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You might never have to visit a car dealership again

BMW is currently bringing new, and sometimes used vehicles to potential buyers to test drive.

In a society in which pretty much everything in life can now be delivered to your door, it should come as no surprise that there may soon be no need to visit a car dealer again, as BMW is now offering to deliver new and used vehicles to your home for test drives.

Comparing cars online is already very much the way that people shop for a new vehicle, but for most buyers the final decision is still made by test driving the cars their research suggests would be the best, and that has always meant attending a physical dealership, which is not something a lot of people enjoy.

Indeed, some surveys show that more than 50 per cent of people say they feel “anxious or uncomfortable” when visiting a car dealer.

BMW has announced that, as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the requirement for social distancing, “new vehicles can be delivered for at-home viewing and road evaluations”.

“This offering also ensures social distancing is respected and that disinfectant is applied to key touchpoints to maximise safety.”

So even if you just want to look at a new BMW, or kick the tyres, rather than drive it, they will bring one to you for a walkaround.

Zac Hibbard, a salesman from BMW Parramatta, says it’s not just new cars, either, because he’s even been taking used BMWs to the homes of genuine buyers.

Anything we’ve got on the showroom floor, we’re taking it to customers – it’s something we’ve been doing a lot of,” Mr Hibbard explained.

While the move to home-delivery test drives has been forced on slightly desperate dealers by the fact that some people are unwilling to go to showrooms during the current crisis, or are worried that they might be breaching lockdown laws by doing so, BMW has indicated that if it’s something customers like, the practice may well continue even once the virus is gone.

Other high-end car makers are offering home-delivery services, with Audi spokesman Shaun Cleary reporting that his company is considering a similar home-delivery future.

“Audi dealers are facilitating customer test drives and ‘virtual’ vehicle inspections as well as service, sales and delivery to customers at home,” he said.

“As ever, when we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, we’ll respond to our customers’ wishes to deliver the best possible ownership experience.”

At Mercedes-Benz, there’s no official country-wide policy on delivering test drives at home, but you can bet that if your dealer thinks you’re a serious prospect and believes that you are hesitant to come into the dealership for health reasons, they will deliver you a carefully disinfected car to test drive, ASAP.

Lexus has long been in the business of taking cars to your home, as one of its selling points is that your local dealer will bring you a loan vehicle when it’s time for your car to be serviced, and will take your vehicle away, service and return it, for your convenience.

Its dealers are also now bringing test drives to people’s homes, although the company cautions that the service may not be available on all models at all dealerships, based on availability of the car you’re looking to try.

Meanwhile at CarsGuide, we've teamed up with Mitsubishi to take you into one of its showrooms in the safest way imagineable. Virtually that is, with our new virtual showroom giving you inside and out access to the most popular models from the comfort of your own device.