What You Should Do On A New Car Test Drive

By: Jim Johnson

If you have gotten to the test drive portion of the car buying process, you should have already narrowed down your vehicle choices to just a small handful, and now you need to see how each of them actually drives. It's best not to test drive any vehicle that you have not researched as this is how many dealers get you to buy a vehicle that is more than what you originally planned.

They know that once you actually sit in a very expensive car and physically drive it, there is a good chance that you will begin trying to justify buying it any way that you can because of it's natural appeal. To keep from putting yourself in that situation altogether just avoid test driving any car that you haven't already selected as a purchase that could fit well within your monthly budget.

That said, what you want to do on a new car test drive is simulate the driving conditions that will be part of the daily routine for that vehicle. So if you do a lot of stop and go driving, make sure that you drive the car on streets that have that kind of traffic. If you tend to drive on the highway, put it on a nearby highway to test it out.

Once inside the car, take note of all the location of all the safety features like windshield wipers, headlights, horn and so on. It's amazing how many people climb into a strange car and take off without knowing where these switches are and so they start fumbling for them out on the road where such a distraction can be very dangerous.

While the car is stopped in a safe area, it's a good idea to get in and out of the car a few times and make sure that it is relatively easy for you to do so. Also don't forget to check how easy it is to enter and exit the car from the back seat. If you have a family make sure that they will fit comfortably in the back seat as well as the front.

An important consideration for tall drivers is to check the feel of the driver's seat, especially if it goes back far enough to comfortably accommodate your height.

It's often a good idea to take the car to a deserted parking lot and test the brakes and cornering more thoroughly and aggressively than you can on the road. Just do it in a safe manner that isn't reckless. And keep the radio off as you drive to be able to listen closely for noises that could signal a possible problem with that vehicle.

If you practice these suggestions when you test drive a new car it will help you get thoroughly familiar with the vehicle and how it fits you and your needs. If it does not measure up to expectations expand your original search instead. But only buy a vehicle that you feel totally comfortable about after the test drive.

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