Top 3 Root test drive questions

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At Root, we do things differently. Your car insurance rate is based primarily on how well you drive. The better you drive, the more you could save.

The test drive lets us know if you’re a good driver. We measure your behaviors behind the wheel through the Root app on your smartphone. Just drive like you normally would for a few weeks, and the app does the rest.

Unlike traditional car insurance companies, your driving score is the #1 factor that goes into your rate. And since Root only insures good drivers, we can keep our prices low.

Since this type of insurance pricing is new in the industry, we understand you may have questions.

Illustration of two  cars driving on a hilly road

1. What factors go into my driver score?

During the Root test drive, you can view your driver scorecard in the app to see your progress. This tool shows where you need to improve before the end of the test drive. That’s what will help you get the best rate.

The driver scorecard shows if you’re off track or doing well on:

  • Braking—how gently you stop
  • Turning—if you ease into and out of turns
  • Consistency—whether your overall driving is smooth (braking and accelerating)
  • Safe hours—if you avoid driving late at night, especially on weekends

Once you’ve taken enough trips and driven enough miles, you’ll get an overall score, up to 10. That test drive score is the primary factor calculated into your rate. And don’t worry, the app can tell if you’re the driver or passenger.

Illustration of a car in front of a gigantic calendar

2. Do I have to take the test drive? If so, how much time is left?

Yes! The test drive (and the app-based technology behind it) is what makes us different from traditional insurers. If we don’t know how well you drive, then we would have to base your rate only on factors like your age, ZIP code, and gender. We think that’s unfair. A quick car insurance quote from the other guys means you’re paying for bad drivers. A few weeks in the test drive is worth the savings.

You can see how much time is left on your test drive when you open the Root app. The test drive length is usually about 3 weeks, but it depends on how often and how much you drive. (For example, if you only drive a few miles a day, the test drive could take longer.)

If your test drive gets stuck, make sure your app permissions—especially location services—are on. If these permissions are already on, and it’s still stuck, just delete the app, restart your phone, and then download the app again. The test drive will pick up where you left off. (Hey, even smart technology needs a reboot every once in a while.)

Illustration of a car next to a construction site

3. Why didn’t I get a quote?

Root isn’t right for everyone, so we may not offer you a quote after the test drive. That means you could save money elsewhere, and we don’t want you to miss out on savings. Go ahead, compare other car insurance quotes.

Occasionally, people get a high score on the test drive but aren’t offered a quote. This happens because there are other factors that still go into your auto insurance quote. While driver score is the primary component, it would be irresponsible to ignore standard predictions of risk. That could include having too many prior accidents or owning too fancy (expensive) of a car.


After the test drive, good drivers can customize and purchase a policy, all in the app. The Root app is simple—you can easily access your insurance card, make changes to your policy, and file a claim. We can even help you cancel your previous policy.

If you still have questions, check out our FAQ page.

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