Waiting "until you own it" is one of the problems we see so much of on this site. If you can't check out a car's handling and performance characteristics before you buy, you'll often be stuck with a less than satisfying car. In today's economy any dealership that would not allow more than a 30mph cruise around the block, won't sell any cars to a large number of the car-buying public who want to know BEFORE they shell out their hard-earned money how that car will perform.
I can't believe these comments from dealership employees who actually think car salesman and dealership staff take care of the new cars in their care. I worked for a dealership for a year and no customer could come even CLOSE to the abuse heaped on these new cars by the dealership staff. "Burn-out" contests were popular ways of enjoying lunch breaks, and slamming them over curbs at 40mph was typical. Several sustained body damage requiring the body shop to perform repairs before they could be sold. These were, of course, sold as "new" to customers. One had even been ROLLED OVER by an employee. It was repaired and sold sold as a brand new car. No customer on the planet could ever dream of putting a new car through a TENTH of the abuse the salesmen and staff do.
How about ones at the factory that were damaged as well. I bought a Corvette and never heard a concern. My license was photocopied, and a plate put on the car. Salesman had no comment. He did thank me for buying one.
Okay, there is a big difference here from a 30 mph drive around the block and a 105 mph drifting slide up a freeway exit ramp. First of all, driving like that on public roads whether the car is yours or not should be looked down upon whether it is your car or someone else's.
Secondly, if your intentions are to race around way over the speed limit and severely abuse your car, maybe you should reconsider buying a fast car in the first place. You will never convince me that driving in this manner is necessary in order to make an adequate judgment of driving a street car within the limits of the law.
I have driven many fast cars on test drives. I've done plenty of hard acceleration onto freeways and such. However, sliding sideways and abusing the car, never mind putting a salesman's life at risk, is something I just don't ever feel the need to do. Like I said, if these are necessities to you on a test drive, then you should give up fast cars for your own safety and everyone else's as well.
Yes, these things do go on at dealerships, which is why I will NEVER buy a demo. However, the things you list are pretty severe and any of the dealers I worked at would have fired me for even a hint of that type of behavior. Cars that need bodywork before they can be sold? One flipped over by an employee? That would have been their last day on the job at the dealers I worked at, not to mention they would have been paying for the damages. We did some abusing for sure, but discreetly and not to damage the cars. You gotta use common sense at some point.
I hope that I am allowed to respond to the comment left at 12:04. I worked in several dealerships beginning in 1974. In NONE of the dealerships where I was employed did I ever hear of or see the staff beat on their demos. For if they had, they would have been fired on the spot.
I don't know where or what kind of dealerships the things that you described took place, but in my personal experience, that is the exception, not the rule.
My dealer must like me, and I am not alone on my remote back road test drive. I do rolling starts, rapid acceleration, do not thrash. Maybe a 30 mph ride in a little econobox may suffice. It's a little harder to get someone to buy a 6 figure car to drive and then buy. All I heard was to not get a speeding ticket on I95 by the Internet sales mgr that actually went out with me. I am not a dreamer or time waster, I buy
One of my best friends bought a car that had been damaged and repainted either by the dealer or the factory. He didn't find out until a few years later when the paint started peeling and the bondo was exposed where the dents were repaired.
I once looked over a (supposedly) new car that had very bad paint down one whole side and paint over-spray on both tires on that side. It had obviously been heavily damaged, though the dealership denied it. There is a law that if a new vehicle has sustained over $500 in damage prior to sale, the buyer must be informed. However dealerships simply have their own body shops do the repairs, thus avoiding the disclosure law.
ALWAYS thoroughly check a new car for any signs of repairs before buying it. Contrary to some comments, dealership personnel and shippers do more damage to the cars than any car enthusiast shopper could ever dream of doing.
"Yes, these things do go on at dealerships, which is why I will NEVER buy a demo."
I wasn't referring to the salesman's demos. I was referring to cars in inventory that were being sold to new-car buyers. The demos actually received better treatment than the inventory cars. Any time a particularly fast or powerful sporty model came in on the trucks, we all fought over who got to "try it out" first. Thinking that those beautiful "new" cars sitting on the lot are pristine and untouched is a myth of gigantic proportions. That's why some "new" V-8 Mustangs, Camaros, etc. Have noticeably less rear tire tread than front tire tread.
I DO NOT advocate driving in an unsafe manner in traffic. I should have mentioned that the incident referred to occurred on a TOTALLY DESERTED new off-ramp at a newly-opened section of freeway that was NOT in use at the time. Also, I should have mentioned that my wife is a former stunt driver (as am I) and QUITE capable of driving more safely at 150mph than the average MALE is at 40. Please DO NOT think that I advocate endangering ANYONE'S life or safety. As a former stunt driver and car enthusiast as well, I DON'T generally break laws regarding traffic safety, nor do I endorse such behavior. My wife and I have specific areas that we use to test drive vehicles that are far removed from heavy traffic or nearby residences.
I DO however, stand by my previous statement that I will NEVER buy a car that I can't properly test drive. If I am going to pay my hard-earned money for a car, I WILL know how it performs BEFORE I sign a purchase agreement... PERIOD. No dealership that refuses me a PROPER test drive will EVER get my business.