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?