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Major car dealers sign up to national online test drive service

The first national online booking service dedicated exclusively to fulfilling test drive requests for all car makes and models has been launched, with major dealer groups already signed up to take part.

Testdrive4cars.com is an independent portal designed to provide a valuable source of new car sales' opportunities for franchised dealers and provide a solution for the growing number of car buyers using the internet for research.

Alan Day Motor Group, Alperton Group, CD Bramall, Dixon Motors, GK Group, HMG Holdings, John Martin Group, Lancaster, Pendragon, Pentagon, Perry Group, Sandicliffe Motor Group and Squire Furneaux are among the high profile plcs and smaller independent group which have registered to take part.

The site has been developed by The Clever4 Network (www.clever4.net)

Testdrive4cars.com matches test drive requirements with the nearest registered franchised dealer to the customer's location. All inquiries are fully qualified first before being offered to the dealer.

The qualification process filters all requests and gathers vital customer and purchase data including type of purchase (private, business, lease or motability), intended purchase date and part exchange information. Once a referral is accepted, Clever4's contact centre makes the arrangements between the dealer and customer, confirming details in writing.

The test drive is then carried out in the normal way with the dealer retaining customer ownership and control of the sales' process.

Dealers pay £10 for each test drive completed. The service is free to the consumer.

Initial forecasts are for the service to be handling 5,000 test drive requests per month by mid-2001.

Chris Healy, Clever4 client services director, said: "We have been careful to design a service that will stand on its own regardless of a dealer's own online activity and by making the process available for re-branding by other major online players, we aim to widen incoming opportunities for dealers to do business to the broadest possible base."

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