One of the least enjoyable parts of buying a car is trekking to a dealership - usually late after work or on a weekend when you'd rather be anywhere else - and spending hours behind the wheel with a pushy salesperson (at least, that's been our car-buying experience).
Amazon, in partnership with Hyundai, is looking to change all that, delivering test drives to some potential car buyers wherever they are.
A new program called "Prime Now. Drive Now" is letting people schedule a spin with a 2017 Hyundai Elantra through Amazon's same-day delivery service.
The car will meet them anywhere (home, work, Starbucks) at a set time between 9am and 7pm, and folks can take it on a 45- to 60-minute test drive. If they want to finalize a purchase, they'll be pointed toward their local Hyundai dealership.
Hyundai is calling the program a "tailored test-drive experience," and it certainly brings one of the most crucial parts of buying a car to customers, rather than the other way around.
There are several restrictions to "Prime Now. Drive Now." It only runs for two weekends, and having kicked off August 20, this coming weekend is the last time drivers can take advantage of the offer.
What's more, it's only being offered in Los Angeles/Orange County in the US. Even if it were to expand, Prime Now isn't available world or even nationwide, yet, though its 25 metropolitan markets is still a sizeable number.
Limited as it is, the potential of booking a test drive - and more - through Amazon is astounding. It could revolutionize the car-buying experience if more car makers sign up; imagine never having to go to a dealership again and scheduling a test drive just as you would order an item on Amazon.
And why stop at short spins around the neighborhood? Why not let people make car purchases through their Amazon Prime memberships, too?
One clue Amazon is only looking to do more with cars is the recent integration of Alexa, its voice-powered assistant, with the Genesis G80 and G90. Drivers can perform a number of tasks in-car thanks to Alexa.
We've asked Amazon if the Hyundai partnership is the first of many test drive offers, and whether it sees a future where Prime members could make other auto-related purchases in the future, including one day buying a car. We'll update this story if we hear back.
Until then, if anyone in LA wants to take us for a spin during their "Prime Now. Drive Now" test drive, drop us a line.