Test Drive Dilemma. I Want to Test Drive but.... | FerrariChat

Test Drive Dilemma. I Want to Test Drive but....

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by 9 ONE 1, Mar 5, 2004.

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  1. 9 ONE 1

    9 ONE 1 Karting

    Mar 5, 2004
    Nor Cal
    Full Name:
    S. V.
    I am too young looking (28 yo) and non of the dealers or sales people would take me seriously. I have owned Porsche's, MB's, BMW M-Cars, and AMG's, but for some reason, I am reluctant to go on a test drive at the F-Car dealership. I've been turned down twice and I hate rejection. I know I can buy and am ready to buy a F360 but I would hate to get rejected again, It sucks!

    What would you guys advise? I live in the Bay Area and the only dealer is Ferrari of San Francisco @ Marin. I don't blame em' for not letting just anyone test drive a 100K plus car, but how can I (a serious potential buyer) buy it without driving it.

    ....and yes, I've been told, "own one and you'll know" and of course "you'll have no regrets".
  2. 62 250 GTO

    62 250 GTO F1 Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Full Name:
    Flash the cash. Walk in and Slam down the brief case or duffle bag {sp.} full of $100 bills. If they say no tell them not to cry when you drive in next time in a Ferrari from a private sale.
  3. mfennell70

    mfennell70 Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    Middletown, NJ
    Call ahead. "I want to test drive X. I don't want to waste my time or yours. What can I bring to show you I'm serious?" I would think a bank statement would put the keys in your hands.

    Sure it sucks to have to go that far, but that's life. <shrug>
  4. 9 ONE 1

    9 ONE 1 Karting

    Mar 5, 2004
    Nor Cal
    Full Name:
    S. V.
    Great Ideas! I'm not sure about the suit case full of $100.00 but it would definately help.

    I'll try the bank statement first.....I currently have $2K in my savings, I'm sure they'll jump and throw an Enzo key to me =)
  5. ghost

    ghost F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    (1) Call ahead (as noted by mfennell70)
    (2) Dress well
    (3) Know your facts and figures about the particular car(s) that you want to look at, so they know you are an educated buyer
    (4) If possible, have another F-Chat member who is familiar with that dealer give them a recommendation
    (5) Be polite and curteous but confident
    (6) If all else fails, put a little powder in your hair. :D
  6. formula1joe

    formula1joe Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Joe Bennett
    The sales guys should have already asked about verify funds or credability. I would not talk to them at this point. If you can not find what you are looking for through a private sell, I would find the owner or the manager of that dealership and let them know the trouble you are having with his sales people.

    They don't know if you just one the lottery and have 10 million to spend or not. Any good sales person will tell you to treat everybody the same courtesy when you meet somebody. You never know who you are talking to.

    Now of course if they have a policy against no test drives, I would go straight to the private market. You will also find a better deal this way.
  7. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    May 28, 2003
    Rocky Mountains
    Full Name:
    I'm 28 and I have never had a problem test driving cars that I was thinking about buying. I've driven a Gallardo, Murcielago 40th anniversary, Diablo 6.0, 360, 360 Spider, CLK55, M3, the list goes on. Maybe people just know that I'm a serious kind of guy but there should be no reason that people don't take you seriously, unless you have poor manners/etiquette or something like that.

    Buying an expensive car is a serious thing and I will not even come close to making a decision without some serious driving. Taek said it best: he takes at least 3 test drives in a prospective car before he makes a decision. Hell, it took me 8 drives in a 360 before I really knew that the 355 was more what I was looking for. There is no excuse not to drive a car, provided that you are serious.

    BTW, I was wearing a T shirt and jeans when I drove the Gallardo and Murci, and green sneakers when I drove the Diablo. I was coming from a business meeting when I first drove the 360s, though, so I was in business attire (no tie, though).
  8. tjacoby

    tjacoby F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    Vancouver Canada
    Full Name:
    find someone you're comfortable dealing with. If you don't trust the dealer's sales rep, and sounds like you're already peeved, then go somewhere where you can. There are lots of private brokers and alternative sources. life's too short to spend time and stress where you don't want to be. my $.02.

