How To Get The Most Out Of A Test Drive

A key part of the car buying process is taking it out for a test drive. The test drive gives you a better feel for the car than you get when simply looking at in the showroom. And it gives you a good understanding of what it will be like to actually own the car.

But you are likely to own the car for several years. How can you learn enough in a short test drive to give you the information that you need? Here are some tips.

1. Don’t Wait Until You’re Ready To Buy

For many people the process of buying a new car takes several months. For most, the test drive is left to close to the end of the buying process. This is not the best approach though.

The earlier you start test driving the cars that you are interested in the better. Even if you don’t think you will sign the dotted line for a few months, go out for some test drives.

2. Leave Enough Time

The worst way to conduct a test drive is to do it when you are in a rush, so make sure you leave enough time. This should be at least one hour for each test drive. This will give you enough time to talk to the sales person, get a look at the car before you go out, and then go for the actual drive.

3. Take Your Time Before You Set Off

Many people who get into a car for a test drive feel under pressure because of the sales person sitting beside them. This means they rush, and when they rush they don’t take everything in, and they don’t feel comfortable.

The sales staff at Martin Reilly will give you as much time as you need when you are going for a test drive, so take your time, especially when you first get into the car. Familiarise yourself with the controls, get the seat position right, and adjust the mirrors. Only set off when you feel comfortable to do so.

4. Drive On The Right Roads

When you do set off make sure you take the car to a variety of roads so you can experience how it feels in different conditions. Make sure this includes the type of roads that you primarily drive on.

Your aim is to get an understanding of the acceleration, how it stops under heavy braking, and how comfortable it is when cornering.

5. Get Another Opinion

Even if you are buying the car for yourself, bring someone with you when you go on the test drive. They will spot things and ask questions you forget to ask. It is also always good to get the passengers’ viewpoint.

6. Remember This Is Real Life

Finally, think about what it is going to be like driving this car in real life. You are not testing the car for a motoring show or magazine, so things like 0-60mph times are irrelevant, as is top speed. Instead look at comfort, usability and real world performance. This includes questions like are you comfortable in the driving seat? Are the controls easy to use, and is there minimal road noise? Can you fit car seats in the back, and is there enough room in the boot? Your considerations should be centered on the things that are important to your daily use of the car.

If you follow these tips you will get the most out of your test drive, and you will ultimately make a better buying decision.

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