Insurance is like a spare tyre. You may not require it, but not having one is not an option.

9 Ways in Which you Can Optimise your Test Drive Session

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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.

  • Engine noise

    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.

  • Brake system

    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.

  • Driving experience

    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?

  • Essential features

    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.

GST Update: GST of 18% is applicable on car insurance effective from the 1st of July, 2017

Car Insurance Reviews

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  • Tata AIG Car Insurance
    "Satisfied policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    TATA AIG is the best company to take the car insurance. Since long time i have taken this insurance. The customer care people used to call me to renew the policy and they used to policy renewal letter. I will do payment through online. Several times i have claimed the policy and i have received very good response.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Jan 18, 2019
  • Universal Sompo Car Insurance
    "Excellent Service"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I had taken this insurance policy a long time back and it has been a good insurance policy. I had been paying the premium online and the payment method has been convenient. There has been a claim made once and the claiming method has been simple.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , navi mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 18, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "Comprehensive benefit policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My car insurance was taken from New India. I don't speak with their customer care since i don't require it. I had a claim experience which is a easy process without any tension. As per their policy, the maximum claim amount settled. Since they are providing good services i have opted this policy. They have given me a road side assistance and bumper to bumper facility.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Jan 18, 2019
  • Bajaj Allianz Car Insurance
    "Good to Go with Bajaj"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    The conditions and the insured which they are providing is good, I have insured Ford Car with Bajaj Allianz, the premium amount is reasonable but they can reduce it. Its 1.5 year old year but still the insurer providing 24 hours service, cash less garages and they have tie up with many centers, the response is great.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 17, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Premium should be standard as per market"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I never used the policy if something happen I claim it, I didn't interact with the customer care but I get the reminder message for car renewal. I have insured my maruthi Suzuki riz with ICICI Lombard, The premium is higher but still they are good.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 14, 2019
  • HDFC Ergo Car Insurance
    "Very good"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    Even my car was insured with HDFC Ergo. It is a second-end car and have chosen the third party insurance. I have not done any claim so far. The premium is reasonable. It offers bumper to bumper facility and road side assistance. The policy period is 2 years.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 14, 2019
  • Tata AIG Car Insurance
    "Good Insurer"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My financier suggested the Tata Aig general insurance, the premium is economical for the car policy. I have honda amaze car it got insured with them. The insurance company is providing 24 hours service, cash less garages, brake down service for the tenure of four years. On time I got the papers from the Tata Aig.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , tirupur
    Reviewed on Jan 10, 2019
  • Tata AIG Car Insurance
    "Good Insurer"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My financier suggested the Tata Aig general insurance, the premium is economical for the car policy. I have honda amaze car it got insured with them. The insurance company is providing 24 hours service, cash less garages, brake down service for the tenure of four years. On time I got the papers from the Tata Aig.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 10, 2019
  • National Insurance Car Insurance
    "Excellent Service"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I had taken this Insurance policy for my Maruti Car and i had been paying the premium on an annual basis. The premium amount has not been too high and there has been cash less garages available with this insurance policy. Their customer support has also been helpful at times.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , pune
    Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Nice Policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    My car was insured with ICICI Lombard. Last year i have purchased this insurance policy. My wife has referred me about this policy. I pay the premium amount of Rs. 13500. They have given me a convenient IDV value. I had no claim experience so far.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "Need to improve the service"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    I'm not satisfied with the service provided by new India. I have bought the car insurance policy. They closed their branch on every weekends hence its difficult to renew the policy. I have been paying the premium amount of Rs. 14000 which is a competitive price. They have given the IDV value of Rs. 1.50 lakhs.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "Average Car Insurance"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    My car insured with the New India Insurance company. I have been renewing the policy with the same company for 3 years. I have paid the premium amount of Rs. 7000 and they have offered me a satisfied coverage value. The documentation process was fine
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
  • review Car Insurance
    "Its Good"
    0.5 3.5/5 "Pretty good"
    Last year I had car policy with Bharthi axa whenever I try to renew it ask my poliy no, whenever I mention the same, it shows the its incorrect. If I try to reach the customer care its not reachable. I done the claim, some minor damage back side of the car, they have processing fee 1500. Remaining all taken care by the insurer.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 08, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Great Policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    ICICI Lombard has a good brand value hence i have selected the car insurance policy with this card and the dealer has also recommended about this policy. I pay the premium amount of Rs. 9000 and this is a 100% coverage with bumper to bumper facility. I'm not sure about the IDV value. Its easy to renew the policy.
    Was this review helpful? 2
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 08, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Good"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    Previously my car was insured was with ICICI Lombard and it was offered by the showroom. I got a call from the representative for the policy renewal as reminder. I got the insurance paper. I have not done done a claim. It is a comprehensive with zero dep. The premium was high so changed my insurer.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 08, 2019
  • Future Generali Car Insurance
    "Good"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I have taken a car insurance from Future Generali through online portal. The premium was reasonable and also they have provide bumper to bumper facility. The policy period is one year. There is no interaction between the customer service. I just gave my car for the claim so no experience.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 08, 2019
  • Oriental Insurance Car Insurance
    "Good insurance company"
    0.5 2.0/5 "Expected more"
    Dealer has referred me about this oriental car insurance when i purchase the vehicle. They have rejected the claim since the copy of FIT is not available. They have given me a coverage value upto Rs. 6 lakhs. For the past 3 years i have been renewed the policy with the same company.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Jan 07, 2019
  • Iffco Tokio Car Insurance
    "Good Policy and you can try"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    Two months before, i have taken my car insurance policy with Iffco Tokio. Its a PAN India agreement policy for my Maruti Car. I don't remember about the coverage value. This is a zero depreciation policy. I paid the premium amount of Rs. 6500. I have not seen any add on and cashless garage facility.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Jan 07, 2019
  • Reliance General Car Insurance
    "Its Excellent"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    My brother is working with Reliance hence I took my two wheeler policy from this insurance company. I have hyundai accent car, they are providing cash less garages for the damage. I have zero depreciation bumper to bumper policy for the term of one year.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 07, 2019
  • Reliance General Car Insurance
    "Good Policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My car insurance policy was taken with reliance. The dealer has provided me a policy with this policy. This is a 100% coverage value which covers the bumper to bumper facility, They have given me a IDV value of Rs. 11 lakhs. I pay the premium amount of RS. 33000.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , thane
    Reviewed on Jan 04, 2019
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