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Old 3rd December 2015, 16:14   #1
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Default Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

All of us here love cars and are always curious to know new developments in the market including new car launches, technical changes and in depth detail about what each car has to offer which is on sale.

And we all love driving different cars. I for one is always ready, if offered to drive any of my friend's or relatives car.
I enjoy driving even a humble Maruti 800 as much as say a VW Polo. Just give me that steering!!

And whenever a new car launches, we are curious, how does it looks, equipment levels, technical specifications etc.
Most of these answers we get on the Internet these days. Of course, Team-BHP is the most exhaustive source and we get to know as much as we want.

But one question which remains is, How does it feel to get behind the wheel??

To answer this we head to the nearest showroom, ask for a Test Drive.

Suppose we get one extensive test drive of a good car. We come back to the showroom, all grinning about how great the car drives and that is when the difficult time starts.
The sales rep starts asking all those questions, Sir when are you planning to buy the car and bla bla bla. He notes down our contact details. Calls us few days later. Except if the car you test drove is from Tata, then be assured you won't get any follow up calls, at least here in Jaipur.


So my question is to all of us here, how do you manage to get the test drive of different cars?
What do you say to the sales rep? Do you upfront say him that, "Dude I'm not in the market to buy a car now but would just like to drive this thing".
I mean If we said this to him then why would he waste his time with us.
Not that I would like to waste his time either, He might loose a genuine prospective customer!

Or do you visit showroom as a prospective customer, give your contact details and when the sales rep calls, you either reject the car giving any excuse or say him that I haven't taken any decision yet!


Would love to hear how you guys manage this situation. I am sure many folks here too just test drive a car without any buying plans just to get a feel.


P.S.- Not that I visit every showroom around here and waste their time. I faced this situation only when I wanted to drive the Polo GT TSI just to get a feel of that 7 Speed DSG and 1.2 TSi combo especially after reading all the praises here on the forum.
I would love to use Zoomcar if it gets launched here in Jaipur. I think its a great way to satisfy your hunger to drive various cars.

Last edited by Sherlocked : 3rd December 2015 at 16:34.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 17:08   #2
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Default Test driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

I know what your talking about. I did the same when I wanted to test drive the new Camry Hybrid.
I told the Sales person straight up I just want to experience the Hybrid system that's it. They happily obliged.
We went on a short test drive where he explained all the features. Although the sales person was quite frank that the car won't suit my requirements(100 km daily running that too including bad roads) and that I should continue using my Innova.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 17:41   #3
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

I can very well relate to this. We have every new launch coming to our office and they allow test drive throughout the day inside our campus.

Everytime a new car comes we go and take a test drive, hence yours truly has driven probably all new launches in the last 5 years (albeit the luxury class ones).
Sometimes I give my real number and politely decline to buy the car when they call later.
Sometimes I give the number of a friend whom I know is planning to buy a car . One even ended up buying a Rapid that way and he was like "how did Skoda know that am searching for Rapid reviews and all over the net."
Lastly, I give a random number specially to the Hyundai folks, they follow up aggressively.

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Originally Posted by Sherlocked View Post
Except if the car you test drove is from Tata, then be assured you won't get any follow up calls, at least here in Jaipur.
Cant agree more on the TATA, I was actually interested in the Nano Twist as a second car and expected them to follow up, but nobody bothered.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 18:12   #4
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

I think you should NOT ask for a test drive if you have no intention to buy. Going to the showroom, asking questions and sitting in the car is OK though.

The sales guys' "time" is valuable too. He could spend more time and effort on genuinely interested customers instead.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 18:14   #5
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

In case I test drive a car for just checking it out and without any intention to buy, when they call me up, I just mention to them that I finalized a different car. It settles the matter then and there and no further calls are received.

Works out best for both parties.

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I think you should NOT ask for a test drive if you have no intention to buy. Going to the showroom, asking questions and sitting in the car is OK though.
I never visit the showroom for the test drives just for the sake of it. But whenever they have a stall put up at my office/society premises with a tempting car, I take the test.
Nothing wrong in being an enthusiast !

Moreover the manufacturers want the people to try their cars irrespective of whether the person really is in the market for buying one. And that is the reason for putting up the stalls in catchment areas with high footfalls. It might just convince someone not in the market, to buy one.

