Tesla could offer contactless test drives in UK once coronavirus restrictions have eased

Contactless test-drive arrangements are already being used in China as lockdowns lift

Tesla Model 3

Electric-car maker Tesla is developing contactless test-drive procedures that could potentially be used around the world as the currently-in-place lockdowns are eased or lifted after the coronavirus outbreak has passed.

In China, where travel and movement restrictions are being gradually lifted, contactless test drives are already taking place. A video posted to the Chinese social-media network Weibo demonstrates how it works.

Test drives are pre-arranged by potential buyers on the phone, any paperwork required is taken care of over e-mail and staff at the Tesla store prepare and fully sanitise the car ahead of time.

When the customer arrives at the store, they identify themselves over the phone and staff unlock the car remotely using the Tesla smartphone app. A demonstration video on the car's infotainment screen then explains to the driver how to operate the car's functions and features.

Once the test drive is over, staff once again use the app to lock the car remotely, before its thoroughly cleaned and sanitised, ready for the next customer. Should the customer wish to proceed with buying the car, this can be done online as was already the case.

The standard seven-day/1,000-mile returns policy would continue to apply if the customer was unsatisfied with the car in any way.

Tesla sales in China continued to rise during February, in spite of the coronavirus crisis. Reports state the brand shifted nearly 4,000 cars there during that month, around 400 more than in January. Overall, car sales in China plummeted by 80% in February.

Tesla has also pressed on with construction of its new factory near Berlin in Germany amid the virus outbreak.

Recommended

Tesla Supercharger network will open to other electric cars – Musk
Tesla Supercharger
Tesla

Tesla Supercharger network will open to other electric cars – Musk

21 Jul 2021
New Tesla Model 3 versus used Tesla Model S: which should you buy?
Tesla Model 3 versus Model S
Tesla

New Tesla Model 3 versus used Tesla Model S: which should you buy?

15 Jul 2021
Tesla charging stations: a guide to the Tesla Supercharger network
Tesla Superchargers
Tesla

Tesla charging stations: a guide to the Tesla Supercharger network

24 Jun 2021
Tesla Cybertruck electric pickup set for 2022 production
Tesla Cybertruck
Tesla

Tesla Cybertruck electric pickup set for 2022 production

1 Feb 2021

Most Popular

Top 7 best hybrid and electric sports cars 2021
Taycan
Best cars

Top 7 best hybrid and electric sports cars 2021

Bringing thrills and performance with their powerful electric motors, these are the best electric and hybrid performance cars to buy in the UK in 2021
22 Jul 2021
Are electric cars expensive to insure?
Pros and cons of electric company cars - illustration
Your questions answered

Are electric cars expensive to insure?

Everything you need to know about insuring an electric car, including how expensive it is and why
19 Jul 2021
2021 Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback: specs and prices
Audi Q4 e-tron
Audi Q4 e-tron

2021 Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback: specs and prices

The pure-electric Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback are on sale now, with prices starting from £40,750 for the regular SUV and £42,250 for the Sp…
5 Jul 2021