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!