Providing Customer's Cars For Test Drives


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I'm in a process of selecting a car and doing loads of test drives. During my tes drive experience, I've found nearly 40% of the dealers offering "Test Drives" in other customers' vehicles parked at the showroom for delivery.

Is this a common practice? and if yes, how do we make sure this does not happen and if a car has been used for "Test Drives" what can we do to push the dealers for a brand new vehicle instead of a TD one??

Most of the dealers disconnect the ODO and use the vehicle for TD [surprise]

Any thoughts?
 

350Z

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Re: Providing customers vehicles for Test Drives

It’s a matter of shame for the dealerships which are following such malpractices. Mostly there’s a separate demo vehicle for this purpose and the customer is requested to wait if someone else has taken it for test drive. Sometimes it might become difficult to distinguish whether a car has been used for test drive or not because the dealers apparently make it like new with thorough wash and polish. It’s important to ensure the odometer reading and signs of excessive usage while taking the delivery. Just refuse outright to accept a particular model if something smells fishy. Please also visit this link for a useful PDI Guide.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Re: Providing customers vehicles for Test Drives

Yes this is a very common practice being followed by many automobile dealers. I will refuse the test drive if a get a delivery car for test drive!


Mostly dealers don't try to push the test drive car for sale but if you get a heavy discount on a particular model , variant and color , then beware! The VIN number can be used to find if the vehicle is fresh from the factory or not too.
 
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When I was planning to buy a sedan a couple of months back I was looking to test drive the Verna 1.4 CRDi which wasn't available with most of the Hyundai
dealers in Pune. They only had the 1.6 CRDi for test drive.
That is when one of the sales executive of Kothari Hyundai got in touch with me
and offered me a 1.4 for test drive. There was a condition attached to the offer.
The car was made available at their stockyard which was on city's outskirts.
Though I was a bit apprehensive, I still went ahead and reached the place at the
appointed time. As expected a brand new 1.4 CRDi Verna was brought for my
test drive. The ODO read around 15 kms and was an unregistered car which was
meant for someone else. When questioned about such an unethical practice the guy casually said this is always the practice. I wasn't conviced about driving a car which was meant for someone else. I threatened the guy by saying that I am a member of some automotive forums and that I would report this. This didn't have any effect on him. This left a very bad taste in my mind. What I don't understand is why can't the dealers spend some money out of their profits and invest in a test drive car rather than resort into such unethical practice and put their reputation on line?
 
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My first test drive of Hyundai i20 was taken out of wash bay. A brand spanking new car which was suppose to be delivered within an hour.
I felt pity on the owner who might have believed he would be the first time person (other than than technicians and SE ) who is going to drive his car.
 
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May be some showrooms do not follow this practice but then again exceptions are always present.

1. The ODO cannot be disconnected in most of the vehicles since now a days it is digital anyways. Trust me the showroom owners have better things to do that disconnect/connect ODO's on vehicles.
2. The TD vehicle cannot be an unregistered one since if one wants they can take a very long test drive (i took about 10 kms when i was purchasing one) in that case an unregistered vehicle can be stopped by the cops.
3. The digital ODO's cannot be reset so none of the showrooms' follow this practice of giving delivery cars for TD vehicles.
4. Please ensure that you do a thorough PDI of the vehicle before it is registered to your name and see the ODO reading. Normally it should be less than 30 kms since the drive from the factory to loading/unloading point and then drive to the yard/showroom would take some distance. But in any case one can question if the vehicle is in bad shape or the ODO reading is more than 30 kms.


Lastly if you get a car which does not have any indication of DEMO/TD vehicle when you request for the same please reject it and ask them to bring a proper vehicle.

We can follow this simple practice and make sure that no one suffers from getting a "lemon" at the end of the day.
 

350Z

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My dealer (Riddhi Ford) did not offer me a test drive until their demo car arrived even though there were a few similar unregistered models parked at the showroom. It was nice to find that some dealerships still value and understand the meaning of ethics.

I wasn't conviced about driving a car which was meant for someone else. I threatened the guy by saying that I am a member of some automotive forums and that I would report this. This didn't have any effect on him. This left a very bad taste in my mind.
You could have taken the matter to next level by shooting a mail to Hyundai with the exact words of that sales person.

