The test drive isnít just the fun part of the car buying process. When you get to find out how a car feels itís also the most important bit. You can find out if for certain if that car you fancy really is the right car for you. The question is just how do you do that?
For a start the test drive starts well before you start to drive. First make sure you can get comfortable behind the wheel and check how easy the controls are to use. And finally make sure your phone is compatible with the car. Remember a minor irritation now can become a major gripe over time.
Donít forget practicality either. Check out how easy it is to get in and out of the back and how much space there is. Check how easy it is to move any folding seats and bring along any of the things you regularly have to carry such as child car seats, musical instruments, golf clubs, whatever, just to see how easy it is to get in and out. You do all of this first, because if the car fails any of these tests, how it drives is irrelevant. But if itís thumbs up all the way, then you can hit the road. Itís best to check in advance if anyone from the dealership can come with you, and if you can you can ask to go on your own so youíre not distracted. If they absolutely insist on accompanying you, bring a friend so they can listen to the dealer whilst you focus on the car. Spend as much time in the car as possible and try to drive on familiar roads. That way you can concentrate on what the car is doing rather than trying to find your way. Likewise try and drive in conditions that youíd likely encounter on a daily basis.
When experts review a car, fitness for purpose is the most important single consideration. In other words does the car do what you want it to do? If you spend a lot of time in town, you should make sure you get a really good view all the way around. Check the weight of the controls. If the steering is too heavy for example or the pedals are too firm it could mean that your dream car is actually a nightmare to drive. On the other hand if youíll be spending hour after hour on the motorway, comfort and refinement will be more important. So have a good listen out for any potentially unbearable noises and work out if the ride is comfortable. If youíre looking at a performance car, you probably will be able to put up with a bit more noise and a sportier feel to the way the car drives, but will it be too much in everyday use? Now is the time to find out.
Ultimately only one person can decide if any car is the right one for you, so decide what you want from it and use the test drive to see if thatís what you get. If you do get what you want then this could just be the right car for you.