Tips to Consider Before Test Driving a New Vehicle
Although some of these tips may seem obvious, it’s easy to get distracted with a shiny new vehicle! Here are some practical things to check for during your test drive to make the most informed decision possible.
- Research and Compare
Even if you’ve already narrowed down a model, it’s important to look into the trim level differences. Price out a few different options and make sure that during your test drive, you’re focusing on the main differences between your possibilities. With trim levels, it’s nice to look at the difference between a couple to find out which will be the most valuable for you. Not sure if you need a sunroof? Try one with and one without (if both are on the lot) to see what sort of difference it makes in your driving experience.
- Have Your Must-Haves and Budget Ready
If you have a specific budget before shopping, make sure you know your non-negotiables when it comes to a vehicle so your sales representative can seat you in what would work for you. There’s no use testing out a vehicle at the top of your budget without a key feature you need. Think about your current vehicle and what you love (and don’t) and go from there!
- Bring Someone With You
Bring along someone who you know well, or knows their cars. A second set of eyes is always beneficial when it comes to these large, important purchases. Together, you should be able to find out more information about the vehicle you’re looking at.
- Check All Features You Would Use
A vehicle is something you will spend a lot of time in, or at least use most days! Make sure it fits with your lifestyle. Need to fit 2 hockey bags in the back? Take some measurements (or bring some cargo!). Planning to use the 4×4? Test it out! Bring car seats, the tallest member of your family, anything out of the ordinary where the comfort varies from car to car. The more you check early on before making the decision, the happier you will be with your choice! Here are some components to play around with:
- Cruise Control
- Climate Control
- Speed and Acceleration
- Seating positions
- Trunk space/Folding seats
- Console storage
- Ease of parking and maneuverability
Like any larger purchase, a bit of research and preparation can go a long way! Look for video reviews or tutorials on the models you’re interested in before going in so there are no surprises. Test drives can be a lot of fun, enjoy the process!