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BMW Test Drive

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ozmeister | 15:56 Sat 19th Sep 2009 | Motoring
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Wonder if anyone can tell me how to get a test drive at BMW. My local dealership is Halliwell Jones at Chester, I called asking for a test drive of BMW 330d Coupe and was promised a return call - so far I have heard nothing. Perhaps I was too honest for my own good but I told them I was getting the car through my work car scheme but that being the most local dealership they would benefit from all servicing and maintenance during the contract period. Short of blatantly misleading them by suggesting I am looking to purchase is there anyway I can obtain a test drive at any local dealership ?

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I had a similar problem when iIwas chssoing my company car. Eventually I contacted the lease company and they arranged test drives for me. You are correct, you were too honest. The sales people at the local dealership have no interest in you, and they are the ones who arrange the test drives.
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Thanks BenDToy - out of interest does the BMW Car Configurator (Build Your Own BMW) work on your computer - mine freezes and did you end up getting a BMW ?
Why do you think that they should. They are there to sell cars. You are stopping a salesman from doing that, and that is how he gets paid. The service dept does not affect his pay. You are stopping them from making money (which is why we all go to work - it is not their hobby). Why not geta drive from the lease company?
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TUBEWAY - thanks for taking the time to post your unhelpful and frankly childish comments. Surprisingly enough the lease company needs to source a vehicle from somewhere and at the end of the day unless I am mistaken a new BMW usually comes from a BMW main dealer and at c£35k that is still a BMW being sold.

Why in the world would the lease company have a fleet of new vehicles (correct spec) merely for test drives ?

The mistake I made was to be too honest, I should have just turned up and asked for a test drive. As for wasting the time of the sales rep, we are talking about 15 minutes of their time, I doubt even the best BMW salesman is selling 4 cars an hour but am prepared to be corrected on that point.

As it stands at the moment I am far less likely to recommend this dealership to friends, family, colleagues and customers than I would have been if they had shown some interest in a potential customer for both now and the future.

But once again thanks.
Hi Ozmeister - Haven't tried the configurator recently. It used to work. I didn't get one. I wanted a 3 coupe but my boss insisted on a 4 door so I got a Golf GTi. A couple of things to note; the lease company will have their own dealer relationships and they will probably organise test drives through them. Dealerships are not owned by BMW - sales guys at a main dealer have no interest in what you buy, unless you buy from them. tubeway is, strictly speaking, correct, if a little unfortunate with his choice of words. Another suggestion - when you contact the dealership, ask for the business sales guy. He is more likely to help, although it does depend on which lease company you use. If it is a company that doesn't deal with him, then he probably won't. It is the best bet though. I think they are paid centrally ie they don't work directly for the dealership.
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BenDToy - thanks for your help, just going to order one anyway I think, all the reviews are excellent, 330d has decent power and economy. Upgrade to Red Dakota leather and 19" wheels too - thanks !
OZMEISTER
I am sorry that you find my comments unhelpful and childish. This was the third time that I had posted an answer - the site went down the first two times and my third answer was much shorter than the other two.
I was in the motor trade for 15 years, and I do not like the way things are regarding test drives - but you wanted an answer and I gave you one. I am sorry for thinking that you were mature enough to take the truth straight, but obviously you wanted it sugar coated. You asked why you could not get a test drive - and I told you.
So it turns out that you dont even need a test drive now.
Regarding the time that it takes for a test drive - it should take longer than 15 mins - but a salesman does not know when a good prospect is going to walk on site. Not only is the salesman in competition with other makes and other dealerships - but they are in competition with their colleagues too, you take them away from the site - and they may miss the chance for a sale, if a real buyer walks on to the site.
All I was trying to do was point out to you how it seems from the salemans point of view, and why you may need to look at it from a different persons point of view. Maybe you are unable to think out of the box and resort to petty name calling to make up for this, or maybe you are man enough to realise that what I was telling you is true (if a little blunt - that is my computes fault) and apologise to me.
Oh and by the way

Many lease companies buy their cars directly from the manuafacturer and not dealerships (it is cheaper for them that way)

Many lease companies DO have demonstrators to give you a test drive (in fact a decent lease company may lend you a car for a couple of days rather than 15 mins.

All main dealerships are franchises - and their cars belong to the dealership (demonstrators are often the salepeoples company car) and you are driving their car, using their fuel - when you are going to take the business elsewhere.

The business specialist - does usually work for the dealership, but some (not all) of their wages come from the manufacturer.
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Tubeway - point taken and apologies. I took your response the wrong way, when I read it sounded like you were chastising me for expecting a test drive. The bottom line is that I am about to commit to a 4 year contract on a vehicle I cant test drive, I just thought BMW could have been a little more helpful (or at least got back to me). The vehicle is being sourced through Lombard (they are likely to order direct from BMW) - I think I will just have to take a chance as its got to be better than what I am driving now. Once again apologies and thanks for your insight.
Accepted - thank you

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