Seattle Residents Take the ‘Testiness’ Out of the Test Drive

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The Situation:

Today’s car buyers are typically very busy people. They want to buy a car, but they’d rather do everything on line, quickly, and get it over with – except for the test drive. Up until now, test driving meant making a trip to the dealership. Now, residents in Seattle and Bellvue, Washington can avoid the hassle.

The Backstory:

Grant Feek is founder and CEO of Tred. Interested buyers hit up Tred’s website, either from their phone, tablet, or computer. From there, they answer a few questions before picking out a car or cars to test out. Along with a nominal fee of $19.00, the car is then delivered to your home or office by a Tred auto expert.

“People with busy schedules really value their time and hard-earned money, so we set out to make better use of both throughout the entire process of buying a new car,” says Grant Feek.

The Pros and Cons of Tred Over the Dealership Test Drive:

  • A more convenient way to try before you buy.
  • The car is delivered to your home or office.
  • The drive portion typically lasts about 20-30 minutes, the entire process takes an hour.
  • This isn’t just a superficial test drive – park it in your garage, pile your junk in the trunk.
  • If you’re back and forth between the Honda CRV or Toyota RAV 4, you can schedule them side by side and do a cargo test and all that stuff.
  • Instead of driving to the dealership, folks who sign up can get an exterior/interior curbside presentation given by one of Tred’s auto experts.
  • But it’s really the dealers that benefit from Tred’s service, which – according to Grant – Tred is converting 40 percent of its test drives into sales.
  • It’s the “test drive fee” that may ward off consumers, but as Grant believes, the added convenience and hassle-free environment should more than sell customers on the idea.

The most important thing about the process is that the employees are not compensated for selling cars, but rather to give really good customer service and to make the help the buyer understand more about the vehicle they’re thinking of buying.

If all goes well, Grant says the service would eventually like to expand out to all major cities. And if that happens, well it looks like buying a new car could start to suck a whole lot less!

 

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