PIB Group is urging retailers to enhance the customer experience with unaccompanied test drives, whilst mitigating financial risk.
Amid the increase in unaccompanied test drives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost two thirds (63%) of drivers want unaccompanied test drives to become standard practice, according to recent research by AX.
Analysis by PIB Group-owned Cooper Solutions also found that the number of loans has increased by 33% from pre-pandemic to post-lockdown.
James Cooper, product director at Cooper Solutions, said: “Our data gives us a great insight into how customer expectations have changed.
“It’s clear that unaccompanied test drives are here to stay. The crucial issue is that retailers protect any financial risk to their businesses whilst providing an excellent customer experience.”
PIB Motor Trade Practice Group said ‘retailers cannot ignore the positive uplift in sales following unaccompanied test drives’.
The group said that retailers must mitigate the risk of unaccompanied test drives by considering short-term insurance cover for sales demonstration vehicles.
A car thief was jailed recently after colliding a BMW into a motorcyclist then threatening to “shank” a car salesman as he stole a Range Rover during two test drive incidents in the space of an hour.
PIB advised dealers to remain vigilant in circumstances where the customer has arrived at the dealership without a vehicle, and has no asset with them, or the vehicle they arrived on site in differs greatly in terms of value and quality from the vehicle they intend to test drive.
The group said it encourages thorough licence checks to be carried out and second forms of identification to be cross-checked.