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3850-mile test drive ends in arrest

  • Six-day, 3850-mile test drive man arrested
  • He travelled almost the length of Australia
  • Dealership sells car at a massive discount
Words ByJim Holder

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While we'd always recommend you take a car for a thorough test drive before buying it, it's fair to say that an Australian man who went on a six-day, 3850-mile trip went a step too far.

Tam Thai Luu, 30, convinced a car dealer in Melbourne that he was a genuine buyer, and then set off on his test drive in a Honda Accord before the salesman could get in the passenger seat.

When he didn't return, the dealership alerted the police, who finally arrested Luu six days later.

'He seemed a legitimate gentleman. He stood at the desk right in front of a camera. He wasn't afraid of being photographed or videoed,' said dealership owner Ian McKenzie.

Luu was finally arrested near the town of Tennant Creek, deep in the outback of the Northern Territory which is almost on the opposite side of Australia to Melbourne.

'He's got to have been in the car nearly all day, every day,' said McKenzie. 'Fortunately he hasn't damaged the car at all, he has just put a lot of miles on it. These are things we have to put up with as car dealers, I suppose.'

The dealership plans to offer a price cut on the 20,000 vehicle on the back of its big drive.

'We'll give a dollar off for every kilometre it's got on it,' McKenzie said, ruing the anticipated 6500 dollar loss.

Luu will appear in Alice Springs Magistrates' Court, charged with aggravated unlawful use of a motor vehicle and unlawful possession of property.