Custom Orders & Test Drives

Discussion in 'MINI Cooper SE' started by David Kerman, Sep 14, 2021.

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  1. David Kerman

    David Kerman New Member

    Hi everyone! I'm hoping you might be able to shed some light on what my options are.

    I'm interested in placing a custom order for a 2022 Hardtop SE but as it will be my first MINI and my first EV, I'm especially keen on test driving it before all is said and done. Given the craziness of the auto market right now, though, that seems like a tall order. I'm fortunate to have quite a few MINI dealers in my metro area but none of them have an SE on hand for a test drive. A few of them have gas-powered Hardtop's, but that's about it.

    I reached out to a few of my local dealers to ask them basically the same question, but none have gotten back to me yet. Anyone have any thoughts? Is it possible to somehow insert a "pending test drive" clause into a custom order given the current circumstances?

    Thanks for your help!
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  3. The thing that surprised me about the order process is that you can put down the deposit, place the order, go test-drive your car... and then not buy it if you don't like it. At least that's the situation here in San Francisco. Had I known that I would have ordered much sooner.
  4. fasttr

    fasttr Member

    Same thing. Placed an order end of August with an estimated delivery of late September, mid October. But once the production number was assigned, all of a sudden it was Christmas. Cancelled and got a full deposit refund. I really needed delivery this year to guaranty the federal tax credit for this year. Mini dealers are pretty good about deposit refunds.
  5. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    I recommend doing a test drive in an ICE version of the 3-door Hardtop. It's identical to the SE, except the SE is better in just about every way: acceleration, quietness, handling. But driving an ICE version will let you experience the seats and interior space and visibility, and give you an idea of the handling. Then, if you like it, go ahead and order an SE. As @endquote points out, you can test drive it at delivery, and if you decide to refuse it the dealer won't mind because the SEs sell themselves.
    GvilleGuy and Novadar like this.
  6. NewGreen

    NewGreen New Member

    I think it depends on what state/country you live in. Texas has a lot of flexibility for car-buyers. If you're in the US, your state will have its own regulations about car purchases. The dealer would likely be happy to have an SE in inventory for other test-drives if you don't accept the one you ordered, and (depending on your local laws), you may get all or some of your deposit back.
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  8. Novadar

    Novadar Active Member

    My dealer had 3 unspoken-for, inbound SEs and I was scheduled to test drive one however all 3 were bought sight unseen. I had to settle on exactly what you said Puppethead - drive the ICE version. My wife also did the same (test the ICE) and then we decided to order.
  9. chrunck

    chrunck Active Member

    I'm really glad my dealer was able to get a test car in last fall. I more than likely would have ordered one anyway, but it was nice to have peace of mind that I was going to love it. I was grinning ear to ear the whole drive--it was the most fun I've had since we got our first Mini in 2004.

    Hopefully mine will be built one of these days, but that's a story for a different thread. Driving the ICE version is a good approximation, though the SE is way more fun.
    insightman likes this.
  10. ColdCase

    ColdCase Active Member

    It has been Mini's policy for awhile that after you inspect the car and didn't like it, they will refund the deposit no questions asked. When I ordered mine 4 months ago, the dealer insisted that I test drove it before signing any delivery paperwork. The deposit is like a first refusal right. Dunno if that policy has changed recently.
    polyphonic likes this.
  11. Novadar

    Novadar Active Member

    My dealer had additional paperwork specific to them that says the deposit is not refundable. I think this is a Dealer and/or State governed action.
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  13. Teddydogno1

    Teddydogno1 Member

    The dealer having the RIGHT to keep your deposit and them actually doing it are different. Most would probably fully refund it, even if they have paper that says it is non-refundable. Now if you ordered something that they could not sell easily, then it would maybe be different.

  14. Jim In Tucson

    Jim In Tucson Member

    To my knowledge, there has not been one single SE buyer who has regretted the purchase. And I know of one ‘20 SE owner who has ordered a ‘22. The SE really is that satisfying.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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