How To Test Drive at a Dealership
By: Cathy Droz – Founder HER Certified
Author: A Woman’s Guide to Buying a Car with Confidence and Street Smarts, “Don’t Let These High
Heels Fool You”
Excerpt from my Book and Training at HER Academy
Test Drives were always the fun part of buying a car when I would go with my father every year. In my
later years, purchasing on my own, I would want to test two or three vehicles, much to my sales
consultants’ chagrin. And now, as a journalist I’ve test driven more than 500 vehicles for manufacturers.
It is with this experience and 25 years of women telling me what they like and don’t like at dealerships I
give you a sample of advice.
I say make the test drives interesting and for both parties. Bring a friend to record your questions or
comments while test driving the vehicle with your sales associate. I suggest the salesperson run off a
copy of my list of “how to test drive at a dealership” and hand out to the woman so she can check off
important questions, speed up the process and instill trust.
Did you know that you must keep the Driver’s License information at the dealership filed? Prior to the
tragedy of 9-11 the customer could tear up the copy and or the dealer shred it. Not any longer as it is a
law. I’ve had salespeople tell me that when a customer says tear up my copy, they say OK no problem
and they don’t do it. Be honest please and just take the time to tell the person it is the law since 9-11.
I’m sure they will understand.
Respect Personal Space – Just like you did at the beginning of the sales process when the woman arrives
at the dealership, you are now going to be in a car with a woman or women for 10 to 20 minutes. This
means that you will be sitting less than three feet away from a stranger. Make sure that you are
properly attired, good hygiene and a breath mint as you will be talking close to the customer. You are
to keep your distance so that nothing you do is taken as a sexual or improper gesture. If she asks where
the turning signal is, instruct her verbally, do not reach over to show her as you never want to be
accused of or put in a situation where your movements could be taken the wrong way. If you need to
give more hands-on instruction, pull over and get out of the car, go over to the driver’s seat and proceed
from there. Women are conscious of a salesperson’s “being” and it can include a unkempt beard or
hairstyle or chewing gum. Men tend to look over those things and maybe focus more on the questions
and answers during the test drive. Men will be seeing how fast they can go or the exhaust tunes, a
woman is looking for the safety and lifestyle needs as well as the speed.
This is geared towards women customers based on what women want in a car buying experience. It
does however apply to both men and women as the consumer and the salesperson.
You can download FREE from my website the complete list of how to test drive a vehicle at a dealership.
Go to hercertified.com and fill out the pop up at the top of the site.
For more information on how to Test Drive a Vehicle read my book https://www.hercertified.com/buythebook/
Book as a speaker or Look to become a HER Certified Dealer