How To Test Drive Any Car in iRacing: Try Before You Buy

There are hundeds of cars in iRacing, and with each one costing real money, test driving before you buy is important. In this guide, I'll show you how to test any car in iRacing.

Dallara F3 iRacing

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With so many cars to choose from, deciding on which car to buy in iRacing can be a daunting task. Each car costs $11.95, or $2.95/$4.95 for a legacy car, meaning buying a car without test driving will always be a bit of a risk. Unless you 100% know you will enjoy driving a specific car after buying it, you may not enjoy the way it drives once you finally do take it out on track.

So with this in mind, it leads to the question, can you test drive cars in iRacing before buying? In this guide, we’ll answer this question.

Can you test drive cars in iRacing?

So let’s jump straight to the point and answer the question. Yes, you can test drive any car in iRacing even without buying it. This gives you the chance to try out the car on a track that you do already own. You can see if the car handles like you want it to, and see if you gel well with the car.

Despite being able to test drive cars in iRacing before buying them, there are a few caveats. The first is that you can only test drive cars during specific times, you can’t just jump into any car that you don’t own any time you like.

The second caveat is that you can only test drive them on tracks you already own, and you can’t try out new tracks before purchasing. This may not be an issue for many, as it is always a good idea to try a new car on a track you already know and already have a benchmark for. But, if you are planning on purchasing a new track, unfortunately, you can’t try it before you buy it.

When can you test drive in iRacing?

So going back to my first caveat, you can only test drive cars in iRacing during specific time frames. And these all align with server maintenance.

When the iRacing servers are down due to an update, patch or another reason, the iRacing test servers go online. These allow you to drive offline to either improve your lap time or to try out new cars.

Server downtime is the only time that you can test drive any car you don’t own. Unfortunately, while the servers are live and working, there is no way to test drive cars in iRacing.

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You will be aware of any upcoming server down time, as iRacing show this in the iRacingUI or on the website days in advance. It also happens between each season, as it allows iRacing to add new content for the upcoming season.

You’ll also have to be prepared for any server downtime. You will need to ensure that the cars that you fancy trying are already downloaded to your PC before the servers go down. You can’t simply jump into any car you like during a test drive, you’ll need the content locally downloaded.

How to test drive a car in iRacing

To be able to test drive a car during server downtime, you’ll need to ensure you have it downloaded to your PC. Once it is downloaded prior to the downtime, you’ll be able to access the content on the iRacing test drive server regardless of whether you own it or not.

When the servers go down, you will have to go to to log in and access the test drive servers. This is done independently of the iRacingUI, so if you normally boot up iRacing using the desktop app, you’ll have to go to an internet browser and go to instead.

Unfortunately, this test drive server cannot be accessed while the iRacing servers are live and active.

After test driving, how to buy cars in iRacing

Once you have test driven any car in iRacing and are happy with the car you are about to buy, you can purchase it at the iRacing store.

Each car costs the same amount of money to purchase, and each legacy car costs less than a car that is actively used in a series.

The cost of each car in iRacing is;

  • Individual car = $11.95
  • Discounted car = $2.95 or $4.95

There are ways to reduce the cost of cars and tracks in iRacing, and that is via bulk discounts. These bulk discounts activate if you purchase a set amount of content, or if you already own a certain number of content.

The different iRacing bulk discount amounts are below;

  • 10% bulk discount: Buy 3-5 pieces of content at once.
  • 15% bulk discount: Buy more than 6 pieces of content at once.
  • 20% loyalty discount: Own 40 pieces of content to receive this discount on every future purchase.
  • 30% loyalty discount: Own all available content to receive this discount on every future purchase.

Read our guide on how to start iRacing on a budget for some great cost-saving tips.

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Article written by Mjolnir

Mjolnir is one of the main setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. He has had years of experience in sim racing, both competitively and casually. After a decade of sim racing experience, he co-founded to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.
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