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Old 28th October 2019, 14:07   #1
GTO
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Default Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

BHPians are known to take 3 / 4 / 5 / more test-drives of a car before deciding. Sometimes, you'll also see posts recommending a Zoom Car rental to understand a model properly, before buying it. And we've mentioned it over & over again - as detailed & unbiased as our Official Reviews are, you must take a test-drive yourself before buying any car.

That being said, I have to admit that I've bought two cars without a test-drive. Have you?

1. Nissan Sunny (ownership thread). Needed a beater car for the family, read the Official Review and was convinced it's the right one. The first time I sat in a Sunny was when it came home. 7 years later, I love the car (but hate the company that builds it).

Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?-nissan-sunny-review-1.jpg

2. Mahindra Classic (ownership thread). A love for Jeeps & ads like these sold the Classic to me. I was 19 and just had to have one. First time I drove a Classic was my own, from Wasan Motors Chembur to home (did that just rhyme???).

This:
Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?-22122009930.jpg

Led to this:
Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?-1-1.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 28th October 2019 at 14:09.
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Old 28th October 2019, 14:14   #2
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Default Re: Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

My first car purchase - Indica Vista TDi - the replacement for our Ambassador and the main things we were looking for were interior space and a reliable engine that can be fixed by an FNG.

Since it was mainly for my parents' use, dad went and sat in the car in the showroom and said he was happy with space inside the car and I went, did the paperwork and got her home.

The first time we drove the car was after the delivery

--Anoop

Last edited by theexperthand : 28th October 2019 at 14:17.
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Old 28th October 2019, 14:16   #3
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Default Re: Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

Yes. I had got the Ford Ikon 1.4D without a test-drive. Had booked it before it had reached the showroom, and we were tied up at home after the TD's were started.

On a similar note, the second was our A-Star. Was checking ad's for a used car. Saw one, checked it out and closed it.


Worked out well in both cases.

Last edited by aah78 : 28th October 2019 at 20:38. Reason: spacing.
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Old 28th October 2019, 14:20   #4
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Default Re: Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

Yes I have,well kind of. When I first saw the Hexa being unveiled at the Geneva show, I had decided in my mind that this was going to be my next car. A few months later when Tata started running the test mules on Indian roads, I had a rare opportunity of getting behind the wheel of a pre production version which was the first time I drove a camouflaged car on public roads.

In that sense I did take a test drive but not of a production version. So yes I kind of bought my Hexa without taking a test drive.

Last edited by ram87pune : 28th October 2019 at 14:21.
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Old 28th October 2019, 14:21   #5
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Default Re: Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

For me as an advocate of manual cars, it is very important to get a test drive because no matter how good the car is; however sumptuous the leather, however vast and comprehensive the feature list, however stunning the looks, however safe it is, the wrong gear ratios can ruin everything.
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Old 28th October 2019, 14:21   #6
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Default Re: Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

I have bought 3 cars and 2 bikes without test drive/ride.

1. Hyundai Santro - Picked Santro for my wife without a test drive. Santro was a very common car, heard a lot about the pros and cons, it was kind of the only car falling with in our budget. Booked and took delivery without test drive.

2. Innova - After looking at options and requirements, zeroed in on the Innova. Booked and took delivery without test drive.

3. Ford Ecosport - Was in the market for an upgrade for Santro. We were looking for a safe car with the required safety features with an automatic transmission. Wanted an SUV/MUV as we were too used to the Innova. Options were limited and zeroed in on Ecosport Automatic, test drive was not done for this vehicle as well.

Bikes

1. Thunderbird 350 - It was an impromptu purchase. Those days the enfields were available off the shelf. Went to showroom, paid money and took delivery. Sort of repented decision on not doing a test ride almost immediately

2. G310GS - A good friend recommended this bike, he had done multiple test rides. Showroom is about 45 kms from my place and test ride was not available over weekends. So, went and paid the advance over a weekend, no test ride was done.
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Old 28th October 2019, 14:22   #7
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Default Re: Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

I bought my Civic-AT without any test drive in 2006. Loved the looks in Jan'2006 Auto Expo (purple color if you remember). Booked MT variant the day it was launched, changed the booking to AT after two days and got delivery after a month or so.

Never regretted it, In fact it was the best car I have owned so far. I still miss the car sometimes even after selling it in 2014 (80k on odo).

Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?-autoexpo6.jpg

Last edited by aah78 : 28th October 2019 at 20:39. Reason: Picture inserted in-line.
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Old 28th October 2019, 14:24   #8
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Default Re: Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

Well, I just bought my first car without a formal Test Drive. Surprisingly, I had done something similar when I got my first motorcycle.

I have driven a 2015 Ford Figo Diesel Zoomcar extensively but apparently they did alter the Gearing slightly on the 2019 facelift. I did TD the Petrol 4 times (including both Figo and Freestyle) but not the Diesel that I eventually got.

I also bought my Bike, the Pulsar 220 without a single test ride. At the time, the bike was not approved by MH RTO post launch. Mine was delivered on the first day anybody was legally allowed to ride one in MH. Such a secret was my motorcycle purchase that even my family didn't know I had booked one .
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Old 28th October 2019, 14:24   #9
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Default Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

Yes, I have. It was the first car that I owned.

