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Test Drives of my past.

isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,792

We seem to have lost the other sales guys and gals that used to post here so this may be a short lived topic.

I quickly learned when I was in the business to not enjoy going on test drives and my store required us to go along which is actually a smart idea.

People usually behaved themselves but there were times I thought I might die.

I learned that newcomers to our country and anyone with an International Driver's License were the WORST! I would keep these people off the freeway and on a VERY tight leash.

I was never in an accident but three times that I remember I made the driver pull over and I drove back.

I really enjoyed the "testers" that would jerk the steering wheels back and forth or take their hands off the wheel and tell me IT PULLS TO THE RIGHT on a crowned road. Not a pull but a slight drift as all cars will do.

I had a predetermed course that gave them a lot of driving conditions including a short hop on the freeway, a nice hill to test the power and a road with some gentle curves. This was usually enough to make them happy but sometimes they would get creative and want to do things like drive fast over speed bumps or make tight circles over and over in a parking lot.

Then there were the bratty kids and people with B.O. so strong I thought I would vomit.

I once had a lady ask to drive a used Prelude and we did. A LONG, creative test drive on a busy Saturday. When we got back I asked her if she wanted to proceed.

" Oh, I would NEVER buy a red car and the back seat is too small"

Funny, the color didn't change during the demo drive and the interior didn't shrink.

Then there were the people who would test drive four cars and tell me..." Oh, I'm not in the market at all, I just wanted to see what they were like...I've never driven any of those"

I had a Microsoft executive waste an entire Saturday driving cars and grinding me to death on the price. This guy fooled me and I didn't get fooled easily. His credit was so bad he couldn't have bought the steam off a hot dog.

Or the people who would coyly conceal the fact they had a trade only to spring it on me after a long ordeal and the deal was done. I could usually smell these coming " Oh, I'm selling it to a neighbor".

Trade get's sprung the seller wants 5000.00 more than it's worth or owes 7500.00 more than it's worth.

Ah...now I feel better! Sometimes I miss the business but a visit to the Prices Paid Forums or thinking about some of the bad things quickly sets me straight.

I do miss the people I worked with and most of my loyal customers. We worked hard but had a lot of laughs and good times too!

Comments

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,094

    I like getting sent out on my own. a surprising number of places still do that. Others are super strict, with the sales guy having to drive off the lot (much safer to stop on the shoulder of a busy road to trade seats!). But on our recent test drives, they had no problem letting my daughter drive (recently turned 18). She had a license, was good to go.

    the worst test drive I ever participated in (and I have done a lot!) was when the salesguy was driving. this was back in about 1985, when my friend was looking for his first new car, and we were at the VW dealer looking at a stick shift Golf. Had a nice burgundy one friend liked, so decided to take a drive. Brand new, 10 miles type of car. Salesguy drives it off the lot, cold, and proceeds to redline it in the first couple of gears on a local street. absolutely no reason for it, and a bit scary. My friend then drove, much saner.

    He did buy the car, and IIRC never had engine issues (other issues, yes), but I never would have bought that unit from that guy.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,094

    the one thing I always hate is a salesperson that insists on yabbering the entire ride. I am trying to concentrate on the driving experience, noise level, etc (in a car I am unfamiliar with) and the last thing I need is a running commentary, along with constant questions. Just tell me to ask if I have questions, and sit there and enjoy the superior driving experience you are witnessing. :D

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,792

    I tried to keep my mouth shut unless the customer was chatty as many were.

    On those rare occasions when we would allow a customer to drive by themselves they usually were gone forever and it seemed like they would rarely drive the car.

    We had a local VW store that did this and on several occasions the customers were actually brazen enough to drive the demo car to our store and ask to drive a similar Honda so they could compare! Once "someone" decided to have a bit of fun and that person removed the other stores license plate frames and advertising plate and replaced them with ours!

    I would have loved to have watched the manager's face when that car returned.

    Once, a shopper out on his own actually drove the other store's new Pilot to our store to see if we had the color they really preferred. We did, and we made the sale!

    Three hours later, our Sales Manager called the SM of the other store and asked them if they could come and pick up their new Pilot!

    The other store was known for dirty tricks and we wouldn't dealer trade cars with them. No love lost between us anyway but they REALLY weren't happy!

    Their fault for sending the customer out on a solo test drive!

    No, we resisted the urge and didn't install our dealer plates on that one!

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 314

    I can't comment on the sales side but I can from the buyers side. For a period of time I really enjoyed VWs. I had a great rapport with a specific salesman and he would readily send me items, news articles in the mail and encourage me to come take one of their new models for a unsupervised test drive. He would call me when a car came in. I referred business to him. He never hard closed me. I was my own worst enemy in that I needed little encouragement to make that next purchase. Sometimes I think the dealer had a personal closing room just for me. The dealership always took good care of me and I never felt like I was taken advantage of. Even though I bought a number of cars from him/them I did my homework to know what was reasonable. I miss those days of personal service. My salesman, who I also considered a friend, retired. I drifted and have since not had any loyalty to any manufacturer or dealership.

    2010 Pilot EXL-RES, 2013 Accord EX

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,792

    Yep, it's hard to find a long term salesperson anymore. Most jump around or decide they can't stand the business. Loyal customers are fewer and farther between these days too.

    The internet has changed the business forever and not in a good way.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,540

    I had a situation fairly recently that irked me. Had previously dealt with a saleswoman at a mazda dealer. Periodically, I get an email from her address with her name on it, telling me of specials, etc. Comes time where my sister and brother-in-law wanna do a deal on a couple of new mazdas. I call the store and they tell me she no longer works there but will pass me to someone else. Alright... these things happen. We did the deal with that guy, etc. Well, guess who I get an email from not a month later? yup... the saleswoman. So they obviously are continuing to use her name and email address. That ain't right, IMHO.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343

    I'd prefer to do solo test drives, but have never been given one. I haven't insisted on it yet, but I'd prefer it because when I drive a car fast around turns I feel like I might be "judged." Or at a minimum, some might get prematurely frightened, when I know what I'm doing.

    I got that feeling the most from the Lexus salesman who probably never had someone really test their IS 350 yet. Sometimes I preempt it by asking them ahead of time if they easily get scared.
    They always say no so far.

    I did ask Acura if they'd let me take an "extended" solo test drive. They said no, but they'd be happy to do a 1/2 hour drive with me.

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,322

    My last three or four have been solo, but those were all used cars. Only one wanted a copy of my driver's license.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,792

    I had some people do some really dumb things while test driving and there were times I got scared. I had no idea how skilled the driver might be. New immigrants to the country were the scariest of all. Some I would not allow on the freeway.

    Solo test drives were rare and those people rarely bought.

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