Test driving is an incredibly crucial part of buying a new car. The test drive gives you the opportunity to evaluate the car beyond its on-paper specifications; to see how it feels; to understand how it performs on the road.
However, test driving is not necessarily a simple process as there’s a lot going on, and even more to think about. Given that the test drive is so important to your decision as to whether or not you want to buy, ensuring that you test drive effectively should be a priority concern. So, whether you’re planning to test drive a brand-new car from a manufacturer or a used car from reputable dealers such as Otter Vale Motor Services, here are a few tips that can help ensure the process is as simple and effective as possible.
1 – Don’t mistake preferable for good
If your existing car is a little past its best, then it’s very easy to convince yourself that any other car you drive is fantastic – and it may well be, but only when compared to your old car. It’s therefore important to judge a car for its own merits rather than how it performs in comparison to your existing vehicle. Just because the car you are driving is preferable to your current car does not necessarily mean it’s actually good in and of itself.
2 – Try not to mistake unfamiliarity for problem issues
Let’s say you’re test driving a car and you go to change gear. Unfortunately, your hand slips off the gear stick, and you have to quickly correct in order to change in time. In such a scenario, it’s easy to see the moment as a sign of a problem; a reason you shouldn’t buy the car, perhaps on the belief that the gear stick is not to your liking. However, the main issue in such a scenario is unfamiliarity, not the car itself because you’ve become accustomed to driving a different car, so every other vehicle you try to drive will seem a little “off”. As a result, it’s important to separate genuine problems with how a car drives from simple lack of familiarity when test driving any vehicle.
3 – Request multiple test drives
It’s important to note that some dealers will not allow multiple test drives of the same vehicle; there’s simply not enough time in the day to facilitate repeated tests in many cases, as much as the dealers would like to do so. However, it’s still worth asking, particularly if you can schedule the second test when the weather is different, or at the opposite time of day to your previous test. If the dealer can allow you to test drive twice, you have the opportunity to assess the car’s performance in greater depth, which should be conducive to making the right decision as to whether that specific vehicle is right for you.
With the above in mind, you should be able to make the most of the test driving experience, and are thus all the more likely to purchase a car that truly suits your individual needs and preferences.