How To Do A Proper New Car Test Drive

That new car smell can cause mental impairment. It’s downright debilitating! It’s hard to focus on everyday needs when the newness of a car, and all its technology and sparkle, surrounds you. But there’s a way.

Test driving should be the last step in a long car buying research process. Before you even set foot in the car dealership, you should narrow your options down as much as possible. Test drive only the vehicles you’re seriously thinking about buying. Here are the steps we suggest.

First, open the door and start examining the look and feel of the car. Ask yourself:

Is it comfortable to get in and out of?
Is the seat comfortable?
Is there enough legroom? Even in the back seat?
Are the controls easy to reach and logically placed?
Can you reach the pedals comfortably?

Once you have the car keys, drive along a route you would normally drive on, or something similar. Think about these questions:

How does it run?
Did it start right away?
How does the engine sound?
Is shifting easy?
Does it feel powerful enough?
Are there any rattles and shakes that might indicate suspension problems?
Do the brakes respond to sudden stops?
Are there any blind spots?

If you’re considering other options, try to schedule your test drives back-to-back. That way the experience will be fresh in your memory and you’ll be able to compare the cars better. Don’t commit to negotiating the price yet because there’s one more thing you should do before that.

Before you negotiate a price (or even before you visit any dealerships), get quotes online, from any dealers you choose. Then use competing quotes as a negotiation tool. Click here to get started.

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