More than 1 in 10 Car Buyers Skip the Test Drive
With the amount of money that cars cost today it’s amazing that more than 11% of new vehicle buyers did not test drive before buying.
Chris Travell, vice president of strategic consulting for Maritz Research says, “This may sound like heresy but some people really don’t care. About 1 in 10 Americans we identify as being “purely pragmatic” which means a car is a very good thing for getting me from ‘a to b’ and that’s about it. Because of this, it’s easy to see why they wouldn’t take it for a test drive.”
Ironically another reason people don’t test drive is the cost of new vehicles compared to buying used cars, according to Mohab Elhammamy, General Sales Manager at a North Haven CT Acura dealer. “The value of used cars in CT remains strong. A customer visited our Executive Auto Group Acura dealership today to test drive a 3-year old certified used Acura TL with a market value of $22,437. With current Acura offers we showed her that she could drive a brand new Acura TL for $350 per month on a 36 month lease and then buy the same 3-year old Acura TL for only $20,130; that’s $2,500 under today’s market value! Needless to say, no test drive was necessary.”
How Important are Test Drives?
- Very Influential 52%
- Somewhat Influential 28%
- Not Very 9%
- Did Not Test Drive 11%
The Maritz Research Study also heard from buyers who seriously considered other vehicles. Of those customers, 38% did not test drive the other vehicle even though it was at the top of their shopping list.
“If you are coming out of the same brand/model, you may assume that it drives the same. According to Travell, “This is unwise since the average American has been out of the car market for 6.5 years. There have been huge advances in technology, vehicle design, ride and handling. It’s in the customer’s best interest to experience all that a new car has to offer. It’s also in the dealership’s best interest to do everything possible to encourage test drives for these same reasons. The car the customer bought six or seven years ago is very different from the car they can buy in 2012.”