Friends And Family First Port Of Call On Unaccompanied Test Drives

Cooper Solutions survey reveals that 89% of people would buy a car if their friends and family gave it the thumbs up

The latest survey from Cooper Solutions puts the spotlight on the importance of extended and unaccompanied test drives in securing sales and enhancing attitudes towards dealers. With the average test drive lasting just 20 minutes*, 49% of 200 used car buyers said they would feel more positively about a dealer if they were offered an extended or unaccompanied test drive and would welcome the opportunity to make a more informed purchase decision.

Whilst 43% said they would use the opportunity to show the car to friends and family to gauge their opinion, the vast majority (89%) admitted that a positive response would likely swing a sale. A further 15% would take it to show off to colleagues at work, for that all important second opinion, with more men (18%) than women (13%) saying they would do this. Nearly a third (32%) said an extended test drive would increase the chances of them ‘falling in love’ with the car they were test driving and 20% said it would increase the probability of them buying that make and model of vehicle.

Women (25%) are more likely to do day-to-day errands in an unaccompanied test drive car, compared to 23% of men. However, it’s clear that both genders like to test a car to make sure it fits their lifestyle, whether it’s doing the supermarket shop, packing for a trip or fitting in the golf clubs and yoga mat.

When it comes to testing the driving of the vehicle itself, overall performance was rated the most important factor, closely followed by visibility and ease of parking. Whilst 42% of men tested a car for motorway driving, women were more likely (38%) to make sure there’s enough space in the boot.

“The test drive process is a vital element of the customer purchase journey and substantially increases the chance of securing a sale. This is significantly heightened when a customer has the opportunity to bring to life the benefits of the vehicle, particularly when considering an upgrade.
“Being able to drive on familiar roads allows time for the customer to test out comfort, equipment, and the way the vehicle handles and performs, as well as being able to trial the car without the pressure of a salesperson accompanying them.” explains Dean Pipitone, a Director of Cooper Solutions.

“However, our survey findings do suggest that dealers need to keep a watchful eye and more importantly, be adequately covered in the event of an accident or incident. Motorists test-driving can be tempted to push the vehicle’s speed, particularly when driving on the motorway; Dealers need to consider both quality short term insurance cover, in the event of an incident, as well as the tracking of traffic offences or charges. Dealers have a duty of care in validating their customers’ driving licences, enabling them to offer unaccompanied test drives with confidence. Crucially, this means dealers can enhance the customer experience and boost their bottom line, by making the most of new sales opportunities.”

FullCover, from Cooper Solutions offers insurance on test drive vehicles, starting from £2.83+IPTper day with a £250 excess, ring fencing the risk to a dealer’s motor trade policy. Claims are handled quickly and efficiently and traffic offences or charges monitored, putting dealers firmly in control.

Survey was based on 200 responses from consumers aged 18-55+ conducted by Gorkana, August 2017
*Source: Parkers 2016 Survey