-driving a SUV from Johnson Hyundai in June of 2016. The woman reportedly crashed into a neighbor’s home after accidentally hitting the gas instead of the brakes as she turned into a cul-de-sac. The man who lives in the home was away on business, but returned to the mess shortly after since the car could not be removed until engineers decided if the structure was safe enough to do so.
Auto Journalist Blows Engine
Though not a true dealership test-drive accident, Mark Hales’ blunder was far worse. According to Autoblog, the British auto journalist borrowed a 1970 Porsche 917 from former Formula One racer, David Piper, for a magazine article. The 82-year-old Piper warned Hales not to exceed 7,000 rpm during his test drive. Did Hales listen? Of course not. While test-driving the Porsche, Hales got it up to 8,200 rpm, before (according to his account) it slipped out of gear, causing the car to over-rev, and ultimately, blow the engine. Piper sued Hales for $79,000 US in reimbursement and loss of use funds. The judge ended up ruling in favor of Piper, ordering Hales to pay $174,000 including legal fees. Yikes.
The next time you take a car for a test drive, don’t fret. Drive safe, don’t take risks, and if you do get in an accident, the likelier it’ll be that it won’t be your fault (read: cost to deal with).
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