Purchasing a new car involves a hefty sum of money. With so much cash on the line, it is very important to bring home the best car that fits your needs. But statistics show that car shoppers do not lay too much importance on taking test drives.
- Since new cars today are robust and reliable, consumers are beginning to see test drives as redundant.
- They simply accept the brand, its reputation and online reviews before making a decision.
- The proliferation of online shopping has inculcated a sense of trust in consumers. So they purchase cars with the same confidence that they have while making online purchases for lifestyle accessories.
The test drive
It is imperative to test drive the car before making a purchase. Most customers ensure that they do a thorough online research and locate a trustworthy dealer. If you are a serious buyer, the dealer will assist you and give you access to the car for an inspection and test drive. A good salesperson will have knowledge about the vehicle’s finer points and additional features that you are not aware of.
Here are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind during the test drive.
Take your time
When you test drive the car, make sure that you do not rush the process. Drive on highways and city streets to gauge the experience on different terrains. Test drive the car like you would normally do with yours. If you frequent cramped parking lots and narrow city streets, make sure you travel to such places during your test drive.
Comfort of the ride
When you are driving the car, assess whether the ride is smooth or harsh. Also, pay close attention to the driver’s seat and see if it is comfortably placed. You should also identify whether there are any unusual jolts when you ride over rough roads.
When you take a car for a test drive, you should observe if there are excessive engine noises audible to the driver. Also assess if the wind coming through the windows or road noises from screeching tyres are distracting you.
Observe the power and acceleration
Check if the engine gives you a smooth ride on different roads. Also observe the performance when you push the accelerator pedal. If the car lurches forward or hesitates to move, you should enquire the reason for that.
Some things to observe when you test the brake system of a car are as follows,
Check if the vehicle comes to a smooth halt when you apply brakes.
Observe if you feel any vibrations through the brake pedal.
Check if the steering is affected when you apply brakes.
See if the car halts in a straight line.
Since you have already done some homework on shortlisting the car you are test driving, you need to see if it runs as per expectations.
Is the car easy to park?
Are you comfortable maneuvering the vehicle?
When you turn the steering wheel, does the car respond as expected?
Does the turning radius allow you to make a U-turn?
Are you seeing blind spots while driving?
Spend some time before the test drive and list down the the features you would want in your new car. Then hop into the car and check if these are available. Some of the features that customers look out for are cruise control, bluetooth, air conditioning and ventilated seats. Ensure that your most desired features are not overlooked.
Another point of view
During the test drive, consider the comfort of passengers in the other seats as well.
Check if the front passenger seat is comfortable and suitable for your family members.
you have children, check if car seats or booster seats fit well onto the back seat.
Rear seats in SUVs are usually not as roomy as the other second-row seats. If you would be carrying passengers in the third row frequently, check if the seating is comfortable enough for the same.
Upshifts and downshifts
If the vehicle has automatic transmission, check the smoothness of the upshifts and downshifts. In case of manual transmission, test if the gearshift moves fluidly through its pattern. Check if the operation of the clutch is comfortable and assess the effort that is needed to depress it.
Once you complete the test drive you need to remember that driving the car was not based on an implied agreement that you will purchase it. If are not satisfied with the test drive, you can always check out the other cars in your shortlist in a similar manner.
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