A test drive is the driving of an automobile to assess its drivability, or roadworthiness, and general operating state. A person who tests vehicles for a living, either for an automobile company, automotive media for review purposes, or a motorsports team, is called a test driver.
The first test drives of a new production vehicle are made by mainstream automobile magazines and other third parties (not customers) for evaluation for the first time. Test drives are also usually allowed by vehicle traders or manufacturers to enable prospective customers to determine the suitability of the vehicle to their driving style. Test drives can also be taken before vehicle repairs to assist in diagnosis or after repair works to ensure that the vehicle has been fully restored.
In a broader sense, "test drive" can be used to refer to the testing of anything, such as a computer program, an idea or process, a pair of shoes, etc.