    My closest official dealer in country is 2,700 miles away - although suspect most f-chat'ers have a few more options.
  9. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    Mendocino, Ca
    Full Name:
    911, talk to Evan at FSO, tell him John sent you, and I will let him know you are bonafide and coming to test drive. He is a very cool guy and wonderful to work with, as well as knowledgeable about all things Ferrari. He is also a driver, and knows the car from performance characteristics, unlike some guys who just sell them. I am sure there are some cars off limits but I know he will work hard to get you what you need to drive and buy. John

  10. G-force

    G-force F1 Rookie

    Aug 4, 2002
    so california
    Full Name:
    wayne skiles
    If you can come to so calif I'll hook you up with Nick Smith of Symbolic
    in La Jolla. Afterall if you are willing to come down here you must be serious.
    They have used 360's but drive a Gallardo also while you are there.
    PM or email me.
  11. Tomf-1

    Tomf-1 F1 Rookie

    Jan 17, 2004
    Leawood KS/ South FL
    Full Name:
    Drive your 04 Porsche C2 to the F-dealership and ask for the test drive....Perhaps your financial creditability will be less of a subject of doubt. It sucks....It's not right to demographic-profile prospective buyers but most of these high-end dealerships do.

    This past December, local Audi dealership declined to let my wife and 17 years old son test drive a 01 A4 we wanted to buy for him for B-day present because the saleman said it was "too much car" for him......Sarah called me in the middle of a meeting practically in tears...so I took Adam back to the Audi dealership that same day in my 97 Lambo Diablo Roadster, parked right in front, walked in as everyone's jaws dropped at the sight of the Lambo. I asked to talk to the GM....He came out. We had a nice meeting with Jesus. He apologized profusely as I walked across the street and let my son pick out a brand new Mustang GT of his choice, bought it on the spot as the dealer look on.......

    The moral of the story is...."we should have bought him an entry level Ferrari instead.....since the kid hates his new Mustang".....
  12. docdavid

    docdavid Formula Junior

    Jan 23, 2004
    Full Name:
    Mike D

    Looking to adopt.......I'm quiet and don't eat much
  13. Norm512TR

    Norm512TR Formula Junior

    Nov 10, 2001
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Full Name:
    This is not that hard, remember FoSF wants to sell cars, they're not interested in rating potential buyers and eliminating the ones that don't make the grade.

    Go back dressed nicely, take the time to talk with the salesmen on the floor, make a friend, tell them that you are interested and a serious prospect to buy a car, and ask what you can provide them to show that you are serious. Don't go in on a Saturday it's always the worst day to get anyone's time, go in the middle of the week.
  14. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 6, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    Full Name:
    Ryan Alexander
    It's kind of like sneaking into a hospital (or other "No Admittance" zone): walk in confident and look like you know where you're going and what you're doing!

    Thomas: Even better, you should have let your son drive the Lambo there, and get out of the driver's seat in front of the big windows. An A4? Give me a break! Even an S4, heck, they're selling cars, not raising your kids. Unless Audi's being sued by the family of a 17yr old who couldn't handle his Audi, that's just jealousy I say.
  15. darth550

    darth550 Six Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 14, 2003
    In front of you
    Full Name:
    How hard can it be? I'm sorry, but if you are seriously able and looking to buy a car, costing in the figures (of any kind and on your own) then this so called lack of confidence of yours would have never been an issue!

    If you are serious and you go in there timid....you'll pay! The dealer will act like a shark with blood in the water.

  16. Tomf-1

    Tomf-1 F1 Rookie

    Jan 17, 2004
    Leawood KS/ South FL
    Full Name:
    Dude...I am a cool dad but not that cool.....lol
  17. W00dEar

    W00dEar F1 Rookie

    Feb 24, 2004
    LI, NY
    Full Name:
    Well, I think the location makes a huge difference here. All the dealers in your area treated you well, because they want your business, or at least the chance of your business.

    I am in NY, they do NOT give test drives. They do NOT care if you are serious or not, because they have enough people to buy the car anyway, they can NOT even sell you one no matter you have 250k cash on you or not.
    Using myself as example, F360 out of question, 996TT out of question, even my $46 M3, I paid before I got to drive it. Back in 2002, the demand exceeded supply, every allocation is spoken for, so dealer can not let you test drive someone's car, there was no demo car, so, really, what can you test drive?? If you walk because no test drive, they let you, they have long list of buyers anyway.
  18. 9 ONE 1

    9 ONE 1 Karting

    Mar 5, 2004
    Nor Cal
    Full Name:
    S. V.
    Thanks to all of your pointers. I guess I do have a problem with confidence. I don't feel that I'm as successful as most of you, also most likely don't have the same cash flow as you folks already have. Then comes my nationality and foreign (Filipino) accent. I guess I'm nervous, excited, highly anxious and it shows in my non-confident voice.

