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RideLust Asks: Would You Buy A Car Without A Test Drive?

Posted in Car Buying, Car Deals, trends by Kurt Ernst | September 11th, 2011 | 5 Responses |

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According to Lease Trader, the number of consumers taking over leases without test driving the car has climbed from 3 percent in 2007 to some 6.5 percent today. The company explains the growth as a by-product of internet research, since customers can now learn everything there is to know about a particular year make and model from the privacy of their own home. Many lease acquisitions are for short periods of time, too, so even if a vehicle isn’t everything its cracked up to be, those assuming a lease have relatively little risk.

Leasing is one thing, since you get to turn over the keys after a set period of time. Purchasing a car is something else entirely, since that tends to be more of a long-term relationship. We’ve driven far too many cars to know that there aren’t differences within a production run, and even good automakers build bad vehicles. Worse, buying a used car without knowing its complete history is like ordering a bride from Russia on the internet: there’s a chance that things will work out, but there’s a better chance that things will end with a flaming car by the side of the road and the need for a good attorney. We’re not willing to take that risk, and wouldn’t consider buying a car without test driving it first, but we want your take on the subject. Would you buy a car, or assume a lease, without giving it a proper shakedown first?

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5 Responses

  1. Mark Smith says:

    NO! I drove 3 different versions of the car that I finally put on order before I made a final decision. I wanted to see how the car felt, try out options look at seats. In addition to the cars actually driven, I probably sat in 2 dozen more (and that took some effort since there aren’t 2 dozen at any given dealership).

    My car finishes getting build 11/23 and will be shipped to the US and should be in my hands before Christmas. Before I sign the final papers though, it is going on a good shakedown run.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Mark, Porsche is currently rated number 1 for customer service, so I think you’ll be OK. I’ll bet you’re counting down the days, though…

  2. Adam says:

    Absolutely not.

    I’d want to test drive all of the vehicles in direct competition as well.