Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Automotive

More buyers skip test drive of new vehicle

In an era of buying flat-screen televisions from Amazon.com without seeing the picture quality and ordering shoes through Zappos.com without trying them on, some car buyers are purchasing vehicles without taking a test drive.

“We found the number of people who skipped the test drive more than doubled since 2007,” said John Sternal, a spokesman for LeaseTrader.com, an online lease transfer service.

He speculated that the trend may have to do with the type of transaction the Web site is brokering. “I think a lot of people feel the shorter-term commitment that comes with assuming the remainder of someone else’s lease kind of limits the downside risk,” he said.

Oren Weintraub, founder of car-buying consultancy Authority Auto and a former sales manager at a large southern California Ford dealership, said of no-test-drive customers, “Generally these are people who know what they want, whether it’s because they’re very brand-loyal or they’ve fallen in love with the styling of a particular model.

“Same goes for buyers who are strictly interested in getting the best deal and those with limited choices like a big family that needs a nine-passenger vehicle with four-wheel drive.”

Charles Van Stone, a retired human resources executive who drives a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS, is among those whose attraction to a specific model makes a test drive redundant.

“I never test-drive a car, but I do subscribe to five different car magazines,” said Mr. Van Stone of Sheperdstown, W.Va. “So by the time I’ve read all these different opinions and finally sit behind the wheel, I have every reason to believe it’s going to be exactly what I wanted.”

George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, an industry consulting firm, said improvements in the quality of new vehicles likely play a role.

He also said new technology enables a buyer to do an online examination of virtually every aspect of a new model.

“There’s more information online than ever before, from written reviews and videos to newer features that allow you to see 360-degree views of the car you’re considering, right down to the color and options you want.”

Click to comment

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2015 Toledo Blade

To Top

Fetching stories…