Getting test drive cars before purchase: Why has it become difficult?

Even cars which aren’t in too much demand don’t have test drive cars readily available.

BHPian nanoguy recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Friends, have you in general noticed that it has become difficult to get test drives, even for vehicles not very much in demand? Not sure if it is with certain dealerships or more widespread.

My experiences recently in Hyderabad:

Is it because they have demand and are not bothered about people wanting to TD before buying


They generally have a lot of work and are unable to take time for a test drive which in a city like Hyd will eat up 1-1.5 hrs.


something else?

My earlier experience was vastly different. Getting test drives was very easy and once one dealer insisted that I test drive before booking even though I had made up my mind to buy the vehicle.

Here’s what BHPian RaSing had to say on the matter:

I second that. It’s true. However, if I am correct, these are all sales man’s tricks. Also depends on how serious you look for a car purchase. Once, I was at the Hyundai showroom and requested a test drive. The salesman responds, “Sir, Hyundai has now changed the policy. You will first have to take an appointment for a test drive on their portal and then the vehicle will be sent by the company at the reserved time”. As soon as I got out of the showroom, I saw the TD vehicle being used to give TD to some other folks. I told the same to SA and then the test drive was arranged there and then. I believe the following factors play a role here:

  • If you are alone, they don’t consider you a serious buyer
  • If you directly request a test drive. I believe you should first ask about the features, prices etc, and then come to a TD request
  • Maybe the salesman has some other task in hand.
  • Sometimes the car is not available due to TD vehicle being sent to some customer’s place.

Also, as per my experience, call the reception of the showroom in advance, they will assign a SA to your query, and wait for his call. When he calls, check for the TD vehicle availability and then go to the showroom. This way you surely get a Test Drive.

Here’s what BHPian revsperminute had to say on the matter:

Credit where credit is due, I have found MG to be the best when it comes to greeting a prospective customer(outside of luxury brands of course). We checked out the Hector when it launched initially. We walked in on a Sunday evening and were treated very well. Even though we didn’t like the car, the customer service was superb.

Similarly, when we were checking out the EV in November last year, the SA came with the car bright and early on a Sunday morning because we were busy throughout the week. We got to take the car on a 20km test drive without a single complaint from the SA.

Here’s what BHPian Nalin1 had to say on the matter:

Cars that I test-drove just recently:

  • Toyota Urban Cruiser
  • Maruti S-Cross
  • Nissan Kicks
  • Nissan Magnite
  • Kia Sonet (twice, petrol and diesel)
  • Tata Nexon EV
  • Tata Nexon petrol (3 test drives)

Each one came to my doorstep exactly at the requested time without any hassles and accommodated all requests.

The Nexon petrol came twice for a test drive and once again to see my new car at the stockyard (a third test drive). And for a car that sells 14,000 units a month with the showroom more crowded than a vegetable market.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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