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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

Just wondering if anyone had any experiences trying to get test drives
on cars at a relatively young age. All things going well, im going to
be getting a new car in the summer, and am currently looking at all my
options. As of such, I;d like to get an oppertunity to get out there
and try all of the cars in my budget, because im not going to make this
descision with no base. Im looking to test drive various used cars in
the 5-9k segment (GTi's, 172's, leon cupras, st170's, CTR's etc) and
also im investigating the potential to buy a new car on finance
(unfortunately wouldnt be able to stretch to a mk5 gti, but up to about
16k).

Before any of you ask, I do have the money and im not just dreaming,
but how do I convinve dealers of this fact? I know if I was a dealer
i'd be a bit dubious of a student asking for test drives in hot
hatches.

Any help/advice would be appreciated.

Cheers

Peter
 

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Be realistic about what cars you drive - approach the dealer with an intention to buy, otherwise they're not going to let you take up their time and petrol. You need to make real buying noises before they will take you out and you probably won't have the opportunity to 'test' them fully.

Dealers are very sceptical of buyers your age and if you mention 'just looking round' then you won't get air time with them let alone a test. At that price bracket you won't be in a main dealer and those sort of dealers are not there to provide a choice of motors for customers to try, they want cash in their pockets and the fsater they can do the deal and get on to the next punter the better.

At the risk of opening a can of worms you'd be better answering some private ads in the trader, then making it very clear that it's not the car for you. They'll curse you for wasting their time, but you're far more likely to get a run in one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your quick reply.

You've pretty much summed up what I thought would be the case, I'd be
sceptical of a 19 yr old student, especially an automotive engineering
one! I'll just have to try my hardest to make it obvious that I have
the money, Ill see if I can turn up in my mates 996....

I suppose testing private cars is going to be the only feasible option.
Im insured third party on all cars, which is suppose must help, but I
dont like wasting people's time.

Oh well, one can only try!

Peter
 

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I got offered a test drive when i was 17 in the new GTI but the dealer
never knew i was 17 because he never asked lol, the way it happened was
sonny was going to vw dealers to get some beetle sport door pins and i
said il come for the drive, so when we got there sonny goes in to the
parts department whilst i start walking around the forecourt looking at
the new gti's and r32's for a wee wee take i walk in to the dealers
asking have you any brochures on the gti and r32 as im looking at
purchasing one, there was this one salesman who was just wanting me to
buy/test drive the cars, i said sorry first but im just looking around
and made up a story about how im lookin at an S3 aswell as the new gti
or r32, the salesman followed me out to the carpark and seen me get in
to sonnys car, and the salesman went back inside, i told sonny what
happened and sonny goes to me go and get the test drives as its meant
to be quite hard to get them lol, so sonny comes in with me now saying
he's looking to sell his gt tdi, he feeds the salesman some BS and next
thing you know the sales man gives us a choice of 3 gti's to test drive
and 2 R32's to test drive. So imho it depends on the salesman as some
can be quite cocky, and some can be enthuisiastic, also i don't think
it goes on what you dress like as me and sonny were both wearing track
b's and hoodies with caps lol (bit chavtastic but it was cold outside
lol).

Sat
 

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I always took my Dad with me when i was younger and serious about buying a car, as most of the time they were a bit funny about it! When i bought my XR2i (great car)[Y] in 1996 when i was 20, even after telling the guy i'd buy it he still was a bit suspect about me getting insurance! Even had my Dad with me when i bought my current car. I had only just decided i was gonna buy a GTi and popped into the local dealer for a look. Certainly didn't intend to buy a car that day! Ooops!
 

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Never had a problem when I was younger to be honest and I used car supermarkets, basically old company cars. Could test drive as many as I wanted.

To make yourself look a bit more serious, get on your knees and start looking underneath, checking minor things out etc etc instead of just casually pearing through the windows.
 

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I was 19 iirc when I got my first golf outta the dealership (TDI 115 mk4).

TBH I think it just depends on whether you can put across the attitude of "seriously interested, with money" to the salesman, and whether the salesman's in the mood to respond.

In my case we had a look round, the guys walked me round the forecourt and showed me a few, and caught me with my pants down by offering a test drive on the spot.

Car sold [:$]

Was a bit harder for them when it came to the GTI that I've got now - but just because you're 19 doesn't mean you've no hope. If you get on well with your parents and dont mind, always worth taking (one of) them [y]

Good luck, let us know how you get on [:)]

C
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cheers for all the advice guys, ill bear it all in mind!

My design report is due in tomorrow, then i've got no hand-ins until
after easter, so car browsing here we come! Within walking distance of
my house in bath, theres a few dealerships:

Ford - st170 and see if I can get a go in fiesta/focus ST

Skoda - Octavia vRS. might as well try

BMW/MINI - mini cooper just to see what they're really like

Toyota - nout

Renault - 182 yes please

Other than them, I might go to Bristol or something like that for a
look around. And ill find the nearest car supermarket. And at home
there is always that Porsche garage next to the Aston Martin one.....

No but seriously, Im going to be realistic about what cars I look at,
and it should be interesting to see how dealers treat me and whether
they actually believe I can afford the cars!
 

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Ok mate, I have just been looking at some new cars myself.

The dealers always new that I was a uni student, I did not hide this fact from them at all.

