Automotive

Acura Downtown - no solo test drive

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 23rd, 2021 7:08 pm
[OP]
Member
Nov 13, 2007
294 posts
63 upvotes
Toronto

Acura Downtown - no solo test drive

Found it odd that this dealership will not allow a test drive without a salesperson in the back seat. No exceptions.

Really not comfortable with some salesperson breathing down my neck.

I have not encountered this before. Is it a thing?
36 replies
Deal Expert
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Jul 30, 2007
28462 posts
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Toronto
not unusual these days.

If you don't like the arrangement, you can always go to another dealer.
Jr. Member
Mar 13, 2019
134 posts
85 upvotes
Its not because they think you'll steal the car, its so the salesman has more chances to sell you the car. Many dealers have this "policy" (for their sales staff!)
[OP]
Member
Nov 13, 2007
294 posts
63 upvotes
Toronto
booblehead wrote: not unusual these days.

If you don't like the arrangement, you can always go to another dealer.
well of course. I just like a few vehicles they have and it is close to my house.
Deal Addict
Sep 6, 2017
3489 posts
2157 upvotes
I too hate that feeling with someone in the back seat. Time to look for a dealer that allows solo drive tests.
Deal Expert
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Jul 30, 2007
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Toronto
The last test drive I took a few months back, the dealer used two cars system. SA drove in front of me and I followed with my test drive car to wherever he took me to.
Sr. Member
Sep 25, 2018
655 posts
1199 upvotes
It also depends on the salesperson. One I met was pretty chill, had someone sitting in the back for the first car, but for the second car he just gave us the keys and told us to have fun.

Another two dealerships I visited had no one sitting in the back, they did suggest routes and gave me 30 minutes.

And a few others that always had someone in the back.
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2012
1096 posts
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Vaughan, ON
booblehead wrote: The last test drive I took a few months back, the dealer used two cars system. SA drove in front of me and I followed with my test drive car to wherever he took me to.
That’s extreme. During my test drive last month the sales advisor just asked for my license and mentioned they scan it to ensure it’s authentic before returning it and telling me to enjoy the drive on my own for as long as I wanted.
Deal Expert
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Jan 27, 2004
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T.O. Lotto Captain
clax66 wrote: Found it odd that this dealership will not allow a test drive without a salesperson in the back seat. No exceptions.

Really not comfortable with some salesperson breathing down my neck.

I have not encountered this before. Is it a thing?
Just tell them “no problem. But you have to roll down both rear windows all the way down for the entire trip?

It is a SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN FACT RECOMMENDED BY ALL PUBLIC HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS AND THE UN WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION that good ventilation prevents the spread of covid-19.”

He can live with frost bite. And you can greatly reduce your risk of contracting covid-19.

Also say stuff like “i have an immune deficiency. Close contact with poor ventilation will put me at risk.”
Jr. Member
Apr 22, 2019
119 posts
64 upvotes
I hate when they do that, about a year and a half ago a sales man came on a test drive with me and I only took it around the parking lot and told him I wasn’t interested in it, I can’t stand test drives with a sales person because they talk the whole time and I like to really listen to the car I’m driving to make sure I don’t hear any issues. I heard the Acura dealer in Pickering is pretty good, maybe give them a try.
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2005
4489 posts
1168 upvotes
Probably insurence company rule . No single test drives .
<sig removed> by moderators . Yet no moderator told me they removed or why ?
[OP]
Member
Nov 13, 2007
294 posts
63 upvotes
Toronto
they did say it was an insurance thing but who knows if that is true.
If it was insurance then you would think all Acura dealers would have the same rule.....They don't
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 5, 2008
13616 posts
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Toronto
I don't recall a test drive ever NOT having a salesperson along for the ride.

EDIT: Jeff from Mazda of Toronto let me take a CX5 out years ago without anyone...but he's a Business Manager rather than Salesperson.

