Charging for Test Drives ?

Charging for Test Drives ?

With all due respect to Henny-----

So Tesla peeps---what would you think of the Tesla Stores Charging $$ for a test drive?

Naturally not for reservation holders---but for the general public.

$50 for 1/2 hour
$100 for 1 hour

One the weekends---could see this bringing in a few thousand for each store and a thousand or so during the week.

I would pay the $100 to get a 1 hour driving experience....probably several times ;-)

Appointments could be made via the internet.

And an added benefit would be to put miles and real world stresses on the cars---could have test drivers fill out a survey at their leisure or on site if they so chose.

Its better to get feedback upfront IMHO from serious potential customers right now---and I really think it would get a lot of reservations started as well.

BYT | 05. september 2012

Heck, maybe I should charge for test rides... I KNOW my Model S rides will be more fun they ANY amusement park or carnival ride! ;)

BYT | 05. september 2012


Discoducky | 05. september 2012

The product sells itself. Why deter potential customers, who are already skeptical, by putting up a potential non-starter to get behind the wheel for a few pennies of profit compared to a sale?

If I were GB I'd love to see a line around the block to get a free test drive. That would make the local news and just cause more demand. It's just the expected conclusion of a viral, disruptive and magical product.

Volker.Berlin | 06. september 2012

BYT: they=then=than, actually! ;-)

Volker.Berlin | 06. september 2012

+1 Discoducky

Brian H | 06. september 2012

OTOH, people value more what they paid for. It would be an interesting 'speriment!

stephen.kamichik | 06. september 2012

Mercedes Benz once tried to charge me for a test drive. I told them where to go.

MandL | 06. september 2012

$100/hour is a lot of money for the one spending it and I suspect likely not enough to make up for the cost of the "co-pilot" and lost opportunity cost of having the car available for other interested people to see/drive during that hour.

jbunn | 06. september 2012

Nope. Must say no to that. It's not an amusement park ride.

Quigibo | 06. september 2012

Good points----but the entire Telsa product line is the Best Amusement Park Ride out there. ;-)

I still think there would be a big demand for 1/2-1hour drives....especially for those thinking of placing 5-40K for an S or X at this point. Yes---they have 12K reservations---lets get 60K more in the next 6 months.

The stores could still have short test drives for "free", but give the serious or skeptical a shot at being really impressed for that exclusive drive. No different than paying the extra 25-50 bucks for a front of the line pass at Universal or Seaworld---and 5 people get to enjoy it as well.

No need for co-pilots with a quick 15 min review of the touch screen/other controls---they are very intuitive. Use the GPS for general route suggestions and vehicle tracking.

jackhub | 06. september 2012

Interesting question. Test drives are customary in the auto business. Yet many people are going to be pulled into the Tesla stores by the unique technology and the reviews. What does Maserati do?

jbunn | 06. september 2012

Ugh, I can't stand it. Like saying you need to pay a refundable down payment to enter a store. We (They) are tryign to create a hassle free, completley new way of purchasing cars. No commissioned salesmen. No salesmen at all for that matter. I've met a lot of these guys. Salesmen they are not. And I mean that as a compliment having worked in the industry. Nothing makes me madder than getting an airplane ticket, paying for it, then being stuck up at the counter for an extra 20 bucks for a bag. Put it up front. I hate hate hate hate getting nickled and dimend. Same with a ride. It's up to staff to see if you are joyriding or bona fide. For example, I rode at Fremont, and my wife drove at the Amped in Seattle. I was offered a drive when they get cars in Bellevue, but declined. I've already placed an order. I'm not there to waste time, get a joy ride, or take a chance away from another customer that wants to experience it.

I can think of no way to turn off prospective purchasers faster than charging them to test the product. Period.

What would be cool, would be a kiosk in the store with a screen, speakers, ect that simulates the infotainment center and allows people in the store to see the mapping software, internet apps, ect.

gagliardilou | 06. september 2012

Not sure about charging in a Tesla store but I do think individuals would pay $10.00 to $25.00 to get a ride/test drive my Tesla. Problem is, I do not want strangers driving my car!

jerry3 | 06. september 2012

Charging for a test drive doesn't fly. However, renting the car for a week or two is another matter. Quite a few early Prius buyers did that before purchasing. Of course, right now there are no extra cars to use for rental but a year or so down the road...

Teoatawki | 06. september 2012

I'm pretty sure there will be extremely few test "drives" in my car. Test "rides", I expect plenty of those. I'm not going to charge a fee for the rides, but I'm pretty sure it would be well worth an "E ticket."

BYT | 06. september 2012

Well, the first test ride is free...each additional ride on the other hand... >:)

Robert22 | 06. september 2012

Take a page from the Apple marketers. Keep the product in short supply and let word of mouth do the rest. Would you have paid for a test drive with the first iPhone? Not me. But when my friend let me play with his I had to have one. Let the owners spread the word. Instead of cash for successful referrals give them credits for new accessories and apps. I want a t-shirt that has: Why drive when you can teleport? written on the back, and a small classy little Tesla logo where the polo guy usually is on the front pocket.

Brian H | 06. september 2012

Just add a zero to those numbers; the demand and your reluctance will both decrease.

Volker.Berlin | 07. september 2012

This one is easy :-)

jbunn +1

lgagliardi +1

jerry3 +1

Teoatawki +1

Robert22 +1

ItsNotAboutTheMoney | 07. september 2012

If they charge to test drive that could complicate things since they could be classed as a sales or rental store