Back in 2004, I was considering an Alto and did a TD but later ended up buying 800 STD (base model with no AC, power steering!) because Alto was stretching the budget unnecessarily for my limited usage then. The car did serve me and my family well, it was with us till few months back when we sold it when it was about to complete 15 years.

Those were the days of limited knowledge and options and 800 itself was an 'upgrade' from the Premier Padmini we had! Can't see myself doing anything like that now!

I agree with trend of using rental cars for understanding the car better and I have done that myself before my recent purchase of EcoSport.

Last edited by SilentEngine : 28th October 2019 at 14:32.
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Old 28th October 2019, 15:03   #10
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Default Re: Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

Yes!

Our last two cars have been pre-owned and both were bought based on one look and known acquaintance selling them. It was not a wise decision. The experience with the first car was not so good as it had undergone an accident and gave some some trouble during it tenure with us. We were lucky with the second and the experience has been very good. For the new car purchase, we did a TD to get an idea but that's not enough for me. Out of the last four 2-wheelers we have purchased, we TDed only 1 of them. However that one TD wasn't very helpful. I will share my reasons below.

For someone like me who loves doing long drives/rides, it is impossible to simulate all those conditions even if I do a 50 km long TD. Second issue I faced is the time consumed to do a TD, especially if I am looking at a popular car. Taking time out to go for TDs and matching it with the availability of TD cars with the dealers; big task! A very good alternative to make an informed decision is a combination of TD and renting a self-drive rental.

Last edited by ashis89 : 28th October 2019 at 15:05.
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Old 28th October 2019, 15:03   #11
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Default Re: Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

Very nice thread GTO.

1. I purchased my Bajaj Pulsar 150 without taking any test ride. I was so sold on that machine that I wanted it as soon as it was available. It wasn't available at the Udupi dealership immediately after launch but I was the 2nd person to lay my hands on it in Manipal once it was launched in Udupi. It was with me for nearly 6 years. I never wanted to part ways with it but had to due to circumstances at that time. I have very fond memories attached to it.

Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?-dsc00232.jpg

2. Same case with our Santro. Since self and brother were away for our studies/job, Dad purchased a Santro on our recommendation without any test drive. Although I had driven a Santro of my friend once, this was the Xing model.

Our Ritz and Brezza were bought after a single test drive of less than 2 kms. Yes, the dealership here was like that earlier. Now I don't get shorter test drives.
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Old 28th October 2019, 15:04   #12
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Default Re: Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

  • Tata Sierra - in the days of take it or leave it.
  • Skoda Octavia RS - well I drove one, but I never test drove the car that I had bought, let alone seen it. If I had, I might have waited for a better example to come along.
  • Maruti 800MPFI - bought it in 10 minuntes for my wife. Was pleasantly surprised.

Last edited by ajmat : 28th October 2019 at 21:19. Reason: As per RP
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Old 28th October 2019, 15:42   #13
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Default Re: Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

All cars that me or my family own/owned purchased new were without a test drive. Strangely enough, I have taken test drive of few vehicles but never went ahead with any of those.
1st generation Honda City - My parents spotted it in a traffic signal sometime in 2006. Next day, went straight to the showroom to buy one.
Hyundai Santro Zip Plus - Parents gifted it to me for getting my first job. Neither they are me took a test drive.
2nd generation Honda City - Was looking for different options to replace Santro Zip Plus and ended up buying 2nd generation City as we wanted a car with better quality having owned the 1st generation City. To be honest, would not have purchased if we took a test drive.
Honda Civic - Fell for the look and purchased without a second thought and still happy with it.
Honda Brio - Was looking to buy the Jazz. SA insisted on Brio since both use the same engine. Felt the Brio would be better to drive since it being smaller and weighed less as well, hence purchased Brio.
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Old 28th October 2019, 15:51   #14
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Default Re: Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

Yes! CBR 250R, no test ride, nothing, not even seen in flesh. Went ahead & bought it. Absolutely no regrets. Puts a smile even now after 127xxx Km, have built an invisible trust. Can say the same for Activa, but, have ridden it from relatives, so I guess that may not qualify.
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Old 28th October 2019, 15:53   #15
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Default Re: Have you ever bought a car / bike without a test-drive?

Absolutely! I have even bought cars unseen, other than piccies on the Internet.
I bought my Jaguar XJR of Ebay.

I bought my vintage Royal Enfield Bullet without a test drive. (Primarily because I had never ever in my life riden a motor bike yet)

My dad was worse. I remember one day coming home and during dinner he announced he had bought a new car. Which car Dad I asked. I can not remember what is was, other than a tiny pokey little car. My dad was a big, tall man, like me.

So I asked/told him; I am a bit surprised you managed to fit in? To which he replied: I never got in it, I just walked around it in the showroom. Next day we went back and managed to cancel the order. Convinced him to get an Audi 80, which he also bought without a test drive, but at least he sat in it.

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