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More Shoppers Skip The Test DriveThan You Think

August 13, 2012

We all know how huge of a role the internet plays in the car-buying decision process. Most consumers hit the web to help them comparison shop, narrow down to particular makes and models, and ultimately choose a dealership to approach when they’re ready.

But recently a surprising study was released which reported a shocking number of Americans are skipping what used to be considered the most important step – the test drive. This number climbs even higher in Canada,  by the way. The study, conducted by Maritz Rsearch, surveyed 80,219 Americans who had recently purchased a 2012 model-year car. After tallying the votes, Maritz discovered that 11.4% of respondents didn’t choose to take a test drive before purchasing. In Canada, that number rises to 25%.

Why is this? It would seem wise to test drive a vehicle you intend to spend thousands of dollars on, and potentially drive for many, many years to come. Many people immediately thought of the ‘Millenials,’ our current generation young people prone to using the internet for just about everything. But in fact, the answer may have more to do with older generations – Baby Boomers, and even their parents, who became accustomed to one brand of car and remained loyal to it throughout the years. After all, if you’ve been driving a Ford for 45 years and intend to buy another, a test drive seems irrelevant.

So what does this mean? Will the younger generations become more accustomed to buying without trying – or will the opposite occur: a new wave of people with a wealth of information at their fingertips who will ask more questions, weigh the decision more thoroughly, and test drive not one but perhaps several different models?

Information from How Many Shoppers Skip The Test Drive? More Than You Think.

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