Contrary to popular belief, the test drive is still a very important step in the auto buying process. You must try before you buy, Savvy shoppers tend to do a lot of research before heading to a dealership. Whether they’re considering the type of vehicle, fuel economy or safety rating, buyers typically spend a lot of time on research sites such as KBB or Edmunds reading reviews and specs of prospective models.
This has resulted in a much more informed buyer, but there is one thing that is missing, “how do I feel when I get in the driver’s seat”. The test drive is probably the most important step of the vehicle buying process, never buy a vehicle without doing a proper test drive. The average consumer spends 14 hours online researching a vehicle and not doing a test drive is insane. You Must Try Before You Buy!
Take the vehicle on the highway, local roads, and parking lots. A good test drive should take a minimum of 15 minutes, do not rush the test drive process, purchasing a vehicle is the second most expensive item besides the purchase of a home. Imagine, you buy a $45,000 truck or SUV and you take it on your first trip of grocery shopping and it is very difficult to park, or can’t see over the hood. You simply can’t bring the truck back to the dealership and exchange it for something different, it’s not like going to the local department store to exchange a shirt that you bought that does not fit.
So here are the steps that I recommend:
- Get in the vehicle and adjust seats and mirrors – Are you comfortable and is everything within reach?
- Drive the vehicle as you normally would
- Take it on local roads
- Go on the highway and see how it will perform, change lanes, pass other cars – Does it have the
- performance that you expect?
- Go to a shopping center, school or church and try to park the vehicle – Is it easy to park?
- If you have children in car seats, put the car seats in and see how they fit are their feet hitting the back of the front seat
- Drive it home and see if it would fit in the garage.
So, if you are in the market for a new or used vehicle, do your research online, but you should test drive the vehicle to ensure you are going to love it for at least 3 to 5 years!