Car dealers converting more test drives into sales

The number of test drives that car dealerships are converting to sales is on the rise, according to the latest figures.

Nationwide research by Dealerweb examined the performance of major dealerships in July and August 2015 and compared it to the same period 12 months earlier. It found there was a better conversion rate from people test driving cars; enquiries only rose by two per cent year-on-year, however, sales were up nine per cent.

In order to allow customers to test drive its cars, a dealership will require demonstration cover as part of its combined motor trade insurance policy. As long as the customer provides a valid driver's licence and is accompanied by a member of staff, demonstration cover offers insurance protection for cars that are being test driven.

The analysis from Dealerweb shows that this is an increasingly successful sales technique to convert enquiries into sales. The company's sales operations director James Hill commented: “We’re seeing higher enquiry conversion rates as a result of more robust and effective sales processes, coupled with some highly competitive customer offers.

“There is some healthy growth in the new car market and dealers and manufacturers are clearly willing to put incentives in place to keep the momentum going. However, dealers are also getting better at the job of selling, notably helped by wider adoption of systems and processes that automate and professionalise the management of enquiries.”