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test drive

Car Culture

Six Test Driving Tips You Need to Know

October 25, 2016
You’ve been researching getting a new car. You’ve done your homework, and now it’s time to finally see if that car you have been staring at on paper is actually what it seems. Make the most of your test drive by simply using careful observation and just knowing what to look for! I’m here to help you prepare yourself for when you finally take that new car out for a spin! Get acquainted. Come prepared to the dealership knowing what it is you’re looking for. Let the salesperson know you’re there to test drive and that you’ll be comparing models and prices at other showrooms. Starting off with this out in the open will help you to focus and respectfully let the dealer be aware you’ll take your business elsewhere if need be. Stay focused. Don’t bring the whole entire family to test out the car and crowd the place. While the car may be for them too, you need to focus on your drive. Bring the kids a second time for them to check out the back seats and see if they notice anything you didn’t. But, limit the amount of people that attend with you for the test drive so you can remain focused. If dealerships seem like a scary abyss to you, bring someone that can support you and ask questions you forget. Just remember what you came prepared with, and your visit will go smoothly!   Inspect the exterior. Don’t rush into your drive. Walk around the vehicle and observe it head to toe. Kick the tires, open the trunk, take note of the finish and general quality of the build. You want to make sure you don’t overlook something that could potentially bother you down the road. Inspect the interior. Now you’re finally inside the car, where you’ll be spending most of your time. So, take a moment here observing all the features and the general feel that surrounds you. Here’s some points to keep in mind when inspecting:
  • Was it easy to get in and out of? You’d hate to bump your head entering your car every day.
  • How is the leg room? Are the seats adjustable to your liking?
  • How does the steering wheel feel in your hands? Can you adjust the height?
  • How are the technological features? Actually plug in your music and see how it sounds.
  • Check out the cup holders, storage options, windows, wipers, and lights. You don’t want to overlook something that seems so simple, but could become a nuisance later on.   
  • What safety features is the car equipped with? How many airbags does it have?
Take your time. Now you’re ready to actually get behind the wheel and drive off. Be sure to try and test out the car on all road types, like highways, country roads, and hills. Also, be sure to try varying speeds. Stay focused, be observant of how the brakes, gears, and AC feel. How is the visibility? Are there blind spots that you notice? Is it comfortable for you to drive? Keep your eyes on the road, but try and stay conscious of these other aspects simultaneously. Don’t rush the actual drive. Reflect on your drive. Are all your questions answered by now? If not, ask them. Don’t be swayed to make a deal right when you step out of the car. Take your time. If you’re wanting to test out multiple cars, try and drive them as close together as you can so that you can compare each drive while they’re fresh in your mind. Sleep on it and see if you wake up the next day with any unsettled thoughts. Yes, buying a car can be a stressful, overwhelming experience… but keep these tips in mind as you’re testing the waters and it will make the process smoother. As long as you remain intentional and diligent with your search, it will make you more confident when reaching a final decision.