You’ve done your research, spoken to friends and family, and have finally picked out your new car. But before you make your purchase, you need to get acquainted with your potential new vehicle – and that means more than just peeking through the windows.
One of the most important things you should do when purchasing a new car is giving it a thorough test drive. If you don’t test drive your potential vehicle, you cannot experience how it drives and handles on the road.
If you’re preparing for a test drive, take heed – here are five important things you should do to properly test drive your vehicle.
1. Make an Appointment
You don’t want to waste your precious time by showing up for your test drive, only to find out that your vehicle of choice is not in stock at the dealership.
That’s why it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your car dealership beforehand, making sure to specify which model you’re interested in – it will cut down your wait time considerably.
2. Adjust Everything
When you get in your potential new car, there are a few things you should do before you even turn on the engine – including adjusting everything to your preference.
Adjust the mirrors as you do in your own car, then adjust the seat to your ideal position, and answer the following questions – does the seat give you enough visibility over the steering wheel? Are you comfortable overall? Is there enough legroom, and headroom? Is your lower back and lumber adequately supported?
3. Simulate Your Daily Drive
While test driving your potential new car, you will want to take it through a simulation of your actual day-to-day drive. That means that your test drive should match your driving requirements. For example, if your daily commute to and from work takes you on the highway, practice taking your car on the highway to see how it performs at higher speeds.
No matter where you take your car for a test drive, make sure to evaluate the following:
- Steering and Handling:
- Engine noise
4. Test the Technology
Besides testing your car’s performance on the road, you’ll want to also test its in-car technology – after all, you will most likely be using this tech regularly, or at least every now and again.
Is the infotainment screen large enough and easy to read? Is the navigation system intuitively designed, and easy to use? For example, are you able to easily change radio stations?
Test the vehicle’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to make sure it functions properly with your phone and other devices.
Consider the steering wheel controls, and how intuitive they will be to use on a regular basis. Test the back-up camera to see how clearly you can see objects behind your vehicle, making sure the screen is not too grainy.
5. After the Test Drive
Even if you’re satisfied with your test drive, and have a clear idea of whether or not you want to go through with the purchase, it’s still a good idea to take some time afterwards to reflect on your experience driving your chosen vehicle. It’s wise to test drive at least three cars, so that you can keep your options open.
When you’ve made your choice, you’ll want to inquire about the vehicle’s warranty, and ask if the dealership charges for basic maintenance services.
What’s left after you’ve made your choice and bought your shiny new car? The proper insurance coverage, of course – make sure you protect your new investment with the right kind of insurance, like an auto insurance policy from Desjardins.