An Australian entrepreneur is trying to persuade automakers to lend him new vehicles he would rent to would-be buyers for test drives of up to a week.

In exchange, the manufacturers would get both the chance to make a sale and 25% of the rental fee.

Melbourne-based Christian Schaefer says his operation called TheCarTest puts consumers behind the wheel of a new car from one to seven days under a normal rental agreement.

Daily driving is limited to 93 miles (150-km).

Schaefer says what he calls a “global-first” marketing initiative to automakers operating in Australia could revolutionize the test-drive experience for potential car buyers by offering a “try before you buy” exposure to the product.

In particular, he says, it offers brands an opportunity to garner conquest sales, attract new customers and claim a spot high on a car shopper’s shortlist.

“Consumers all ask themselves the same question when making up their minds about their next car purchase: ‘Is this car the right one for me and my needs?’ That’s what they want to know and that’s where TheCarTest comes in,” Schaefer says in a statement.

Having nailed down the concept, all Schaefer now needs are clients.

“TheCarTest team continues to have ongoing discussions with all manufacturers to ensure we provide a vast array of cars that best suit the needs of our much-valued customers,” his website states.

If a specific car is not featured on TheCarTest website, Schaefer says, “we will do our best to make that car available for you.”

Schaefer says the program is supported by a licensed car-rental structure and logistical service, including secure garaging and cosmetic maintenance, and with all appropriate insurances, indemnities, coverage, experience and care.

“And, like a traditional rental company, there is a fee associated,” Schaefer’s website states. “TheCarTest offers extended test-driving from as little as A$50 ($36.10) per day.”

The fee is deducted from the price of the car should the consumer choose to purchase.

He also intends to share with the manufacturer all appropriate legal permissions and safeguards, as well as the car shopper’s rental and personal data.

“This provides a direct introduction to the intending buyer for further promotion and possibly exclusive preferential pricing,” Schaefer says. “There can be no better, no warmer nor more qualified lead.”

Schaefer says besides guaranteeing a minimum of four leads per vehicle, manufacturers also will benefit from a 25% share of rental fees generated as well as the “demo” use of cars that otherwise might be sitting idle.

Schaefer is the CEO and originator of an Australian car-sharing venture, CarHood. People park at the Melbourne and Brisbane airports rent their vehicles at rates they decide to other approved travelers. Owners get free parking and are paid if their car is rented out, less the handling cost charged by CarHood.