A lot more goes into buying a car than just walking into the dealership and picking the color and options you want. Next to buying a home, this is one of the largest financial undertakings most people take on during their lives—but house inspections by professionals are always part of that sale, yet many of us don’t know how to test drive a car thoroughly. It’s safe to say that being an informed consumer can make this process easier and allow you to get the perfect car to fit your needs and budget.
It’s time for the car test drive, and it’s an important step. But do you know how to test drive a car? Before you set foot on the dealership lot to test drive something new and zippy, there are some things you need to pay careful attention to before, during, and after the car test drive. Here are eight things to be aware of:
Turn Off the Radio
While most newer cars have great sound systems, you’re not spending all that money on a giant, portable stereo. What you need to be listening to is to the road noise and the sound the car makes while it drives. This is a big investment, and if a car is poorly insulated in the cabin area, it could mean a very loud drive. Focus on the car test drive on the road, and test the sound system while you’re parked in the dealership lot.
Drive Your Own Path
If you want to know how to test drive a car, you’ll want to know how this vehicle will handle on the roads you drive every day. Forgo the dealer’s test drive path and take this car where you drive. Testing it on the freeway is a good way to get an idea about the acceleration and how smooth the ride is. City streets are good to test the stopping ability.
On a wide-open freeway, the new vehicle might seem perfect. But when it comes to actually using it to navigate your life, that might be another story. Do you really want a car that’s difficult to park at the supermarket, the gym, or at your office? Test driving a car where you live and work will give you a better idea about how it’s going to fit into your life.
Take the Salesman With You
If you have questions about the car while you’re in the middle of driving, you’ll want the salesman there to answer them. Be sure to bring the salesman with you when you go out for the car test drive.
Sit in Every Seat
While you’ll probably spend the majority of your time in the front seats, you’ll want to get an idea of what the rear seats are like before you commit to purchasing a car. Sit in the back seat and the third-row seating to make sure the people you’re driving with are as comfortable as you are. It’s not just about the comfort of the seats but also the amount of airflow and temperature control.
Drive Other Cars in the Same Class
If you’re in the market for a luxury car, you aren’t going to jump into a compact car to compare the luxury model to. If you want a car with certain features, make sure you drive other vehicles with those same features to get a base for comparison. More than one car test drive will help you determine which features and options you really want.
Drive the Car More Than Once
Test driving a car in the middle of the day is different than driving it at night. Those who know how to test drive a car will know that. You’ll want to get an idea of how the vehicle will handle during the day and at night. You’ll want to drive the car a few times to really get a good feel for how the car handles.
Save the Money Talk for Later
During the car test drive is not the place to discuss the financial details about the car. Focus on the car and how it handles while you’re doing the test drive. You want your salesman to be focused on you and explaining the benefits of the car, not trying to negotiate the price.
Making sure you have the best possible experience buying a new vehicle requires you to do a little homework before you set foot on the dealer’s lot and do a car test drive. This is an important step in the car buying process and one that should be taken very seriously. Don’t lose out on the opportunity to get to know your new car before you commit to purchasing it.
Once you've made your purchase, make sure you install the right accessories and equipment to keep your car looking new. Visit Wade Auto for quality deflectors, headlight covers, floor mats, and other accessories.