The Test Drive Experience – A Must Read before you buy your next car!
Make The Test Drive Count …. 6 Tips to Try Before you Buy your next car. You’ve done all your research online, narrowed down your choice of cars and picked out the vehicle that you think is just right for you.
Now it’s time for the all-important test drive to get a feel for the car and ensure it really does meet all your needs and wants. A comprehensive test drive, however, ought to be more than just a 10-minute run around the block, so before you visit us, your local dealer, here are our top 6 tips on how to make the most of your time behind the wheel.
1. Take your time
Buying a new car is a significant commitment, so we recommend a test drive of at least 30 minutes to get a good feel for the car. To make sure you are able to drive the exact model you like, phone in advance to check whether we have that particular model available for testing. Don’t worry too much about colours and features but make sure it is the right body style, engine and transmission combination and book it in for a time suitable – midweek is usually best.
2. Get comfortable
Before you test drive the vehicle, a Sales Consultant will take over the wheel first, allowing you to have time to feel comfortable and familiar with the operation of the vehicle and also ask any questions you might have. Once you are familiar with how the vehicle operates, you can now get comfortable in the driver’s seat. Adjust the mirrors, steering column and seatbelt to find out how easy and effective it is. Once everything is adjusted for you, check how easy it is to get in and out of the car.
3. Drive normally
Remember, you are not testing the car as a Bathurst entry, so drive as you normally would. However, take a note of things like the acceleration, braking, steering and transmission response, gear changes, and the handling and ride comfort. These all vary dramatically, especially with different types of cars so don’t expect blistering acceleration from a small four cylinder engine or sports car handling in an SUV and at the end of the day, it’s about what you think feels good or acceptable. Also think about noise levels – drive with the windows up and down – and check visibility in all directions including with the sun visors down.
4. Check the features
Most demonstrator models are fitted with everything available, so make sure you find out what is standard and what is optional and then proceed to test everything. Try the air conditioner on all speeds – hot and cold – check how easy it is to pair your phone and listen to the stereo, ensure all the controls and display screens are easy to see and operate on the move, try out the cruise control and any different driving modes or suspension or transmission controls.
5. Practically speaking
You won’t only be driving the car, but also using it to transport friends and family or a variety of luggage, sports equipment or child accessories so ensure you test every seat position for comfort and space and the ease of access for all doors. How easy it is to drop, fold and move the seats, what is the boot access like, are there enough storage cubbies, door bins and cupholders, where are the child seat anchors and how easy are they to use? If you will be carrying a pram around or regularly throw in the golf clubs, bring them with you and check they fit and are easy to load and unload. And don’t forget to make sure the car itself is going to fit into your garage or where you plan to keep it.
6. Take a friend or family member
Buying a new car is an exciting prospect and it can be easy to let your emotions take over so as a counterpoint, take along a friend or family member that you trust. They can often be a good sounding board for you and may point out things that you might miss.
With 8 leading brands and 2 locations on the Northern Beaches, we look forward to seeing you soon for your Test Drive experience.