Daily Podcast: No Long Termers Need Apply
There is an argument to be made for car mags and websites accepting manufacturer-supplied long term test vehicles. But I'm not going to make it. If these consumer champions want insight into what it's like to live with a particular car on a day-to-day basis, they can either buy it their damn selves (like Consumer Reports) or ask one of the people who bought one. To my mind, freebie long-term test cars are evidence of collusion: a manufacturer's unspoken quid pro quo, just for being a friend of ours. There's no question that a week's access to a press car is one of the major perks of working as an automotive journalist– albeit a pleasure more-or-less denied TTAC scribes. (BTW: I'd like to see a writer convince an I.R.S. auditor that driving their family around in a long term test car is not a taxable perk.) But it's high time for Road and Track, Car and Driver, AutoWeek, Edmunds Inside Line and the rest to Just Say No to free long term test cars (a.k.a. "our fleet"). Their readers deserve a higher standard of journalism. As for those who claim our policies are self-serving sour grapes, I assure you that as long as I'm the publisher, TTAC will not be bought by any manufacturer, at any price.
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