Last edited by vinit.merchant : 3rd December 2015 at 18:19.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 18:27   #6
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

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Originally Posted by Sherlocked View Post
Or do you visit showroom as a prospective customer, give your contact details and when the sales rep calls, you either reject the car giving any excuse or say him that I haven't taken any decision yet
If/When I take a test drive without an intention to buy the car and receive a follow call from them, I tell them I bought another car. Specify some car name along with a reason why I chose the other car, politely, followed by 'Thanks for your call man!' He would have a valid reason to write off that customer.

But some sales follow up registers are not updated. I had taken a test ride of the Royal Enfield continental GT in 2013 when it was launched. I still receive their call thought I tell them every time that I have purchased the Thunderbird.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 18:40   #7
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
I never visit the showroom for the test drives just for the sake of it. But whenever they have a stall put up at my office/society premises with a tempting car, I take the test.
Nothing wrong in being an enthusiast !

Moreover the manufacturers want the people to try their cars irrespective of whether the person really is in the market for buying one. And that is the reason for putting up the stalls in catchment areas with high footfalls. It might just convince someone not in the market, to buy one.
OK that's pretty reasonable logic.

In that case, if you don't want to receive calls, then the best thing to say during a test drive is something like "actually, I plan to buy a car within one year, but not now."
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Old 3rd December 2015, 18:50   #8
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
The sales guys' "time" is valuable too. He could spend more time and effort on genuinely interested customers instead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
Moreover the manufacturers want the people to try their cars irrespective of whether the person really is in the market for buying one. And that is the reason for putting up the stalls in catchment areas with high footfalls. It might just convince someone not in the market, to buy one.
Agree with Vinit, and also that many times we can refer a good car to someone who is interested in buying, as mentioned earlier in this thread. For example my being on TBHP and clued in to the new cars (reviews and all), I am generally sought out when anyone in the family wants to buy a car, and need options, pros/cons. I even recommend specific sales outlets and representatives based on my test drive experience, and I've seen several similar posts on TBHP too.

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
In that case, if you don't want to receive calls, then the best thing to say during a test drive is something like "actually, I plan to buy a car within one year, but not now."
Yup. Or when I bought a Zest I had told all the other showrooms which other cars I was considering, but as I was buying the car for my parents who are not in Bangalore, I had to tell each of them later that I had bought something else. Except Tata where I told them that I'd bought the Zest but in Kerala.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 19:10   #9
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
OK that's pretty reasonable logic.

In that case, if you don't want to receive calls, then the best thing to say during a test drive is something like "actually, I plan to buy a car within one year, but not now."
It doesn't work that way actually. The person at stall has a target to achieve. His target is simple. Bring in as many contact numbers as possible. The calling part is the sales team. They do their job of calling you.
Even if you mention you will buy in a year, they will still take your number and you will still receive a call from the sales rep.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 19:24   #10
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

I love driving different cars and to compare them with my existing drive since that is the car I know best. Not only it gives a perspective on how good or bad the car is, it enhances my view on different cars.

Normally I go in to the showroom and within the first few minutes ask for a test drive. Go through the formalities and when they call, I tell them clearly that I will call back if interested.

Most of the test drives I do, I write a short report here on their respective threads from my view which may or may not help a prospective buyer. So at the end I don't really feel guilty that I did just for the sake of satisfying my urge to drive a new launch.
Also, for a non auto journalist, it is very rare to get a chance to drive many cars since friends and relatives will not have all the cars in the market, and this is a way to experience them.

And I don't think I'm making use of a free test drive, since the drive in most cases are hardly 2-3 kms long.

Last edited by tharian : 3rd December 2015 at 19:28.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 20:11   #11
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

Whether I enter a car sales outlet or a garment store and I see the sales rep all worked up, I calmly tell 'em, that I am here to just check this out. Even if sometimes I am interested. Result is, they don't bother you much.

But I don't go when there is a hot launch.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 23:14   #12
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean5545 View Post
I know what your talking about. I did the same when I wanted to test drive the new Camry Hybrid.
I told the Sales person straight up I just want to experience the Hybrid system that's it. They happily obliged.
No wonder Toyota sales and support is one of the best. It can easily be distinguished from the rest.We experienced it first hand last year when we were looking for a B2 segment hatchback. Chaps are very friendly and obliging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I think you should NOT ask for a test drive if you have no intention to buy.
Going to the showroom, asking questions and sitting in the car is OK though.
Sir believe me, as I mentioned in my opening post, wasting somebody's valuable time is definitely not in my list and I will also make sure that he's not losing a genuine customer due to me. Like the Polo TSI test drive which I took was at the time when the complete showroom was deserted. There were hardly any footfalls. It was just to experience that highly acclaimed 7 Speed DSG.


