5 Things Only Smart Drivers Do When Test Driving a Vehicle

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Test driving vehicles is a fun way to drive a variety of potential cars. If you are thinking about buying your first car or a new car, you should test drive several vehicles before making a decision. Most car dealerships will allow you to take a short drive in any of their cars. A test drive will enable you to imagine yourself as the owner of that particular car. Test driving works to the advantage of both the customer and the dealership. You will be able to get a first hand experience operating the car. The dealership is more likely to successfully market the vehicle to you after you have had the thrill of driving a brand new vehicle. There are several things to keep in mind when you are test driving cars.

5 Tips for a Clever Test Drive

  1. 1

    Before taking the wheel, make certain that you understand the parameters of that dealership’s test driving policy. In some cases, a dealership’s insurance policy may require that a salesperson or dealership employee ride with you as you test drive. If you are allowed to test drive a vehicle alone, ask a dealer if their insurance policy covers accidents that happen when a customer is driving one of their vehicles.

  2. 2

    Before driving a car that is unfamiliar to you, ask the car salesperson who is helping you to explain how the car is operated. Ask where the turn signals are and if there is anything unusual about how the cars transmission system operates. If you are interested in a car’s navigation system, radio, stereo, or how to use a car’s convertible top, ask for a demonstration before you test drive. Focus on driving when taking a potential vehicle for a test drive.

    showing a car
    Find out all the important info related to driving this particular model before the test drive

  3. 3

    If you are unfamiliar with driving a car with a manual transmission, or stick shift, do not attempt to learn while taking a test drive.

    manual transmission
    If you are not a skilled stick shift driver, you get neither fun nor useful information out of this test drive

  4. 4

    Drive on roads that mimic your normal driving activity. For example, if you have a long commute on an interstate highway every day, it would probably be a good idea to test drive potential vehicles on a nearby stretch of interstate. Drive a route that will allow you to experience how the car handles high speeds, stop and go traffic, inclines, declines, and bumpy roads.

  5. 5

    There are a couple of key things that you should pay attention to when test driving a vehicle: how smoothly the car accelerates, how easily the car is to steer, how the car handles bumps or stretches of rough road, visibility, and comfort.

    Here is more advice how to get most out of your test driving experience:

A test drive is just one part of the process of finding a vehicle that you would like to buy. Feel free to test drive as many vehicles as you would like. You will eventually drive a car that suits you. At that point, you will be ready to go ahead with the buying process.

Andrei Zakhareuski, Driving-Tests.org Founder
Andrei is a driver with 11+ years of experience and the founder of Driving-Tests.org.

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