Have you ever purchased a dress that looked fantastic in pictures but didn’t fit properly when you put it on?
Buying a car is similar, but the stakes are higher because the return policies aren’t nearly as generous.
This is why taking a test drive is such a vital part of the car-buying process. A car may seem ideal for you based on photographs or reviews, but once you sit inside it and feel it on the road, you may have a completely different opinion.
With that in mind, here are some pointers on how to properly test-drive a car from start to finish.
Every new or used car purchase can include a test drive, but you’ll want to do it correctly to get the most out of it.
A successful test drive begins long before you drive away from the dealership. The first step is to ensure that you are secure in the car and that you can see what you need to see. If the car isn’t comfortable on the dealer’s lot, it won’t be any more comfortable once you get it home.
While most dealers have pre-planned test-drive routes, you can look for opportunities to drive the same roads you use on a daily basis.
It’s a good idea to take a test drive in the car you want to buy so you can spot any quality issues, odd sounds, or drivability issues. Not every new car is in full working order as it leaves the factory.
Used vehicle issues should be recorded so that the mechanic can look into them during the pre-purchase inspection.
It’s important to carry your child’s car seat to ensure that it will match where you need it and that it will be simple to install. Bring any large things you intend to carry on a daily basis with you to ensure they match. Dog crates, musical instruments, and athletic equipment are only a few examples.
Tips for The Test Drive
⦁ Complete your homework.
What kind of vehicle is best for your needs? For your 50-mile round-trip commute, a Lamborghini may not be the best option.
⦁ Make an appointment with a car dealership.
Scheduling multiple appointments on the same day is a good idea. This will require you to drive a variety of vehicles and provide you with a valid reason to leave the dealership.
⦁ Create a list
Create a list of the vehicles and features you’re interested in, and look up the most recent automotive reviews on various consumer websites. Or the consistency of your favorite brand has deteriorated.
⦁ Schedule a test drive for a specific day.
Don’t lease a car the same day you take a test drive in it. The aroma of a brand-new car can be intoxicating.
⦁ Create a checklist.
When test driving, Consumer Reports has a checklist of what to look for and consider.
⦁ Bring a friend and your belongings.
When you walk into a dealership, the salesperson’s aim is to persuade you to buy a vehicle. A friend will help you stay focused and stable.
Bring a car seat or a bike if you have one so you can see how easy it is to load your cargo and a passenger into your vehicle.
⦁ It’s important to be at ease.
Is it easy to get in and out? Do you have enough room in the seat?
Consider how your car and body will be in the future. Will you be able to get in and out of the red sports car in, say, 5 years?
⦁ Bring photocopies of your driver’s license.
Many dealerships will photocopy your driver’s license before allowing you to test drive. Bring your own copy, request a copy of the papers, and shred the original.
⦁ Take a lap around the car.
Even if the car is brand new, look for cracks, corrosion, missing parts, and other flaws. Be cautious because vehicles can be damaged during test drives.
⦁ Find the fuel.
Find out how much fuel it takes to get from point A to point B. Does the car need special maintenance or premium gas?
⦁ Drive a car.
If you spend the majority of your ride on the highway, drive on the highway. To see how it rides, try driving over a bumpy road or railroad track.