What is done with test drive cars?

The Life of a Test Drive Vehicle

Ever wondered what happens to the car you take for a test drive? Cars used for test drives, also known as demonstrator or 'demo' cars, are a common sight at car dealerships. They are the vehicles that potential customers use to get a feel for the car before making a purchase. But what happens to them once they have served their purpose? In this section, we will delve into the life of a test drive car, from the showroom floor to its ultimate destination.

The Initial Period: The Showroom and Test Drives

Test drive cars start their journey on the showroom floor, all shiny and new, ready to impress potential customers. For a certain period, these vehicles are used exclusively for test drives. Dealerships maintain these cars meticulously, ensuring they're always in top-notch condition. After all, the aim is to show customers what they could expect if they bought the car.

Meeting the Mileage Limit

However, a test drive vehicle cannot be driven indefinitely. There's usually a mileage limit set by the dealership or the manufacturer, beyond which the car is no longer considered 'new'. This limit varies, but usually falls between 2,000 and 6,000 miles. Once this limit is reached, the car is taken off test drive duty.

Transitioning to a Loaner Vehicle

So what happens next? Well, many test drive cars make a transition to become loaner vehicles. These are the cars that dealerships lend to customers when their personal vehicles are being serviced or repaired. This way, the dealership can still make good use of the car, and customers get a comfortable and reliable ride while their own car is in the shop.

Offered for Sale as Used Cars

Eventually, the time comes for the test drive car to be sold. At this point, dealerships often sell these cars as used vehicles. However, because these cars have been well-maintained and have relatively low mileage, they are typically in better condition than the average used car. This makes them a great option for buyers looking for a good deal on a nearly-new vehicle.

The Certified Pre-Owned Option

In some cases, test drive vehicles may also be sold as certified pre-owned cars. This means the car has been thoroughly inspected, any necessary repairs have been made, and it comes with a manufacturer-backed warranty. Certified pre-owned cars offer buyers an extra level of assurance about the car's condition and reliability.

Benefits of Buying a Test Drive Car

There are several benefits to buying a test drive car. As mentioned earlier, these cars are often in better condition than other used cars, and they may have lower mileage. Furthermore, because the dealership is keen to sell these cars to make room for new models, buyers may be able to negotiate a lower price.

Things to Consider When Buying a Test Drive Car

However, there are also some things to consider when buying a test drive car. For example, these vehicles have been driven by many different drivers, some of whom may not have treated the car with the same care as they would their own vehicle. That's why it's always a good idea to have a trusted mechanic inspect the car before buying. Also, make sure to check whether the car's warranty has started, as this can affect the length of coverage you receive.

Wrapping Up: The Journey of a Test Drive Car

From the showroom floor to the used car lot, test drive cars go on quite a journey before they find a permanent home. While they may have had a number of different drivers, they have also been meticulously maintained by the dealership. For many buyers, the benefits of purchasing a test drive car, such as lower mileage and a lower price, outweigh any potential downsides. But as with any used car purchase, it's always best to do your research and have the car inspected before making a decision.

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