    I'd hate to say it, buy I felt timid the same way I was buying my Porsche. I started with a Honda Civic H/B in highschool and somehow graduated to a Porsche (after several other cars in the middle). I hate the feeling of rejection, I'm sure most people also do. This is my dream car that I've always wanted, the prom queen that I've wanted to nail.

    I will take each bit of your advise and go for it. I would like to road test the 355, 360 and possibly a spider.

    From all your pointers, it looks like I'll be going in there:
    1. Prepared with an appointment with a specific sales associate.
    2. Well dressed. (I will be leaving my "Fobby" green sneakers at home)
    3. Very polite, courteous and of course a pocket thesaurus or dictionary.
    4. Confident as hell, but not cocky, prompt, straight forward.
    5. I guess I'l borrow my dad's S600 so that it doesnt' seem like i'm a "kid" with a 911. Plus I just thought that If I drive up with the Porsche again, they're probably thinking I'm doing a comparo test drive.

    Sherpa23: I'll take your advise of driving several times.
    tjacoby: you're right, I'm sure some other F-Dealers would fly me to buy one
    riverflyer (John): where is FSO?
    bananaboat(Wayne): I'm always up for a trip to La Jolla, I may take your offer. where in La Jolla are you? I have family there.
    TomF-1: When I was 17, my dad drove me to the used Honda lot with our hand me down 1989 Ford Tempo w/154K miles and I bought my self a used Honda Civic H/B, I almost did not get approved because my debt to income ratio would not cover the loan I was applying for. Thanks Dad for co-signing. (....since I was working at McDonalds at the time @ a pay rate of $4.25 per hour). Your son is very fortunate. I hope he knows that and still look forward to working hard everyday.
    Norm512TR: I made an appointment this coming Wednesday.
    Darth550: "shark with blood in the water"...I like that.

    Thanks Gentlemen....
  19. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    Tom F1, that's awesome...!
  20. Tomf-1

    Tomf-1 F1 Rookie

    Jan 17, 2004
    Leawood KS/ South FL
    Full Name:
    You seem like a pretty cool guy. I find your candor refreshing. Most of us here are hard working people like yourself. As far as the nationality, those who treat you on the basis of your accent rather the content of your character don't deserve your business. BTW, I am half French/half Vietnamese. Go test drive yourself a F-car and I hope you will embrace the ownership experience soon.


    PS: Yes, our son is fortunate. No, he doesn't know or care !!!! lol. Kids today.....man.!!!!
  21. khayes

    khayes Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Full Name:
    Kelly Hayes
    Los Gatos is just an hour down the road from you. I was there this weekend and have to tell you that they have a huge selection of cars to choose from. You may as well try them on your way down to La Jolla.
  22. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    Mendocino, Ca
    Full Name:
    911. sorry, I meant Ferrari of San Francisco. Evan is the guy and will treat you right. John
  23. lesterm

    lesterm Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    Durham, NC
    I live in NYC and when I went to MB Manhattan I asked to look at their G500 and was given the keys without asking for a test drive. I guess every dealer is different.
  24. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Formula 3

    Apr 20, 2002
    Go in, act confident, intelligent, and informed about the car and its competitors. Any half decent salesperson will be able to distinguish you from a tire kicker. I've been able to drive (even at a younger age) just about anything I wanted by doing this. Good luck with your search!
  25. djo715

    djo715 Rookie

    Feb 8, 2004
    911 - I kind of had the same problem. I'm 32, asian, and was up at FoSF a few weeks ago. I spoke to Alessandro Ribola. He was quite pleasant, but while I was willing to put a deposit down, I wasn't about to do it without a test drive. (especially without testing the F1 transmission.)

    However, he did allude to the fact that many of the cars at the dealership were on consignment sales, so the dealership didn't actually own them and were reluctant to grant test drives to people who weren't serious about buying that specific car. I appreciate how sensitive these cars are to mileage, but really without a drive, I'm just not buying.

    He had also mentioned FoSF was no longer taking deposits for the F360, as the wait list was too long. I was quite disappointed, since I'm happy to wait, but really wanted to make it happen at the factory owned dealership that sold the cars at MSRP (as opposed to the other dealerships which have some outrageous markups.) I was a bit peeved because I saw another Fchatter had just put in a deposit THAT very week on a F360 at FoSF and posted about it.

    I've never owned any high end Italian or German cars (my current car is a Audi A4), although I am familar with mid engined cars - I also have a 91 Toyota MR2 turbo). However, if anyone's willing to put in a word for me, I'd really appreciate it. :)


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