RESEARCH AND BRIEFINGS

Pandemic Response and Test Drives

 


As dealerships are slowly returning to work across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses must continue to take steps to help slow the spread of the virus and keep people safe.

As such, we realize that you may have questions regarding employee and customer safety, especially concerning the test drive procedure. 

Below are some recommended steps, considerations, and tips to help which can be employed with regards to test drives:

Test Drive Procedures:

  • Minimize test drives until such a point where it is necessary to complete the sale.  Prior to allowing a test drive, the client should be adequately pre-qualified. Video conferencing tools can be employed to conduct a virtual tour of the vehicle at the customers home or in the dealership showroom.
  • Review and make a copy of the customer’s driver’s licence.
  • Cross-reference the driver’s license with two other pieces of identification, such as a provincial health card, credit card, passport, current utility bill and if the customer drove in, a copy of the ownership on their existing vehicle.
  • Have the customer complete a formal test drive agreement outlining the roles, responsibilities and expectations of the customer and the dealership.
  • Ensure the vehicle is properly sanitized after each test drive, including the cleaning of vehicle door handles, steering wheel, door panels, gear shifter, etc.
  • Ensure that seat covers and steering wheel covers are used for each test drive and are properly discarded thereafter.
  • The salesperson and customer should be equipped with the appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gloves and masks throughout the test drive process.
  • Provide a preferred, pre-arranged test drive route.
  • Have the salesperson follow the customer in another vehicle while enabling two-way, cell phone communication via Bluetooth between the customer and salesperson during the test drive.
  • Ensure that factory installed vehicle tracking devices are activated and operational.
  • Install aftermarket vehicle tracking devices to the dealerships “test drive fleet.”
  • Upon return, the key for the test drive vehicle should be immediately obtained and the vehicle locked and tagged to be sanitized. The salesperson should lock the vehicle themselves with the use of the key in order to ensure the key was not switched at some point during the test drive. The key itself should also be immediately sanitized and placed in it’s secure storage location (i.e. electronic key machine, locked key room, locked key cabinet, etc.).
  • The salesperson and customer should dispose of the used personal protective equipment and properly wash their hands. 
  • A detailed log of activity should be maintained to track all those who were in the vehicle (e.g. the customer, salesperson, detail/cleaning staff, etc.) as well as the sanitization of the vehicle.