Found the perfect car and need to drive it? We have you covered.
What to look out for when test driving a private car
According to the AA and other motoring organisations, there are a number of essential checks to do when test driving a car. Firstly, you should insist on driving it from cold, on a variety of road types, for at least 30 minutes – it’s normally wise to inform the seller you intend to do this before you set off.
Are you meeting the seller at their address or somewhere else? If it’s a random location, does the car really belong to the individual or are they a dealer, acting as a private seller to avoid liability?
If the location looks a bit suspect, ensure you are not unaccompanied and avoid carrying cash where possible.
It may sound obvious, but making sure that the car is comfortable from the start is important. Try getting in and out a few times, especially if you’re contemplating a sports car.
Take time to adjust the seat, steering, mirrors and lumber support to make sure you can get into a position that works for you. If you can’t, perhaps it isn’t the right car for you!
Make sure that you have decent visibility around the car. Feeling able to estimate the dimensions can make a big difference in determining whether you love or hate your new car. One way to check this is to get someone to walk around the car, standing different distances away from it to help find the blind spots.
Also, try to reverse park and reverse round a corner (be careful not to scratch the alloys in the process!).
Paperwork isn’t foolproof, but it can give you a good understanding about the person you’re buying the car from. Someone who has been careful to keep every receipt, document and piece of vehicle history in a neat file, is probably more likely to have looked after their car.
For vehicles over 3 years old, it’s possible to check that the mileage fits with it’s MOT History – if it has been going up in steady increments, but hasn’t in the last year, ask the owner what has changed.
If you have a family, you may want to consider whether there’s space for all the children’s things: think buggies! Likewise, if you play a lot of sport, such as golf, it’s worth making sure there’s space in the boot for your equipment.
There can be an incredible difference in the noise levels between cars – this is especially noticeable on the motorway! If you’re going to spend a lot of time on faster roads, make sure your test drive includes a bit of motorway driving.
One last tip…
When buying anything, especially secondhand, being slightly suspicious is very sensible. If you don’t feel comfortable about something, trust your gut or get a paid second opinion – it could be a sound investment!
Driving tips breakdown
- Make sure sure the engine is cold before you start
- Look in the mirror to check for any smoke plumes when you start
- Listen for any strange rattles and watch the rev. meter to check that the tick-over is consistent
- When moving the car, look to see if there is any oil left where the car was parked
- Is the steering tight? Can you move the steering wheel without moving the wheels?
- Are there any strange squeaks or rattles from the suspension?
- Does the car feel as if it has done the mileage that’s been stated?
- How high is the clutch?
- Do all the electrics work correctly?
- Does the car come with a spare key and does it work?
Drive away car insurance
How it works
Create an account
Download the Cuvva app and sign up in minutes.
Find your vehicle
Enter your registration plate.
Pick a policy
Get cover for as little as one hour, or as long as 28 days.
Pay for the policy and drive away. You can extend it in seconds.
What our customers love
What a fantastic app and company to use. Cuvva have made something that used to use up a fair amount of time and effort into something so simple! Once set up on the app it actually takes 30 seconds to be insured!
Easy to use and gives peace of mind. My husband could borrow my friend’s car for a couple of hours work – no hassle whatsoever.
The whole concept behind Cuvva changes the rules on car insurance and creates a genuinely useful and innovative way to think about driving. I would recommend the app without any hesitation.
Frequently asked questions
Who can we cover?
We have worked hard with our underwriter to offer insurance to as many people as possible. It is currently available to learner drivers between 17-45 and full licence holders between 19-65 (although if you're aged between 19 and 21, you must have held your licence for at least a year and have no at-fault claims).
We only offer cover to holders of UK DVLA licences, on cars valued between £0 - £40,000 and up to insurance group 49 for experienced drivers. Check our full short term insurance policy rules for full details on who we can and cannot cover
What vehicles can we cover?
Currently, we can insure cars and vans. There are a number of variable rules set by our underwriter that affect what vehicles you can get insured on such as how long you have held your licence and the insurance group of the vehicle. Also, there are some set rules, which are:
- cannot be older than 20 years old
- cannot have modifications of any kind
- cannot be scrapped
- cannot be impounded
- must be valued at above £1 and below £40,000
- cannot be older than 20 years
- must be between insurance groups 1 - 20
- cannot have modifications of any kind
- cannot be scrapped
- must be valued at above £1 and below £20,000
That is not an exhaustive list but it gives you a good indication of what vehicles we can currently insure. As we continue to grow, the range of vehicles we can insure should always keep expanding.
To see if we can insure you on a specific vehicle it's best to get a quote in our app.
What will you need to purchase insurance from us?
To purchase temporary car insurance through Cuvva, you will need to download our app on your phone. To register, you will need to have:
- A photo of government approved photo ID (typically, this will either be your passport or your Driving Licence)
- A UK DVLA driving licence number (we use this to check whether you have any motoring convictions and to verify the name, address and date of birth)
- Your own UK debit/credit card to make the payment
- Declared all incidents (at fault/not at fault) that you have been involved, as a driver, passenger or named driver, in the last 5 years.
- Been a resident in the UK for the past 3 years or have been a long-term resident within the last 5 years who’s back visiting the UK.
- Permission from the owner of the vehicle
If you have a problem using the app or purchasing insurance and you would like to speak to us, the easiest way to do so is using our online chat function. This can be done in app, on the website (using the speech bubble) or by emailing email@example.com. On average, we will get back to you within 2 minutes!
Motor Insurance Database (MID)
All purchased car insurance policies are added to the MID (Motor Insurance Database) and any policy can be checked by visiting the AskMID website. Unfortunately, the database updates irregularly, sometimes as little as once a week and, in addition, the police ANPR camera database is updated weekly. This can mean that the police may stop you for “driving without insurance” when you are fully insured. If this happens you can show the officers your policy documents and ask that they do a live MID check.
The excess is dependent on a number of factors taken into account for the generation of a quote. It can, therefore, fluctuate depending on the driver, the vehicle and the location.
The excess is visible before purchase once a quote has been generated – this is labelled “Mandatory Excess”. Cuvva currently has no voluntary excess but we hope to offer this in the future.