Monday, March 02, 2009

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How to get a free car

A post from @GuyClapperton today got me thinking:

"4.00am, someone drives into my (parked) car, writes it off. Cracking start to the week. Any car PRs fancy sending a freebie...thought not."

Which kind of got me thinking, would it be possible to get a car for free? Guy for example has a number of attributes that would certainly make him attractive in crafting a unique offer to a car company:

"Guy Clapperton is a freelance journalist in London who writes for the Guardian, Times, Independent, Telegraph and a number of magazines"

Based on this here's 5 ways Guy could try to get a car for free (and you can try these yourself with minor tweaks).

1. Journalistic Links
The most obvious path would be to use links within his job to offer journalistic services to a car company, whilst also maintaining his editorial integrity. Such as offering to try a car for a year and review it (Most car magazines get their company cars this way), visiting a car factory and writing about it or writing a blog about his experince with the car.

Those of us who aren't journalists could still use our jobs in this way, perhaps asking for a car to use as a pool car for the entire staff to use. Good exposure for the brand and everyone on payroll gets to give it a test drive.

2. Twitter Status
Twitter is a good tool for making contacts within an industry that you couldn't normally speak to. Guy could use his profile to find key PR figures within the car industry and ask for a free car along the lines above or promise to talk about the car on his twitter feed. As with all things the more followers you have, the more popular you are and the easier this will me.

3. Test Drive
With his other car out of action Guy could hunt round for test drives, asking to try the car for an extended period whilst he decides. The bigger budget he has the easier this will be, with the possibility of jumping from car to car each month. A hassle and unfair on the companies but it would certainly be fun to try a different car regularly.

4. Exposure
Once Guy has the car where could he show it off? Would he be able to take it to a trade show and demonstrate it? Or perhaps drive up to a party or VIP journalism event in his new motor? Either way he could try to get the free car on the promise of giving it some extra exposure.

5. Corporate Sponsorship
Which brings me on to the final option of sponorship, like the above you could try to get a car by promising to show it at various events but could have a logo on the car from a sponsor. Chris and used to follow the lives of two students who you could sponsor by giving them a product which they would show on TV shows. In the Corporation movie they did this to such an extent they got a BMW. Not a bad option for a small logo here and there.

The options are certainly there for Guy or just about anyone to get a free car, and the Nissan Pathfinder I snagged last year is slight proof of these principles.

Manage to pull this off? Let me know in the comments or follow me on twitter for more tips.


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