Quote:
Originally Posted by saion666 View Post
I can very well relate to this. We have every new launch coming to our office and they allow test drive throughout the day inside our campus.
Everytime a new car comes we go and take a test drive, hence yours truly has driven probably all new launches in the last 5 years.

Sometimes I give the number of a friend whom I know is planning to buy a car .
That's great!! This way everyone is happy!! You get to drive the car and the sales rep got someone interested to deal with.
Quote:
One even ended up buying a Rapid that way and he was like "how did Skoda know that am searching for Rapid reviews and all over the net."



Quote:
Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
In case I test drive a car for just checking it out and without any intention to buy, when they call me up, I just mention to them that I finalized a different car. It settles the matter then and there and no further calls are received.

I never visit the showroom for the test drives just for the sake of it. But whenever they have a stall put up at my office/society premises with a tempting car, I take the test.
Nothing wrong in being an enthusiast !
Aptly said! Even I would not want to visit the showroom just to take a test drive. But exceptions are only for certain cars like the GT TSI and Abarth Punto. You have to feel how it drives. The enthusiast in you forces to take it for a spin!! And who knows, maybe in future, due to that one test drive you buy the same car. Might be in the pre-owned avatar though, who knows!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jay3sh View Post
If/When I take a test drive without an intention to buy the car and receive a follow call from them, I tell them I bought another car. Specify some car name along with a reason why I chose the other car, politely, followed by 'Thanks for your call man!' He would have a valid reason to write off that customer.
But don't you think doing it multiple times might affect your goodwill with the dealer. What if some day we genuinely wish to buy a car and lands up with the same sales rep!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tharian View Post
I love driving different cars and to compare them with my existing drive since that is the car I know best. Not only it gives a perspective on how good or bad the car is, it enhances my view on different cars.
Most of the test drives I do, I write a short report here on their respective threads from my view which may or may not help a prospective buyer. So at the end I don't really feel guilty that I did just for the sake of satisfying my urge to drive a new launch.
That's a great point. Team bhp has large number of viewers and putting up our driving impression on this forums definitely helps others in their car buying decisions.

Quote:
Also, for a non auto journalist, it is very rare to get a chance to drive many cars since friends and relatives will not have all the cars in the market, and this is a way to experience them.
Yes exactly!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Whether I enter a car sales outlet or a garment store and I see the sales rep all worked up, I calmly tell 'em, that I am here to just check this out. Even if sometimes I am interested. Result is, they don't bother you much.
Checking out a car inside the showroom is Okay. They usually don't object on that. But the point comes when we have to drive that vehicle. We have to make some reason or the other to make them feel that yes, I'm interested.
As dean5545 above mentioned that he took Camry TD by telling the sales rep upfront that he's not for buying, but still the good SA offered him a drive. I wonder if other manufacturer also provides TD to non prospecting customers.

Last edited by Sherlocked : 3rd December 2015 at 23:18.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 23:24   #13
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I think you should NOT ask for a test drive if you have no intention to buy. Going to the showroom, asking questions and sitting in the car is OK though.

The sales guys' "time" is valuable too. He could spend more time and effort on genuinely interested customers instead.
Though I totally get the logic behind not wasting someone's time, I think there is absolutely no wrong in taking a test drive of a car you do not intent to buy. You get the first hand feel of the car and this experience is good enough for you to give some valuable advice to your friends or family members who are interested in the car. You contribute to the "word of mouth" publicity of the car. A manufacturer who is confident of their product would be happy if more and more people test drive the car. It's free marketing for them. Some manufacturers give away freebies for people who test drive their cars as well All they want at the end of the day is create interest around the product and bring more and more people into their showrooms.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 23:32   #14
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

I have 2 options and use either of them depending on the situation.

Option 1: I'm test driving this car for my cousin who lives abroad and is moving to India shortly. On his arrival, I'll pass on my feedback and get back to you if interested.

Option 2: During the test drive I make it a point to mention that I'm considering the competition as well. Later, when the call arrives I just let them know that I've gone on with their competitor and that usually does it.

Someone in the above post said if we aren't serious about buying then we shouldn't waste the sales man's time. Fair enough but there are times I've driven cars with no intention of buying them but ended up hugely recommending it to my friends to go for it. Through me, that sales man had actually got a sale!

