Can telematics revolutionise test drives?

Test drives of the future will be completely transformed by telematics, according to automotive software company DCML Ltd.

It predicts that, as a result of telematics, dealers will know exactly how the vehicle has been driven and the type of roads driven on, while also being provided with comprehensive information about the customer experience to help close sales.

More manufacturers and dealers are promoting 24 and 48-hour test drive experiences and still cite the test drive as very important in securing the sale, but the feedback they get back is often limited and inaccurate.

However, telematics could help dealers maximise the opportunity of a test drive, possibly even doubling conversion rates from 20% to 40%.

Vince Powell, managing director of DCML Ltd, which has created Dealer Car Manager and DCM Connected, said, ‘It is very easy to hand over the keys to a customer and forget about them until they return. However, when a prospect borrows a car for a day or more, it is hugely beneficial to be able to discuss with them exactly how they’ve made use of the vehicle.

‘Test drive programmes and extended trials represent a significant investment for dealers, by having a targeted conversation about how a certain vehicle might suit the customer’s lifestyle or meet their requirements, the dealer is better able to control the conversation and close the deal more easily. Dealers who adopt technology will undoubtedly boost test drive conversion rates; those who don’t will be left behind.

‘On top of that, there’s a huge benefit in terms of risk management through driver behaviour monitoring and knowing exactly where the vehicle is at all times. We are sure that, within just a couple of years, most franchised dealers will adopt this approach.’