When you’re looking at spending thousands of dollars on a new car, you want to make sure it’s the right one for you. That’s what today’s post is all about. Our auto loan team shares how to test drive a car with five test drive tips to help you spend your money wisely.
Prepare a List
A test drive is primarily an information gathering mission, so what you need before you even begin is an idea of the information that you’re trying to gather. It’s best to write this down physically if you can, that way you can bring it along with you to the test drive and use it as a checklist.
Be as detailed as possible, this is potentially your car so you want to know everything possible. Does it have heated seats? Do they work? You know what comforts you want, and those are what you should be looking for in a test drive.
Test Drive The Exact Make and Model
Our most important tip on how to test drive a car is to arrange a test drive of the exact make and model of car you’re planning to buy. Different trim levels can have different engines and suspension and offer a completely different experience.
Plus, when you test drive a higher trim than you’re buying and fall in love with heated seats or self-parking, you’re going to want it on your own car, which will be more expensive!
Drive Your Usual Roads
Make sure your test drive includes the types of roads you’ll drive every day. If you live in the country, find some country roads. If you take the highway to work, drive that. If you’re a city dweller, drive in the city.
Try all the different types of roads you can but make sure you spend the majority of the time on the roads you’ll be using the most.
Find a grocery store or mall parking lot during your test drive. Park the car a couple of times to see how easy it is. Is visibility good? Does the reversing camera work for you? Can you confidently maneuver the car around parked cars?
As we all drive in and out of car parks regularly, this is a minor but essential test you need to make before you buy the car.
You could always do a grocery run while you’re there to see if you can get a week’s groceries in the trunk!
With your list you should already be trying lists of things, but you should go further. When you have the cad under your control you should be trying everything, hit every button, turn every dial, even if you’re never going to actually use it, like an in built radio where you’ll only ever use your personal music, it’s good to know exactly what in the car is working or not before you buy it.
If nothing else it can help you gauge how honest and open the seller has been with you about the car’s condition.
Wait for Bad Weather
Something that you might not consider about how to test drive a car is considering the driving conditions. You may have the incorrect idea that you should pick a nice sunny day to go for a test drive.
Sure you might get happier in the sunshine but if you want to gauge what a car can really do then you want to try it out in the worst conditions possible, after all this is Canada, and you want to know that your car is safe to drive in winter conditions.
Bring The Kids
If you have children, bring them on the test drive, or part of it. Check to see how easy it is for them to get in the back, how simple it is to set up their child seat, whether there’s somewhere to charge their phone or tablet and whether the car is comfortable for them too.
It’s likely that you’ll be driving them around a lot so you want them to be comfortable and for you to be comfortable with them in the car with you.
While you have them, check to see if you can get their gear in the trunk or in the back.
Test drives are your opportunity to see if the car works as well in reality as it does on paper. The feel of a car is an incredibly important element of car buying and something no YouTube video or online review can help you with.
That’s why test drives are still an important part of car buying, even when everything else as gone online!
You made it to the end and now know how to test drive a car before you buy it. Now get out there and start driving!
For those of you who know that you have a challenging credit situation, please visit Dixie Auto Loans where we have a team of credit specialists ready to help you get approved for a car loan today!