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VIC Insurance for test rides?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by mjt57, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. I am in the market for a new bike. Yesterday I took a ride over to a dealer to look at a potential bike.

    I was going to take it for a test ride, however, when I was presented with the documentation I felt that it was too onerous for me.

    Basically it said that if I bent it or if someone else bent it I'd be up for the cost of repairs.

    I asked about insurance, but the dealer's stock is only covered for when it's in the show room, etc..

    I declined to take the bike for a test ride.

    I'd like to hear from people about their experiences in this regard. Do you accept the full liability, have you seen such conditions on test rides?

    I would've thought that the dealers would need to cover their own backsides, because some guy rocking up looking for a test ride may not necessarily have the wherewithall to cover a potential multi-thousand dollar repair/replacement bill, particularly if he'll be looking for finance to buy the bike.
  2. Had a couple of different experiences in that regard.

    Victory dealer in Melbourne got me to sign a huge waiver that basically said if I bent it I'd be up for a six thousand dollar excess which I felt was very stupid but they just wanted to throw the keys at me and let me take the bike out for as long as I wanted wherever I liked so... I guess my eagerness got the better of me.

    Peter Stevens didn't get me to sign anything. I have no idea what their insurance situation is, but they have very strict regulations as far as what you have to wear, and where you're allowed to go. I find them very annoying, actually, since I want to give a bike a decent fang when I'm test riding it, and wearing fluro around a marked course following someone isn't much fun.
  3. Over in the West, I have taken out a bike from one dealer out of class. He basically threw me the keys and said "have fun, back in an hour". I did, and bought the bike!

    Another dealer was happy for me to take the bike out alone, but I had to sign a document saying that I acknowledged my liability for the excess. I think the excess was $1500, but I can't really remember.

    When my wife ride a bike from the same dealer, as she was trying out of class, they required L plates and another rider with her (not me). Again, they needed the document signed.
  4. I have done two test rides in the past,

    First one made me sign an insurance document, excess was only $1,000 and that was due to age and license class. All I had to do was provide credit card details and a copy of my licence

    Second ever test ride, was with dealers I do a lot of business with. they just took a copy of my license and handed over the keys and said be back in 30min.
  5. Not only bikes, even car dealers (some) will get you to sign an agreement to pay the excess before letting you into the driver's seat. Happened at a Honda dealer when we were shopping for the wife's car couple of weeks ago. $5K excess.
    (Didn't buy it.)
    Most bike dealers have asked me to sign the same thing to demo a newish bike, usually around $5K. Never for a used one. Having no insurance at all is unacceptable IMO.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. When i rented a softail on the goldy it was no insurance.
  7. If you have a comprehensive policy on your own bike, ask your insurer if they will cover a test ride on a potential new bike.
  8. All 3 dealers I took test rides at (in Sydney) had a $2500 excess. I can't remember all the terms but they were pretty simple, fit on one page and the high excess was the only stand out that made me hesitate. They seemed pretty happy to let me loose even though I was a brand new learner.

    Of the three, only the dealer I ended up buying from had been smart enough to realise that photocopying my license along with the insurance form meant that I didn't have to write out my name and address. They had a neat little cut-out to sit it in their template.
  9. A1 in Ringwood have the no insurance deal as well. In hindsight, I shouldn't have declined, but thankfully I didn't stack it.
  10. #10 b12mick, Sep 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2014
    Most dealers (car and bike) have insurance and merely require you to pay the excess.

    I believe this to be fair and equitable. However, expecting someone to cover the FULL cost of repairs (over the excess) is a tad rich and I'd find another dealer.

    If they claim it though insurance, then the assessor determines this.

    If they don't claim it though insurance then you should refuse to pay and make them take you to court where they have to prove damages.
  11. The more I think about it....
    dealer is going to be the one who determines the cost of repair. That's a conflict of interest right there. A simple drop can then be easily escalated into a full value write-off (as good as a sale, or better if they keep the salvage).
  12. #12 mjt57, Sep 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2014
    Good point.

    When we were discussing this at the bike shop the guy suggested a one off policy to cover the ride. I started to think about it, but I was running out of time.

    I'm going to contact Swann and ask about this. Even if not on my current bike's policy but as a one off, as the salesman suggested.

    As for the idea of paying a $5,000 excess, phooey on that. I'm of the view that a business that's in the business of selling vehicles to the public needs to be able to cover these costs. Certainly, if the mechanics or sales people need to take their vehicles for a run (test, to register, etc.) then they need to be covered then.

    Maybe if someone who works in the industry can explain it to us, that'd be great.

    And who wants to go through that???

    Easier to find a dealer (or private seller) who will be more accomodating.

  13. I bet this is a take it or leave it deal with the insurers

    As is the requirement for accompanying people on the ride.

    Once a shop has a few crashes they would have less choice
  14. As a private seller I'd be less inclined to let a stranger ride my bike than a bike shop and sure as shit you ain't taking my bike without me tagging along or leaving the keys to your more expensive car or possibly leaving a sizable cash deposit
  15. Mick, whilst your concerns are legitimate, such requirements may also put potential buyers off. Obviously a comprise would need to be met. I s'pose that it depends on the bike that's on offer and how keen the buyer is to get it (or how keen that you are to sell it).

    At the least, taking a photo of the guy's licence, of him and whatever vehicle that he rocked up in.

    But I'd have made prior arrangements such as getting his home number to call him back, or if he lives nearby to perhaps suggest riding it to his place.

    But at the end of the day it comes down to practicalities and how (un)trusting you are, I s'pose. And how desperate or otherwise you are to sell the bike.
  16. Having bought and sold a lot of bikes, most people dont even ask for a test ride. I think a lot of people are too scared of dropping it.

    I have bought a fair few bikes without test rides as well. You can tell what is wrong with a bike without a test ride mostly. The only thing that is hard is suspension and clutch. Sometimes ill test clutch in a driveway sans helmet which usually is ok with owner.

    When i bought my vt1100 he just gave me the keys and said bring it back in half an hour...and i had caught the train there.

    I dont test bikes to see if i like them, i have never found out if i like or hate a bike in a half an hour ride. It takes a couple thousand kms for me.
  17. RE: existing insurance.

    I've insured a mates bike I was using for a two week period without owning it.

    Had a cover note issued by Swann - they have a 21 day cooling off period.

    I was insured but never paid the balance, returned the bike in 14 days then retracted the policy.

    Cost me nothing.

    You do not need to own a vehicle to insure it.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. #18 b12mick, Sep 12, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2014
    You would have a problem with me following you as you test rode my bike?

    I can pretty well tell in the first 15 minutes if I hate a bike. Some bikes I just have to sit on to know I hate them.
  19. I guess everyone is different.
  20. Surely it's not that difficult to tell if you hate a bike.

    For example I know that any bike with forward controls is going to be damn uncomfortable and I will hate it.