Should I Test Drive a Car Before I Buy It?

2015_Ford_Edge_SEL

Should I Test Drive a Car Before I Buy It?

If you’re shopping for a new car one of the most important steps is the test drive. Never consider buying a car without taking it road for a test drive first. There are many factors about a car that you will only experience by sitting behind the wheel. If you’re like most people, you will be driving your car for at least three years, so it is important that you are very comfortable with the way it feels, drives, and handles. The following are just a few things to consider when test driving a car.

Research vehicles and come up with a short list of makes and models that you are interested in before ever sitting behind the wheel. It helps to put together a list of options that you absolutely have to have in your new car, options that would be nice to have and options that aren’t really that important to you. It also helps to really think about how you will be using your new car on a daily basis. Will you be using it mainly as a commuter car or will you be hauling 5 kids to soccer practice? After you have narrowed your list down, then it would be time to head to the dealership for a test drive.

Before ever starting the engine, just sit in the car for a few minutes. Are you comfortable? Will the seat adjust to fit your particular frame? Are all of the various controls in a location that makes it comfortable for you to use them without ever having to take your eyes off the road? Can you get in and out with ease? Check the visibility of the mirrors. Make sure there aren’t any blind spots that block your view or that may require you to strain your neck. It’s also a good idea to get in the backseat and make sure you find it comfortable. Proper leg room is essential for both the front and back seats. You will also want to check the trunk or storage area to make sure it is large enough to accommodate your needs. When you are completely satisfied that the interior meets your requirements, take it out on the road for a test drive.

When you get the car out on road, make sure to drive it as if you are in a normal driving situation. If you are mainly commuting, then drive it during rush hour. If you spend a lot of time driving on curvy roads, then be sure you drive it on some curvy roads. You want to check the acceleration and its cornering ability. Listen for any noises, and how loud the cabin of the car is. It is important that you really drive the car like you would on an everyday basis. This is a big purchase so do not be afraid to give the car a good workout. In many cases it helps to take a notebook with you to record your thought as soon as you can after driving the vehicle. This will help later when you are trying to choose between the various cars you are considering.

The test drive is a crucial component of buying a new car. It’s always a good idea to check both the interior of the car and how it drives. A new car is a big investment so you should make sure the car that you purchase is a good fit for you and your passengers, both inside and out.