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Take a look at all the statistics on auto sales. Wow… online sales of cars is growing by LEAPS and bounds.

If you’re a traditional car lot and you’re not interested in changing your business plan to morph with people’s shopping methods, you might as well stick a fork in yourself… you’re done!

This gradual migration away from the car lots to the internet is a perfect time for an entrepreneur to seize on this change and predict the direction this industry is going.

Okay… you go to a car lot, you start looking around, someone who may or may not have been introduced to an iron in his/her entire life walks up to you and asks you the inevitable question, “May I help you?”

You say, “just looking.” Of course, that’s not good enough for him so he keeps tagging along… etc.

You ask a question and before you know it, he’s trying to get you to sign a document TONIGHT because this color is going to be discontinued and there’s only one more like it on the west coast… etc, etc, etc. Oh, and don’t get me started on the trade-in theatrics.

Bottom line… it’s a painful experience and one in which you will waste a good 4 hours of your life on and you’ll do it several times in your life.

Compare that pain to online shopping. You get a search engine or ebay to give you an indicator of what you’re desired auto goes for, you fill out a form and viola!, you’re a proud owner.

What’s the missing step in the online scenario? When this one step is solved, online purchasing will become the norm and not the exception.

Test drives.

Who wants to purchase a car sight unseen or undriven at least? This is where us entrepreneurs come to the rescue. Open a test drive company. All you do is provide people with the make and model of vehicle they are looking to purchase, to test drive. You rent it to them for $20 per half hour. They get 30 minutes of time alone with the car of their choice without a salesperson yammering on in the backseat, asking questions about your job in a lame attempt at prequalifying you financially before you get in to talk about pricing.

They get no pressure “look” time and you get what could amount to $100 a day in rental fees, per car.

Yes, this could take some capital if you were to want to get a lot of cars at once. But you could specialize in the most popular brands first. Heck, buy a Honda Accord yourself and keep it in excellent condition. Do some advertising alongside the car dealerships in the paper for your “Honda Accord Test Drive” service and start small. $100 a day is $3000 a month. That can definitely lead you into getting a Camry for your service. Just grow from there. You could eventually have a car lot that has 50 different brand new autos on it, all different, in which you charge people to test drive them for 30 minutes. I would GLADLY pay that much to test drive the vehicle I’m looking for just so I wouldn’t have to go through the car sales gauntlet.

Can you imagine how wonderful that would be? Go test drive the car you want (they can show you anything you want to know about the car, just like a salesperson could, but without the pressure of a salesperson) and then go back home online and purchase it from my computer. As the owner of this service, you could even give them recommendations of places to go online and then perhaps get a small commission from that outfit if the customer uses them.

Providing test drive services with a fleet of just 25 cars (just the most popular makes and models) could gross $1 million a year.

Of course, you’d have to live with the guilt of assisting in putting all the car dealerships in your area out of business. But heck, ummm, I can live with that.

I can see a day when we just buy our cars (whatever make and model you want) from Walmart at about $100 above the REAL manufacturer’s price. Essentially, purchasing it directly from the manufacturer, only Walmart is used as the delivery point because they’re everywhere. Then the only local presence a company like Mercedes would have is a service shop. But in this scenario, there would be a HUGE demand for test drive services.

You heard it here first, folks. 🙂

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