Translation:I went to a department store by car.
That's the only way I'd feel comfortable saying a sentence like this "I drove there in a car" "I got here in a taxi" "I flew to another country in an airplane" saying by car just kind of feels funny in my mouth. I think it's worth flagging, and "in a car" should be accepted
"I drove to the department store"
Not accepted. It's not literal, but I feel like the car is almost implicit in this sentence (not many other things you typically drive in such a scenario) and it's a fairly natural way to express the same idea. Or is it? Not a native-speaker.
I agree! This is a pretty common way of translating those types of sentences (english has lots of very specific verbs). In my language we would say "I went there by car" as well but in english "I drove there" is much more common and natural. I know this is a Japanese course but i believe it should be accepted!