Volvo Car UK is allowing customers to pre-book demonstrator vehicles online and have them delivered to a suitable location through its newly-launched Test Drive+ offering.
Test Drive+ allows for a standard one-hour test drive, either at a retailer or a location chosen by the customers, with extended test drives of up to four days also available.
Kristian Elvefors, Volvo Car UK managing director, said: “The test drive is a critical element when people are making the important decision about whether or not to buy a new car, so we want to make sure it’s an experience that makes them feel at ease and valued as a customer, and which also reflects the premium quality of our brand.
“With Test Drive+ we have looked at every aspect from the customer’s point of view to make it as flexible and informative as possible.
"We want people to enjoy an ideal introduction to our cars, one which is completely designed around them.”
The brand has previously offered online test drives in partnership with Amazon, but this new venture is managed in-house and supports the brands intentions to operate an end-to-end online sales platform.
Test Drive+ was designed following analysis of customer feedback on how people perceive the purpose of a test drive, their opinions of the traditional format and the improvements they would value.
It can be accessed online or by calling Volvo’s team of Test Drive+ agents in a manner similar to the Mazda MyWay platform, which was launched in 2015 in a bid to grow the Japanese brand's presence in London boroughs where the brand was under-represented.
As part of the Test Drive+ offering Volvo customers can view a real-time calendar to see what dates and times are available, and can use an online chat service if they need support or have immediate questions.
Once a reservation has been made, customers receive an email confirmation of the request. If the test drive is taking place at a retailer, the booking details include specific, reserved parking for the customer when they arrive.
The drives are hosted by product specialists, rather than salespeople, whose aim is to ensure the customer understands everything they need to about the car.
The scheme is currently available on the Volvo XC40 compact SUV and will extend to further cars in the Volvo range, beginning with the newly launched S60 saloon.