Almost everyone test drives a car before they buy it from a dealership, but not everyone takes full advantage of their test drive. Here’s a guide on how to test drive a car to make sure it’s the right one for you.
Before you go to the dealership, do some research and decide what kind of car you want and what your budget is. It’s easy to rule out a huge number of cars from home once you decide whether you want a sedan or SUV, for example, and then figure out which models fit into your budget.
Once you’ve decided on a few cars that fit your needs and budget, set up test drives all in a row or within a couple of days so you don’t forget any details and you can compare them properly. It’s also a good idea to bring a friend with you who can help you look the vehicle over and might notice things you missed.
During the test drive, there are a few things you should do to test out the vehicle. Before you drive it, inspect it thoroughly. Walk around it and check the interior. Is there enough storage space for your everyday needs? Is the trunk accessible? Make sure the passenger doors aren’t too small or tight to get into, especially if you have kids. If you do, bring them along when you’re shopping to make sure they’re comfortable in the passenger seats.
It’s also good to fold down the rear seats if the car has that capability and test out its cargo capacity. Then test the features, especially ones you think you’ll use often, like infotainment features and navigation.
Finally, take the car on the road. Pay careful attention to how it drives. Does it have enough power for you? How does it handle? Can you access the controls easily? Turn on the heat and air conditioning to make sure they work well, check the storage spaces you’ll use while driving, and test the brakes. Take corners to check out the car’s turning power. Evaluate noise pollution, visibility, and ease of parking.