5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Test-Drive
Whether you’re buying a new or a used car, a test-drive is integral to determine if the car is right for you. However, just a spin around the block won’t be enough to make a choice. Being thoroughly prepared before the drive will give you the edge in your decision-making process. We have compiled five expert ways to maximize your test-drive efforts:
1. Come Prepared
You should know as much as possible about the model before you head to the dealership. If possible, note down a list of questions or doubts you have so that you don’t forget any important details. Also, make sure the dealer has the exact same car that you want to buy. There’s no point in driving an automatic diesel model when you’re looking for a hybrid manual car.
2. Bring Along a Friend
It is a good idea to get your friend or a family member to come along. It will be a bonus if they know a lot about cars! They can help you with a second opinion and also tell you if you missed something during your drive. If your partner is also going to drive the car, it is a good idea to let them try it too so that both of you like it equally. Try to avoid bringing small kids along as they can be a distraction during the drive. However, the older ones can actually be a great critic!
3. Test-Drive Two Cars on One Day
This will help you evaluate the cars much better. Most customers aren’t sure of which car to buy and often have three to four shortlisted cars. It is recommended to test-drive at least two of them in a single day so that you can make a better judgment about how they compare to each other.
4. Before the Drive
You’d be surprised to know that the drive is actually a small portion of the entire test-drive experience. Though it’s tempting to get behind the wheel and start the ignition, give it some time and examine the car first. Open the trunk to check the space, open all doors and climb in the rear seats to see the comfort level, try the infotainment system and also check all the storage compartments. Sit in the cabin for awhile and get a feel of the car before you head out.
5. During the Drive
Once you’re on the road, pay attention to the controls, especially the ones on the steering wheel. Also, ensure that the visibility is good and there aren’t too many blind spots. On the open road, make sure that you have a quiet driving experience. A few other things to check include the ease of gear shifts, maneuvering around corners, how the car accelerates and the ease of parking, especially in tough spots.
Once you’re back at the dealership, discuss your experience with the salesperson and understand all the costs involved in the car’s maintenance, insurance and taxes. Take a day or two before you decide so that you can be extremely sure that this big investment is right for you!