If I was a salesman, I would happily oblige for a test drive, irrespective of the intention, because I know once a customer touches and feels something, and experiences it for himself, there's a greater probability of him or his friend returning for it. If I hadn't obliged, the loss is mine, actually!
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Old 3rd December 2015, 23:39   #15
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

heee... Have been wanting to start a thread on this, especially since i had done a slew of 'test drives' during my internship days in B'luru.

1. My first proper test drive was that of the Duster 110, but it was relatively easy and straightforward as i was with my buddy whose family had just bought the first Fluence in our town. So they were known in the dealership and the TD was done in no time.

2. Tata Zest AMT - In the Tata showroom near my hostel, i had our WagonR with me. So just showed up, told i was interested in the Zest AMT. Got a test drive, after that sat down for the usual talk. Told frankly the car would be taken in my hometown (if we were buying) , so i had just dropped in to see how the car is.

Bengaluru

3. Honda Jazz - Me and my friend were walking from a disappointing meeting, saw a Honda showroom on the way. The Jazz was just launched, went in to check. The usual new car arrival crowd was there. Could get a test drive in no time, but bummer it was the petrol model. Duh, that too a short test drive around the block. No SA pestering as it was crowded. Quietly went away.

4. Ford Aspire - Again with the above said friend. Just walked in, politely asked for a test drive. They obliged. Had a good satisfying test drive. Loved the car, my mind was screaming 'this is the car you been waiting FOR'
After the TD, the usual sit down. Said was buying the car from Kerala, just wanted to TD it. Left.

5. Toyota Corolla - Emboldened with a couple of test drives, targeted the showroom where my friend had worked for a couple of months. A script was made and played out well, (mostly by my friend). Had heard of the 1.4 D4D weak performance, but not this much. After years i was stalling the engine in succession within minutes. Felt more like a small petrol engine. Smooth, revvy and a super weak bottom end.

6. Hyundai Creta - Again a small script, but this time didn't have to act much. The salesgirl were cooperative and could take a longer test drive.

7. Mercedes Benz GLA - This took a couple of days of deliberating,planning and script Actually we went for the A class, but since the TD car was not there, was starting to come back annoyed, even though the SA was offering us a TD of the ML, we didn't fall for the offer. Continued walking out till he called us at the entrance and said there was a GLA available for TD. We acted reluctant as we were keen on the A class, but still accepted the TD offer.
Walked out with a 4 lakhs discount on the Style model of the GLA.

( On the other TDs my friend was gunning down the car, while i drove in a restrained manner as it was B'luru was an alien city to me. But on the GLA TD, my friend was driving meekily, mildly scared. While i gunned it, paddle shifts and all )

It worked in B'luru as the buying public maybe more younger,diverse and casual. Can't imagine doing the same in a Merc showroom in Kerala. They would have sniffed out us and thrown us off politely.

Back to Kerala.

8. Ford Figo - the car was whole time on my head and i couldn't stop thinking about it. So with a friend went to the Ford showroom near the hostel. Since he bought a Swift recently and always looking at the insurance rates, spare part costs and all. Entered the showroom, he wouldn't stop talking and would engage the SA with all sort of practical questions related to car ownership, not the car in question. Anyway, i was free to do what i love. Jumping in and checking the cars in showroom without a SA hovering around.

9. Hyundai i20 - The same operation modus as above. Friend did all the talking ( with made up jobs and all ), while i just checked out the vehicles and went for the test drives.

10. Nissan Terrano

11. Maruti Baleno 1.2



Sure, like some others pointed out here. Its a waste of time and energy for the SAs to engage people like us who wouldn't be buying any cars from them in the near future. But all that vanishes away when the enthusiast in me wants to drive new cars and that too the companies are all too ready to give us Test Drives as if it is our right and not a privilege.


and some basic courtesies or precautions followed.

Take the card of the SA, the brochures and the price list, with a promise of calling back or asking them to call us.

Many know that we are just fooling around, but still play with us and keeps us engaged.

Most would just bade us goodbyes and only a few would call us to see if we are interested.
Most common replies would be:

"No, sorry. We bought the *rival* model. "
" Had already bought the same model in my home town."
" We are not planning to buy anytime soon. " Though it is better to avoid the third sentence and stick to the first two.

Sometimes we feel a tinge of guilt as we are kinda giving false hope for the SA to close the deal and also as MBA students, the sweet curses may backfire on us in our careers when selling goods.

Still, when there is a car given by the company and fuel by the dealer, whats stopping us when we have a IDL in hand. Bihee
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