Test-driving vehicles are a fun way to drive a variety of potential cars. If you’re thinking about buying your first car or a new car, test driving a vehicle or even several is the best way to go. 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 the 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 it.
There are several things to keep in mind when you are test driving a car.
1. Understand test driving policies
Before taking the wheel, make sure 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 test’s one of their cars.
2. Call ahead
When you arrive to meet that perspective ‘new-to-you’ ride for the first time, you’ll want a few things to be set up for you. First, ask the seller to ensure the engine is stone-cold and hasn’t been pre-warmed ahead of your arrival. This may mean coordinating a time to see the vehicle when it’s been parked for an hour or two. Sometimes, sellers will pre-warm a vehicle’s engine to conceal a sound or issue that’s more apparent at startup – including visible smoke from the tailpipes or an unwanted rattle or knock when the engine is cold. Accurately checking oil levels may require the engine to be cold as well, but still check the instructions in the owner’s manual of the specific vehicle you’re considering to be sure.
3. Ask for help
Before driving an unfamiliar car, ask the car salesperson to explain how it’s operated. Ask where the turn signals are and anything unusual about how the car’s transmission system works. If you’re 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.
4. Mimic your regular driving activity
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. Drive on roads that mimic your regular 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 the interstate. Drive a route that will allow you to experience how the car handles speeds, stop and go traffic, inclines, declines, and bumpy roads.
5. Pay attention to details
There are a couple of crucial things that you should pay attention to when test driving a vehicle. How smoothly the car accelerates, how easy it is to steer the vehicle, how the car handles bumps or stretches of rough road, visibility, and comfort.
Head on over to the Car Factory, where we can help you get the car of your dreams in the budget you have in mind. Please book an appointment for your test drives today by calling us at 786-406-6234. You can also visit our website and check out our range of new or certified used cars.
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