Almost half (45%) of new car buyers expect to test drive more models the next time they buy, new research has revealed.
Analysis of 8,500 consumers by What Car found that buyers plan to test at least two cars, with almost a fifth expecting to drive more than five.
The research also found that one in 10 would buy a new car without test driving any.
What Car expects the rise in choice and popularity of electric vehicles to increase demand for test drives over the next few years.
“Driving an EV or hybrid will be a new experience for millions of drivers and they will want to understand what they are buying,” said Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car.
“As a result, we predict a surge in demand for test drives, but with it dealers and manufacturers need to ensure the experience of the test drive itself fits the customer.”
Studies by What Car show that 62% of buyers still find contact with dealers difficult and that the test drive experience is usually the most vocal complaint.
“The unpressured test drives at shopping centres win hands down over the traditional dealer experience,” explained Huntingford. “Consumers tell us they want convenience but, above all, they want to test their fears of choosing one model over another.”
This demand is already being met by some, with manufacturers such as Volvo and BMW offering 24 and 48-hour test drives, and Seat and DS providing a less pressured retail experience at Westfield shopping centre.