We can follow this simple practice and make sure that no one suffers from getting a "lemon" at the end of the day.
True that. Please reject test drives on someone’s to-be-delivered car. Don't forget, You could also be in place of that unsuspicious customer next time.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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If a new car customer should find his new car is used to give test drives it will be very disappointing & frustrating indeed,but most major dealerships have testdrive cars,I remember how irritated my dad got when a lady & kids got into our to be delivered car,this was when Santro had just been launched,but my mother found it amusing to see my dad getting irritated for that.[:)]
 

350Z

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I remember how irritated my dad got when a lady & kids got into our to be delivered car
Same happened with me. The real issue is not about the other person checking the car, but the way they check it out. Some people handle demo and test drive cars in a very harsh manner. Shutting the doors hard, scratching it, pressing buttons unnecessarily and what not. I’m quite sure they would not like to do this on their own car.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Customer Booked Vehicles Used For Test Drive

Last week had been to a prestigious honda car showroom at Trivandrum to testdrive HONDA WRV.Got a new car for TD with no stickers of test drive on it. The SA told me that the TD vehicle has gone to another customer s test drive. Did the test drive and was amazed to see the check engine light on. On enquiry SA told me that it is post PDI vehicle and speedometer is said to zero on customer delivery. Honda should take serious note of this and take steps to prevent a brand new customer booked vehicle being given for test drive.There is no means a customer knows who all have rashly driven his vehicle.How to prevent this menace?
 
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Re: Customer booked vehicled used for test drive

By my experience, none of the new vehicles have 0km reading on ODO. Reading will range from 50kms to 75kms since it has to be inspected and test by Honda Quality dept and then ASC.
By my opinion, if you get a 0km ODO car there is probably something fishy going on. Generally it means either it's been rolled back or never been tested by Quality dept. I never bought a Honda, so I clearly don't know.

Normally it should match reading given on papers at time of Delivery.

Since it's not their car they are not bothered about it. I guess there is no way to prevent it. Only way you can make sure is not let it get to your head. If it's already in your head, then better to look at Security cam footage of your car so that you can have a peace of mind.

PS : Manufacturers would have already push engine and car to it's permissible limit in engine and chassis dyno test.
 
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Re: Customer booked vehicled used for test drive

By my experience, none of the new vehicles have 0km reading on ODO. Reading will range from 50kms to 75kms since it has to be inspected and test by Honda Quality dept and then ASC.
By my opinion, if you get a 0km ODO car there is probably something fishy going on. Generally it means either it's been rolled back or never been tested by Quality dept. I never bought a Honda, so I clearly don't know.
Normally it should match reading given on papers at time of Delivery.

Since it's not their car they are not bothered about it. I guess there is no way to prevent it. Only way you can make sure is not let it get to your head. If it's already in your head, then better to look at Security cam footage of your car so that you can have a peace of mind.

PS : Manufacturers would have already push engine and car to it's permissible limit in engine and chassis dyno test.
Can't the Honda people do once in a while surprise inspection to book these car dealers.As far as i have seen Toyota most of the dealers in kerala never give a customer vehicle for test drive to others.
Just see the recent news of brand new KTM BIKES abused by dealer staff in Trivandrum Nedumangadu pls see link http://www.drivespark.com/off-beat/ktm-duke-390-250-abused-at-showroom-video-021187.html
 
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Re: Customer booked vehicled used for test drive

By my experience, none of the new vehicles have 0km reading on ODO. Reading will range from 50kms to 75kms since it has to be inspected and test by Honda Quality dept and then ASC.
By my opinion, if you get a 0km ODO car there is probably something fishy going on. Generally it means either it's been rolled back or never been tested by Quality dept. I never bought a Honda, so I clearly don't know.

Normally it should match reading given on papers at time of Delivery.

Since it's not their car they are not bothered about it. I guess there is no way to prevent it. Only way you can make sure is not let it get to your head. If it's already in your head, then better to look at Security cam footage of your car so that you can have a peace of mind.

PS : Manufacturers would have already push engine and car to it's permissible limit in engine and chassis dyno test.
Dyno test is very different from real world abusive driving. We can not encourage dealer to give someone's car for test drive. Complaining to manufacturer at higher levels yield some results.

-suryaputhra
 
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Re: Customer booked vehicled used for test drive

Dyno test is very different from real world abusive driving. We can not encourage dealer to give someone's car for test drive. Complaining to manufacturer at higher levels yield some results.

-suryaputhra
I do feel the same in dyno testing only the engine is tested here in my case the SA was asking me to drive in a rough road to prove the capabilities of wrv suspension. Really felt bad as its hard earned money spent by some other anxious car buyer. I just skipped of WRV from my choice after seeing this practice though i liked the buttery smooth clutch and drive of WRV.
 
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