Thinking about a new car? Done your research, narrowed down your list and preparing for the test drive element of car buying? Well, for us taking a car out for 10 minutes is not a test drive.
Thanks to Autotrader for the image. It links through to an article about the
12 best cars to test drive in 2018
How are you supposed to know if a car suits you and your needs after ten minutes of basically pootling along a dual carriageway for a bit, few slower back roads to test the braking and gear changes and you’re back, with barely any time to use the functions of the car and certainly not making phone calls or using the other tech.
Our advice? Plenty of brands out there offer a weekend / overnight test drive. Not on your shortlist? Ask your preferred brand anyway, they can only say no but their response to this might actually make the sales and service decision for you.
Here are our Top Tips for making a Test Drive work for you
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🚗 Get comfy! We know men and women are different here – men (from my experience) get in and go while women take a little time adjusting mirrors, seats etc. Actually everyone should make sure the seats adjust in the way you’ll need them too, that you can reach the peddles comfortably, that the clutch goes all the way to the floor and you can get in and out as you need to.
🚗 Take a friend. You can’t possibly see / play with everything while you’re making sure you don’t crash the very expensive car in your care so get someone else to check it out. Heck, take the kids too; might as well see if they fit, can kick the back of your seat and check the child locks work.
🚗 Take your time. I’m sure all the sales people reading this will be raising their eyes to the sky reading this, and if you catch them doing it go to another dealer. You are spending a lot of money, you will have this car for (probably a minimum of) three years or so. You HAVE to like it. So sit in it, press all the buttons, check out the tech, make a phone call, use the voice recognition – that sales team have told you how amazeballs it is, let them prove it!
🚗 Take your test drive in familiar areas so you’re not worrying about where you’re going while you wonder where the indicators are. You’ll get a better indication of how the car works if you’re confident with where you’re driving.
🚗 Do your best not to test drive at night or in busy times. Save these for the second test – yep – commit to a second test before you commit to the car. It’s likely that in the hunt for your next car that you might have taken 5 different makes or cars out and it’s easy for them to get muddled up, so before you commit to the purchase do a longer, more comprehensive drive (ask for that weekend!).
🚗 If you’re a woman, take a female sales person; if you’re a man, take a male. The sexes have totally different approaches to driving and you’ll want to discuss any (non technical, more emotional) issues or concerns with someone who will understand them. It could be less distracting to have someone of the same sex, leaving you to concentrate on the job in hand.
🚗 And our final tip? Take it home. Make sure it fits on the drive/in the garage. Got a sloping driveway? Better make sure you can get the car up and down without scraping the bodywork or hitting the exhaust.
These tips are geared towards dealership sales but work for private sales too. Don’t be put off if the seller tries to hurry you – with a private sale you have very little come back so make sure you really like the car before buying it. And listen carefully to the engine and other car sounds while you’re out there.
So there you have it – our guide to test driving. Happy car shopping! And when you’ve got your new car you can keep it sparkly and shiny and all ‘new smelly’ with all of the awesome products we sell at Oak Road including lovely AutoGlym. We even sell sponges. See you soon! 🚗