Survey highlights importance of test drives

Test drives are a hugely important part of the sales process, but dealers say they want more training and advice on providing better test drives for customers, according to a new survey.

The research, by AM-Online, found more than nine in 10 dealers believed a test drive was crucial to sealing a deal, and more than six in 10 wanted advice on how to best use them to increase the chances of a sale. The survey found that used car dealerships offered an average of 48 test drives a week and those selling new vehicles provided around 50.

A recognition of the importance of the test drive is important in your sales strategy but it’s also vital to make sure you are properly covered. Check your road risks insurance is at the right levels as well as your motor trade insurance.

Around 63 per cent of people looking at a new car at a dealership take vehicles out for a test drive, and one dealer told the researchers that its conversion rate “almost doubles” as a result of a successful test drive. Even more people looking at a used car took the particular vehicle out for a test drive.

In most cases, test drives lasted for less than an hour and around half were over in 30 minutes. Dealers questioned for the poll tended to believe the ideal time should be up to an hour.

Another dealer questioned for the survey said: “If you don’t take the time to demonstrate a product you reduce the chance of it being purchased as you are expecting your prospect to find out everything for themselves.

“You are losing the opportunity to highlight key benefits at a very crucial time in the buying process and also handle any minor objections that arise. A full and carefully planned road test with a sales person present will result in more sales.”