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Calif. car dealers stick clients with test-drive fuel costs

PHOENIX -- California's gas prices are ridiculously high, apparently high enough for car dealerships to start charging customers for test drives.

According to, many Golden State dealerships are telling customers to bring the vehicles back from overnight test drives with the same amount of gas as when the drive began.

Scott Gruwell, general sales manager at Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix, said that's an absurd practice.

"Charging somebody for fuel on test drives is ridiculous. That's a cost of doing business," he said.

To top things off, so to speak, the cost at some California dealerships goes up every time someone test drives a vehicle then leaves without purchasing a car.

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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