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Study: Some Car Buyers Are Skipping The Test Drive

“The feel of the wheel will seal the deal,” an old car salesman saying about the traditional test drive. But some buyers are skipping the road test these days.

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

A study finds better than one in ten new car buyers skip the test drive. The Maritz Research study, which surveyed 80,219 buyers of 2012 model-year vehicles, found that 11.4% didn’t take a test-drive.

It’s the first year the study has asked the question. It also found that 9.5% of 2012 car buyers used the Internet to schedule a test-drive, up from 7.4% in 2010.

Jim Appleton of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers says with the internet and social media, some buyers are pretty committed to the purchase before they even show up on the showroom floor. He says there is more and more information available about vehicles, and people are becoming more and more comfortable when they arrive at the dealership about their choice of vehicle

The study found 8 in 10 buyers use the web to shop. Appleton says some buyers show up to try out the dealer, their minds already made up about the car.

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