Volvo has continued its push to offer alternative means into car ownership by launching the world’s first test drive service through Amazon’s Prime Now.
For some weekends during June and July, customers in four major UK cities — London (9-10 June), Birmingham (16-17 June), Manchester (23-24 June) and Edinburgh (30 June-1 July) — will be able to test drive a V40 estate booked through Amazon’s online delivery service.
Bookings are being taken from today, with a limited number of slots available. Customers who reserve one will have a car driven to their address by a Volvo employee, before being offered a 45-minute test drive on local roads. If the customer is then interested in purchasing a V40, they can continue the process at a Volvo dealership.
Volvo UK boss Jon Wakefield said of the new service: “At Volvo, we aim to make people’s lives easier. Our Prime Now test drive offer does just that, allowing potential customers to try our V40 on their terms and in familiar surroundings.
“We’re proud to team up with Amazon to deliver this unique initiative — the first of its kind in the UK and the latest in a range of offerings from Volvo designed to take the hassle out of running a car.”
A company spokesman told Autocar UK that the service is only confirmed for the aforementioned dates and there are no plans to extend it. However, the spokesman added that if this stint is a success, it could be adopted for other models in the Volvo range.
Volvo launched the Care by Volvo subscription service earlier this year that turns the full ownership package of a car into monthly payments with no upfront cost.
Its new electric performance division, Polestar, will offer its cars, such as the 1, exclusively through a subscription service like Care by Volvo. The system trades a tradional dealer-focused method of selling cars for a model more closely aligned to those used by Netflix, Spotify and city centre rental bikes.
Volvo and Polestar are not the only brands to experiment with ways to reach new customers. Ford and Chinese online commerce giant Alibaba introduced a car vending machine in China that allows users to access cars in an unmanned and robotised tower — built like a giant vending machine — that they can test drive and even buy.
New S60 to be first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine
Volvo to embed Google Android in its next-gen connected cars
Volvo Cars global sales up 12.2% in April to 52,635 cars