This was all pre-pandemic
Last edited by Swerny on Feb 23rd, 2021 8:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Expert
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clax66 wrote: they did say it was an insurance thing but who knows if that is true.
If it was insurance then you would think all Acura dealers would have the same rule.....They don't
they are all independently owned and operated. It is not dictated by Acura/Honda Canada
Deal Addict
Nov 27, 2013
1384 posts
1778 upvotes
Sounds like they have a lot of time to waste. Yeah its annoying to have a salesman with you in the back especially if you are with a spouse or someone else.

I've had a dealer once offer me to let me keep the car and bring it back the next day. Brought it home, showed it to the kids and wife. I ended up buying it. Its pretty dealer strategy IMO. Once you park it in your driveway its very tempting to pull the trigger.
Last edited by RaphaelG041 on Feb 22nd, 2021 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
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Mar 7, 2007
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All my recent test drives in memory were solo.

Having the salesman in the car seems to be so old school.

Now, sometimes you need the salesman there (very specific situations).... and before the pandemic, I would not mind. But right now, it seems to be crazy to force people to take the salesman in the car.
Newbie
Sep 19, 2015
11 posts
1 upvote
Kitchener, ON
motomondo wrote: All my recent test drives in memory were solo.

Having the salesman in the car seems to be so old school.

Now, sometimes you need the salesman there (very specific situations).... and before the pandemic, I would not mind. But right now, it seems to be crazy to force people to take the salesman in the car.
My recent test drives were the same (last 2 months). They either just took a picture of my license or a photo copy, handed me the keys and said enjoy. No comments about distance or time. A few years back when test driving for my previous car, it really varied by dealership. I found that the luxury brands were far more likely to let you go solo. BMW did do the whole sales pitch thing where the sales guy drove the car first showing it off and then you switched seats to drive the rest of the way.
Deal Addict
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Jul 5, 2011
1627 posts
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Toronto
Let me introduce you to the solo test drive life cycle:

- dealership opens, everyone celebrates, processes are implemented including test drive which will include a mandatory ride along

- months / years / staff go by and the process is relaxed. Some unaccompanied test drives are permitted

- an incident happens; a car is stolen, crashed, pulled over and impounded, damaged, or runs into a pedestrian

- process is tightened up, insurance is involved, unaccompanied test drives are eliminated in all but the rarest circumstances

- time goes on, staff changes, things like a tandem test drive (2 cars) are being implemented by the sales team (which are technically within the rules)

- more time passes, and we’re back to unaccompanied with license scans, good wishes, etc

- an incident occurs...

Rinse and repeat. Dealership insurance is massively expensive.. lawsuits are rare but a large lawsuit (like wrongful death) against their policy or the dealership directly could sink the store entirely.

Do you ever wonder why some dealers have yellow posts around the perimeter of the lot? Some have gates? Some have nothing? See above and incidents. 1 theft and everything is normal. 5 thefts and you get your gates with a blocker vehicle at night. More thefts and you get a secure perimeter/compound with either posts or a fence with gates.

Mostly all of this is at the behest of the insurance company, or a preventative measure. Most of the rest is indeed the idea that the sales rep does need to be selling on the test drive.. if a feature is frustrating you on the drive, and you don’t know how to adjust it or turn it off, you’re going to have a bad time. If you drive off and turn the car into Eco mode by accident, then wonder the whole time how the car is so slow and unresponsive, you’ll have a bad time.

Personally I think the tandem test drive with a brief overview of features and key components prior is a good compromise, especially with the threat of COVID. As a bonus, the sales person usually has a nice route picked out that will let you experience more than just driving on the highway.
2013 Wins - $1320 - Woohoo!
Newbie
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May 31, 2008
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clax66 wrote: Found it odd that this dealership will not allow a test drive without a salesperson in the back seat. No exceptions.

Really not comfortable with some salesperson breathing down my neck.

I have not encountered this before. Is it a thing?
This happened to me in October when I was test driving a car at a Honda dealership. I've never experienced this in my life and was very surprised they would do this, especially during covid.
Sr. Member
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Jul 20, 2016
925 posts
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Toronto
when I was doing bulk of my test drives last fall (i.e. pre lockdown v2), outside Tesla store, all dealers had a staff tag along

More recently over the past 2 months, the few test drives I did ppl left me alone, other than more expensive stuff like RS6

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