I would like to buy a car, but am worried about test driving one due to being in close proximity with the salesperson. What can I do?
This is an understandable concern. At the moment, accompanied test drives are not available and we expect that this will remain the case for some-time. The industry is already actively looking for alternative solutions, particularly unaccompanied test drives, but there are challenges with this because most dealer insurance policies require a member of staff to be a passenger.
We expect that this will lead to more distance sales (e.g. sales of a car by telephone or over the internet, which is now available from many retailers). An advantage of distance sales is that consumers (not business customers) have 14 days to return the car if they wish to do so – there’s no need to prove there is anything wrong with the car. With this peace of mind, we expect that most consumers will be happy to purchase cars without having test driven the car.
NB: Please note that we are unable to comment on test driving a vehicle as part of a private sale, as private sales do not fall within the remit of The Motor Ombudsman.