Are you anxious about buying a new car and you are unsure about the decision? That is totally natural and the only thing that will help you make up your mind is a proper test drive. We give you the low down on how to properly test drive a vehicle.
How to do a proper test drive in 5 easy steps:
1. Load it up
The secret to getting the most out of your test drive is imagine the new car as your current vehicle as you probably want to feel comfy in your new car, right? It might be a bit of a pain – take everything you normally use or carry with in your car. Take along your coffee mug, your handbag, your suitcase, your car charger etc. and see how it all fits in with your prospective car. If you have a baby car seat – bring that too. Or better. bring the kids and see how they fit in. Just remember too keep it clean and be courteous towards other shoppers. Also carry along a notebook, pen and camera to capture the things you like and dislike about each vehicle.
2. Getting comfortable
The salesperson at the dealership may be anxious to get you on the road. However, first just sit in the driver’s seat and get out again. Sound strange? Well, this is why…
Ask yourself the following questions about the car: How easy is it getting in and out? Are you too high or low to the ground? Can your legs bend comfortably? Can you adjust the seat enough to fit your specifications? Can the steering wheel tilt? How close does your head come to the headliner? How does the cabin feel? Also move around to the other seats in the car. How does the passenger seat feel? Is there enough legroom in back? If you have brought someone with you, now is the time to ask their opinions about these things.
Chances are you have looked at a load of different models and done lots of research- so now is the time to narrow the field and pick the top three cars. After choosing the three models that you like the most, choose a day to test all three and find a place where the dealers of your top three are close in proximity. Then schedule your test drives. If you’re the sole buyer, invite a trusted friend. If you’ll be sharing the car with a spouse or family member, consider bringing them with you. Remember, it’s important to drive the cars after each other to keep things fresh in your memory and to feel differences you might not otherwise notice.
4. Check it out
Have a look at all the things in the interior of the car such as the storage space and the gadgets. Is everything easy to use? Do you feel like the car suits your needs? Open all the compartments and notice their shapes and sizes. Where would you keep your purse, phone, sunglasses, or briefcase? Do they fit? Are they easy to reach? The vehicle passes the test if everything fits well you feel like the interior will suit your lifestyle.
5. Hit the open road
Remember, you at least have to test drive the car for 30 mins. Instead of simply driving around the block a few times, take the vehicle to a nearby parking area. Go up and down a few aisles and pull in and out of a parking space. See if the car is easy to park or if it’s too difficult to manouevre.
If you feel comfortable parking it, then take it on the highway. Does it accelerate quickly enough and does it have enough power? It all depends where you drive the most. If you roll around in the city more often your choice of car will most likely be different than if you drive long distances every day.