I test drove without having to ask for it, the following

VW Golf GT TDI 150pd (the guy in this was egging me on)

Mini Cooper and then Cooper S from same dealership (both driven fast)

Audi A3 1.8 T Quattro

Seat Leon Cupra

Renault Clio 182

I was seriously looking to buy a car, but not until June when I finish uni.

All it took was showing up in at the garage, looking at the particular car I liked, and waiting for a salesman to come to you. Then show some interest, but dont be too keen, and just talk about what you want out of a car, ask a few things about the car, and they will soon be offering you.

That worked for me anyway and sounds like we are in similar circumstances with respect to timing and what cars we want.

Oh and I dont think it can hurt to dress as if you can afford the car, nothing over the top but......

Regards

Sam
 

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I wasn't taken seriously when I went to buy the R32 when I was 25.  The salesman asked me how old I was, what job I did, whether I'd checked out the insurance etc.  I left the spec I wanted with him and asked him to find one for me.  I heard nothing and he didn't reply to my e-mail so I took my business elsewhere!
 

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To make yourself look a bit more serious, get on your knees and start looking underneath, checking minor things out etc etc instead of just casually pearing through the windows.
Or tell them stuff about the cars they didn't even know themselves [:)]
 

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To make yourself look a bit more serious, get on your knees and start looking underneath, checking minor things out etc etc instead of just casually pearing through the windows.
Or tell them stuff about the cars they didn't even know themselves [:)]
Heh personally I wouldn't - it's not difficult in too many cases [:(]

C
 

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Its all about how you come across. Obviously they don't want to waste
their time, so as long as you ask the right questions, they
will have to take you seriously. As you only plan on driving cars you
are genuinely interested in, thats already a good start! And those kind
of cars for a 19 year old aren't that rare, you should be fine.

- Do your homework on the model in question, so you can talk knowledgeably about the spec and what you are after.

- Research car finance. If you walk in there and say ' I am looking for
3-4 year lease purchase with a small balloon, ?2k deposit', or ' my
monthly budget is ?250, fairly flexible on HP or Lease Purchase' etc
etc it adds credibility - you know how the game works, and he earns
more from a finance sale so he'll be more interested in helping you.

- Spend a while asking questions before asking for a test drive. In my
experience they tend not to offer one, you have to ask (except the 350Z
- he virtually begged me to take the keys!)...but if you ask
after some buying questions they will either say yes, or think about it
for a few seconds and realise they have to just in case you are
serious! Only time you might have an issue is if you need to be a
certain age; I found you needed to be 21 to drive the 2.0 litre+ cars
at my local BMW dealer and 25 for the M cars.

- Remember you ARE a serious buyer and have a right to be there - you are making a decision.

- If you have a trade in, get them to take a look at it and value it
before you test drive - thats more buying signals, even if you don't
care!

I wasn't taken seriously when I went to buy the
R32 when I was 25. The salesman asked me how old I was, what job
I did, whether I'd checked out the insurance etc. I left the spec
I wanted with him and asked him to find one for me. I heard
nothing and he didn't reply to my e-mail so I took my business
elsewhere!
Patronising f**kwits!
 

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I made it pretty clear that I wasn't going to buy any time soon when I tested a MkV GTI at a main dealer, and that I wanted to "test" the car (oh yes), but I did mention that I regularly have my current car serviced there, and when I got nuff kebab vouchers that my mind is already made up, I want a fast Golf out of the box and I want the good dealer support with it that I'm used to [:)]
 

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I wasn't taken seriously when I went to buy the R32 when I was 25. The salesman asked me how old I was, what job I did, whether I'd checked out the insurance etc. I left the spec I wanted with him and asked him to find one for me. I heard nothing and he didn't reply to my e-mail so I took my business elsewhere!
Did you go back and show him the car after you'd bought it, just to rub his nose in it?
 

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No but I use them for servicing and parts but he'd left by the time I first went there.
Exact same thing happened to me at Wood BMW. Salesman got annoyed I
wouldn't buy the overpriced, under specced car he gave me a test drive
in and wouldn't spend time on a model I had already found at another
dealer - thought I was a time waster. So I went elswhere, and when I
came back for servicing he had been fired for being rubbish.
 

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I had problems getting test drives right up until i was 22 or 23, mainly cos i never did my research and wandered into a dealership not even 20% sure on what car i wanted, it didnt help as it didnt make me look serious.

Through my errors and mistakes in buying cars (and thus flogging them) it made me a bit better in approaching salesmen. The last time i went on a big test drive hunt when i was 23, because i knew pretty much what i was after and always conducted myself properly, i managed to get test drives on my own in a brand new Leon Cupra R 225, Civic Type R, Clio 182 and the car i own now. Bearing in mind all those are what id assume to be targets of 'test pilots' i think i did quite well, and i was incredibly suprised. It probably also helped that i was turning up in a MK4 GTI anyway.
 

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I wasn't taken seriously when I went to buy the R32 when I was 25. The salesman asked me how old I was, what job I did, whether I'd checked out the insurance etc. I left the spec I wanted with him and asked him to find one for me. I heard nothing and he didn't reply to my e-mail so I took my business elsewhere!
Patronising f**kwits!
What makes it even worse is that he reckoned he couldn't find me a car in the spec that I wanted. If he'd bothered to contact another branch of his dealership he would have known that they had 1 car of the exact spec on the forecourt. They also sourced me a second in similar spec (which was the one I ended up buying) within about 3 days.
 
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