It’s thrilling and essential to get behind the wheel of a prospective car before making a purchase decision, but your test-drives should include more than just a quick spin around the block. Since, you know, you’ll probably be driving the automobile for the next several years, you need to put in the effort to get to know it well. The test drive is essential for determining whether or not the vehicle meets your requirements.
In order to make the most of your time during a test drive, we’ve compiled a list of 7 things to think about and do before, during, and after the experience.
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1. Plan Prior to Going to the Automobile Dealership
If the dealership you are interested in visiting does not have the vehicle you are considering in stock or a salesperson available, do not go there. You may contact ahead of time and find out whether the sales personnel look to be nice to deal with or if they are not considering your taste during the conversation itself.
It is advised that you schedule your test drive at a more peaceful time of day, such as a weekday afternoon, when the salesperson will have more time to give to you.
2. Plan a Route to Expose the Car to Different Road Conditions
Drive your regular route, including maybe some freeways if you don’t regularly use them, to simulate the experience of driving in normal traffic. If your everyday route is quite easy and consists of smooth, even roads and wider streets, then add a route that allows you to evaluate how well the vehicle handles rough, steep, tight, and curving roads, as well as speed bumps and stop-and-go traffic.
If it happens to rain on the day of your test drive, consider yourself lucky. When you get to practice driving the automobile in less than ideal conditions (such as on rainy roads or when visibility is low), you’ll gain a lot more useful information. In such a case, you’ll need to conduct your own research or consult a professional to evaluate the vehicle’s features and assess how they would perform in wet conditions.
3. See If the Dealer Allows You to Keep the Car Overnight
Overnight test drives are available at many automobile lots nowadays, particularly newer ones. Being able to take the vehicle you’re planning home may help you assess if it fits in your garage, helps you try out and become more acquainted with its features without the salesperson, and gives you a greater idea of the car’s capacity and the experience of driving with your family.
4. Drive the Car Like It is Yours
The ideal method is to think about your regular driving that you confront daily and make sure the car you desire can manage it.
Make sure that your test drive includes conditions like driving on the interstate, maneuvering through crowded parking lots, or driving on congested city streets. In order to ensure that the car has sufficient power for your everyday commute, some auto salespeople will let buyers take the vehicle up to a 20-mile test drive.
To ensure the vehicle is a good match for your needs, many auto dealers will let you test drive it for an extended period of time.
5. Do Not Overlook the Comfort
A new vehicle purchase is a major life choice. It’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing just on the most salient aspects of the car, such as the size and cost of the car, but resist the urge. Some of the car’s characteristics may seem unimportant at first glance, but you shouldn’t ignore them.
A common mistake made by people looking to buy a car is assuming a particular set of features will be standard on the model they’re interested in. After taking delivery of their glossy new automobile, they are disappointed to find it lacking in key areas. Take some time to put pen to paper and list your requirements.
6. Do Get a Second Point of View
While out on a test drive, your observation should go well beyond the confines of the driver’s seat to take in the car as a whole. Make sure the front passenger seat works for you, too; in many cars, it lacks the power adjustments and climate control features enjoyed by the driver. Don’t forget to test out all of these if you want to regularly travel with a number of passengers.
7. Know that Your Opinion Matters
Reading vehicle reviews and comparing statistics were the only important aspects of buying a car in the past, but now performing research online encompasses far more information. However, you should not mistake the opinion of an expert for absolute fact. Do not automatically assume that their evaluation is in line with the requirements of your personal requirements.