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Inspired by a good thread on Car Lounge (is that possible). In this thread someone is annoyed because he and his buddy could not test drive a new GTI, presuming that it was because of his age. Which I don't doubt. It reminded me of a few months ago when I was looking at Subaru's, a big argument started out on the showroom floor between a salesman and two younger guys. Turns out, these two young guys came in driving a newer A4 and they wanted to take an STi out. The salesguy figured, why not, they came in an A4, dressed nicely and seemed serious.

Well, apparently the car came back in about an hour later with a broken front valance, major tread wear, rock chips on the lower valances. And this thing was caked in dust, very obviously off roaded. The salesman was fuming that they will have to pay for damages, so they walked out, jumped in the A4 trying to escape and funny enough, they were blocked in by another patron's car. Long story short, the police were called and they all went into an office and shut the door. Not sure what happened, but...

Talking to my neighbor, a retired Nissan dealer, he was telling me how many people would come in playing the part and want to take a 300Z out. He said some came in dressed to the nines and sporting a nice car and others came looking like hillbillies. No matter the case, most were solely interested in thrashing the car around and going home with no intentions of ever buying the car, not even negotiating a price on it. "Thanks, not what I'm looking for" type thing.

Now, I don't like most car salesman or dealers, but I actually think that they are in the right when it comes to test drives. I've noticed more and more dealers now go with you or flat out won't let you drive the car without a credit card deposit. Can't say that I blame the dealer. Can you imagine what people do to these cars without someone from the dealership present? IE that STi.

Figure, damage is done to the car, the dealer's time is waisted, miles are put on a brand new car. I certainly would not want to buy an STi or any other hot car that has more than a few miles on it. What's your thoughts on dealers and their test drive policies?
 

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Of the last three makes that I've purchased new, no first test drive occurred without the salesguy in the car. When we bought our Honda, I think my wife and I took it out on our own, but I'm pretty sure we had to give a photocopy of our driver's license (not sure, this was in 1997).

Our VW dealer took me out and then my wife (she chirped the tires pulling onto the roadway :whistle: ). Personally, I had no problem with this. :shrug:

I can't blame a dealership for protecting their stock. The STi story made me think of the parking lot attendents in "Ferris Buehler"...
 

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I think this is an acceptable practice. Almost every test drive I have ever done has had a salesperson in it. The 1st time I was saleman-less was when we test drove our X5. The salesman was actually appologizing for not being able to ride with us to answer questions.. He was delivering a 6 series at the time. I had no probelm with it just being my wife and I though ;). Infact he had us take it overnight to drive and make sure we liked it, then come backthe next day to either buy or give it back. We bought it :)

She is a great driver, but seems to get nervous driving with a salesman looking over her shoulder. Infact most the time she just has me do all the driving..
 

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what the heck is an echo of gecko anyways...
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I've never had a sales person ride with me when I testdrove a car, only when bought from private parties. I test drove a number of Integras back when I was 16 and not once did the dealer ask to ride with me, and only one asked for some sort of financial collateral other than a DL. Recently I test drove a 2000 Audi A4 sans sales person as well.

My buddy test drove his brand new Nissan Frontier DR when he was in highschool, and they let him take it home overnight. :thumbup:
 

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i wouldn't be comfortable of no dealership employee came with me on a test drive. i mean, if there was damage on the car that i didn't notice, an unscrupulous dealership could say that i was responsible for the damage.
 
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