But I Don't Know Anything About Cars!- How to Get the Right Car for You: The Test Drive
So youíve finally picked out the car thatís right for you! But where do you go from there? Well the next step in the process of getting your next vehicle is the test drive.
So youíve finally picked out the car thatís right for you! You know it has the right kind of space, the right powertrain, (this is the set of parts in the car that generate power in the vehicle and makes things go, such as the engine) and you know that the vehicle fits your safety and comfort needs. But where do you go from there? Well the next step in the process of getting your next vehicle is the test drive. You always want to make sure you take your new car for a test drive before you commit to buy because you may find that even though all the specifics line up perfectly the car just doesnít drive the way you would like it to. There are several important things to remember when you are considering taking a car for a test drive.
Most importantly, concentrate on the drive. As you are driving the car be sure to concentrate on how the vehicle feels to you. Make sure the way the vehicle drives is comfortable for you and fits your needs. Donít drive with the radio on or have other distractions going on while you are trying to drive, because these can easily impact your ability to focus on whether or not this is the right car for you. You also donít want to rush yourself. Take plenty of time, and always set aside enough time for the test drive. A test drive shouldnít be something you just do to kill time before heading to another engagement. It should be something you set into your schedule and plan for. Feeling rushed to finish the test drive may cause you to not fully get into the test drive experience. Buying a car is a major decision, and you want to make sure you have thought through it thoroughly.
The key to test driving a car is to drive it as though it were already yours. You want to think to yourself, ďCan I see myself driving this everyday over the next few years?Ē If the answer to that question is no, you may want to think long and hard about why that is and see if there is a vehicle that better fits your needs. It is important to remember that just like when you try on something at the clothing store if you donít like it when you try it in the store, you wonít like it when you get it home.
Think about the ways in which you plan to use the car and plan to test those aspects of the vehicle accordingly. Do you commute to work in the city? Test a lot of stop and go city traffic. Do you have a long highway commute? Try to drive the car on highway roads. You should also try taking the car up and down hills, especially if you expect any trips to the mountains in your future. You want to recreate the conditions under which you would be regularly using the car.
There are a number of things you will want to test as you drive the vehicle however which are not necessarily related to your average everyday commute but are nonetheless very important. Try taking the vehicle over a few bumps in the road to see how it handles, being very careful of course. Also test the turning radius by taking some curvy roads and possibly even by taking a sharp turn, though this should be done in a safe and controlled environment such as an empty parking lot. Be sure to test the cooling power of the air conditioner especially if you are prone to overheating, or take care to test the heat if the opposite is true of you. Also try changing lanes once or twice, not only to test the way the vehicle works with you but also to check the turn signals. Itís surprising how many of those little things like turn signal access that we donít think of as important when picking out a new vehicle, and then they come to be a major annoyance that could have easily been avoided. And donít forget to check the brakes! They can be one of the most important parts of your regular drive and if you donít feel comfortable with them then it can be a major problem for you later on.
After youíve gotten a good idea of how the vehicle drives you should always make sure to give yourself a bit of practice, especially if you are testing a vehicle of a different size or shape than you are used to. After youíve come to a stop you should test out the back seat to see how comfortable it is, especially if you plan to be having any passengers in the vehicle on a regular basis. Donít forget to also test the comfort of your own seat! Try getting in and out of the vehicle a few times to test the easiness of this. It may seem comfortable enough the first time you get in, or you may overlook this little bit of the test drive, but this that could easily cause problems later on if you do decide to purchase the car.
So after you have finished your test drive it may be tempting to run inside the dealership and excitedly put down an offer right away. It is very important to go home and sleep on it before you make such a major life decision. Donít let yourself get caught up in the moment without thinking clearly about what you liked and didnít like about the drive. If you truly do love the car and it is the right one for you, you will still love it in the morning after a good nightís rest. Now that you've driven the car you are considering and gotten a good night's rest, it's time to make a decision on it.
Be on the look out for the next article in the "I Don't Know Anything About Cars" series, and if you havenít already, make sure to check out the last article in this series ďBut I Donít Know Anything About Cars- How to Find the Right Car for You: Fun Stuff.Ē
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessica Harmon is a staff writer for Liberty Buick GMC. Please consider any of our used vehicles when you look for your next car! If you are thinking of purchasing a new vehicle, be sure to contact us for more information!