Car Test Driver

Put prototype cars through their paces to test how well they perform.
picture of Car Test Driver

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$31,000 – $108,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Car Test Drivers do?

Car Test Drivers—or Road Test Drivers—are paid by car manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche, and BMW to test their vehicles by driving them around the company’s private track.

As a rule, children don’t dream of working in offices. Instead, they dream of fighting fires, flying fighter planes, walking on the moon, and driving fast cars around racetracks. That means, as a Car Test Driver, you have achieved every little kids fantasy.

Of course, testing requires a lot more than playing with the volume on the stereo, seeing how fast the car can go on the highway, and making sure the sunroof works on a sunny day. Just as much work as play, being a Car Test Driver demands an intimate knowledge of automobile engineering and anatomy, as you’re responsible for methodically checking the functionality of every inch of a test car—which, it’s worth noting, is often a prototype instead of a finished vehicle—including everything from its tailpipe and turn signals to its interior and engine.

As a Car Test Driver, you do scientifically designed tests on braking, acceleration, speed, and handling in collaboration with Mechanical Engineers, pushing the car to its limits on high-speed tracks in order to assess its performance. Frequently, you also do tests at normal speeds on actual roads in order to assess things like visibility, drivability, usability, and comfort.

At the end of the day, your job is to nitpick new cars so manufacturers can make them better, faster, stronger, and safer. And in return, you get not just one company car, but hundreds!

Should I be a Car Test Driver?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • Also known as: Automobile Test Driver, Car Examiner, Electrophysiology Technician, Emissions Testing Technician, Road Test Driver

    How to become a Car Test Driver

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Car Test Driver-related education!
    Schools close to

    Careers Similar to Car Test Driver