New vehicle registration day presents a huge opportunity for dealerships, as many drivers are attracted by the prestige of owning a brand new vehicle with the new registration number.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, customers now actively prefer unaccompanied test drives. Our recent study of 2,000 UK motorists found that 70% of drivers would prefer to have a longer test drive without a salesperson present.
So, what are the steps you can take to provide unaccompanied test drives for your customers? Read on to find out.
How to prepare for unaccompanied test drives
In this blog, we’ll help you prepare for new reg day with unaccompanied test drives. This includes validating drivers’ licences, navigating damage reporting and leveraging sales insights.
Validating driver licenses
One very important aspect of unaccompanied test drives is ensuring that the customer holds a valid driving licence and is legally able to drive your vehicles.
This crucial step involves making sure the driver has no endorsements that could invalidate your insurance. The process involves speaking to the customer over the phone, checking that their licence complies with DVLA regulations and storing photographic evidence of their licence.
There are several ways to validate a driver’s licence, but by far the easiest is to use a system that checks against a fixed set of DVLA criteria and responds with a decision as to whether the customer is eligible to drive one of your vehicles.
Leveraging sales insights
One of the biggest challenges when offering unaccompanied test drives is working out how to provide the insight of a salesperson without having them physically present during the test drive. This can be done using telematics.
Telematics can help your dealership to sell vehicles by providing valuable insight into several aspects of the test drive. This includes where the vehicle is being driven, how far it is being driven and how the customer is driving.
Access to this information gives your sales employees the ability to see whether the vehicle is the right fit for the customer. They can use the insights to help sell the vehicle, or to offer suggestions on alternative motors that might better suit their needs and lifestyle.
Navigating damage reporting
In the past, dealerships have been put off unaccompanied test drives due to the risk of damage. As well as being costly to repair, vehicle damage can cause conflict between dealers and customers, as it’s often difficult to determine if the damage appeared during the test drive, or whether it was already there.
This problem can be solved using digital imagery. By uploading images of the vehicle to be sent along with your test drive agreements, the customer can see the condition of the vehicle before driving it.
Having image records of your vehicles also gives you the opportunity to keep a history of any previous damage, so if any new images appear after a customer has driven it, you’ll know for certain when it was incurred. The images also allow you to create a vehicle condition report that can be provided alongside the loan agreement.