How To Test Drive A Car

Find out if your new set of wheels is right for you.

You’ve been putting off a trip to the car dealership, haven’t you? Well, it’s time you change that and get yourself down for a test drive. As a customer, you need to make sure you’re ready to part with your money for what would be one of your largest investments, so you’d want to make sure you’re with a trusted dealer and you’re going for a car that meets your needs and demands.

We have noted down four key stages that you should consider throughout this exciting process…
Your first step; do your research. Don't travel to a dealership and not know what you’re looking for, otherwise, you won’t find the ideal car for you. The only purpose of the initial trip is to solely get behind that wheel. In this stage, bring a friend along to keep the salesperson occupied and point out things you might overlook.

Secondly, get acquainted. Once you’re at the dealership, let the salesperson know you are keen to drive the vehicle(s) and then you’ll compare other models and prices at other showrooms. By doing so, this should get you in the correct mindset for your ride, whilst actively communicating with the dealer that you aren’t afraid to explore your options at different branches if a worthwhile offer can’t be made. 
Here are few more considerations you need to think about:
  • Are the rear seats adjustable, comfortable, and sufficient in size, and do they fold down for greater cargo capacity?
  • Remember to review the vehicle’s safety features, such as the number of airbags, active-safety electronics, and adjustable seatbelts.
  • Find out if the vehicle takes premium or unleaded gasoline - or if it’s a diesel and requires unique maintenance procedures.
  • If it’s a convertible, how easy is it to raise and lower the top, and how much storage room is sacrificed when the top is stowed?
  • If required, does the car have 3 rear seat belts and wide enough to take a couple of child seats?
  • Does the car have Bluetooth and USB docks?
Now for the exciting part, go for THE DRIVE. Get yourself comfortable in the driver’s seat and take note of how you feel in the car straight away; what are your initial thoughts?

Also, look at how well the primary controls are laid out; ergonomics can become a deal-breaker if they aren’t right for you as the driver. Therefore, many manufacturers make it a high priority that they’re putting more effort into creating unique and premium interiors with the latest technologies.
When driving the car, it’s important you consider the following:
  • Are the primary controls easy to use (is the clutch too hard or the steering too heavy?) and adjustable enough for you and other potential drivers to be comfortable?
  •  Are the front seats comfortable and supportive (not too soft or hard)?
  • Are there sufficient gauges, readouts, and display screens that are easy to view and operate?
  • If the dealership won’t let you borrow the car for the night, tell the salesperson you’ll get a better feel for it if you go out alone, without any distractions. If he insists on coming, make it clear that you want to drive the vehicle on your terms and experience it on multiple road surfaces and at varying speed.
Lastly, once you’ve enjoyed your test drive at the dealership, it’s time to reflect on your drive. Do not allow the dealer to entice you back to his/her office. Get familiar with the other services they can offer and the prices for them too, therefore you can learn whether these departments can cooperate well with you and can give you the best service you deserve.

Finally, evaluate your vehicle’s maintenance schedule.
  • How long are the recommended oil change intervals?
  • What are the terms of the warranty, and what parts are covered?
  • Is replacing expensive performance parts something you’ll have to deal with while you still own the car?
In conclusion, we suggest that this is the best decision you could make just by following these key simple, four steps for when you find yourself in a dilemma of whether or not a test drive would be worthwhile.
For more CarCliq Guides click here

Search our Stock