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Frank Hovis

Couple Steal Car On A Test Drive

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The story's not that exciting (though linked below) but it reminded me how surprised I was when I last bought a car.

I asked to test drive a couple of cars and they just gave me the keys and waved me off with the car, I said my car's over there (pointing to the customer car park) but they didn't seem bothered or ask for any kind of id, not even to see my driving licence. As it turns out I bought the first one I test drove but I was surprised how lax it was.

The cars I was looking at were £10k - £15k so it would be a noticeable loss if one just disappeared.

The previous time I bought one (ten years ago) the salesmen came out in the car with me at both garages, which I took to be normal procedure.

So... are unaccompanied test drives when they don't know you from Adam fairly common?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2416696/Pictured-Young-couple-stole-19-000-BMW-convertible-took-test-drive.html

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So... are unaccompanied test drives when they don't know you from Adam fairly common?

I've had a few test drives unaccompanied, both for low value cars (clutch actually went on one test drive.. but it was a £700 car...).

Other times where I've been out with the sellers (normally one man traders etc) I've been rather disappointed with the length of test drive I've been allowed (usually there's no fuel in anyway!) and the range of roads I managed to drive on.

My current car was bought from a minor main dealer, and I spent 45mins out in it, did A-roads, B roads and a dual carriage way... mostly because I got lost. They had taken a copy of my licence before letting me out.

My first high(ish) value car purchase will be next year, and I'm not sure I'll accept 'ride along' type test drives, I want to see how the car behaves and explore it a little, not a quick spin up to the nearest round about and back.

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I worked in a Renault franchise in the 80's when the 5 Turbo was the in-thing. A guy came for a test drive and went out with the salesman. They had to get petrol from the firms' designated petrol station. The salesman went inside to sign for the fuel and the punter drove off with the car. The salesman got massively bollocked for leaving the keys in the ignition, naturally. However, the punter got picked up by the police a few days later driving around the car on the same plates. Genius.

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I usually ask the salesman to drive it for me! After all, I have a nice man in a uniform that does that for me, so I don't need to touch the steering wheel! :lol:

An unaccompanied test drive is very unusual Frank!

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I was allowed to test drive my current car unaccompanied. I must have had a trustworthy face. :D The car was the cheapest one they had on their used forecourt (at a Kia franchise) so I suppose it was worth chancing their time. The salesman kindly offered to bring my old car off the side street and onto the premises, although that gave him a chance to put a value on it as a part-ex.

Had it have been one of their £20k+ cars I wanted to drive then I think that they would have been with me.

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