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How to Properly Test Drive a Car

What You Should Do and Consider During Your Test Drive

When it comes to looking for a new car, the test drive can often be the deciding factor in making a final choice between different vehicles. Although a lot of the decision making happens through online research, looking at different models, considering the input of family and friends, and speaking with a salesperson, how you feel behind the wheel and how the car operates is really what makes the final sale. But, are you doing everything you can during your test drive to make the right decision? Consumer Reports recently published an article about just this topic – here is a summary of what you should know.

Eliminate Distractions

It is important to make sure you are focused when test driving a potential new car. Having the right concentration will help you to truly feel how the car handles, give you time to think about your comfort level in the cabin of the vehicle as well as taking the time to consider additional options or add-ons and price points. Many car dealers will allow potential buyers to take the test drive on their own, but there are a few out there who still insist on sending a salesperson along with the driver.

If a salesperson or dealership representative is required to go with you, consider bringing a friend or family member along to act as a buffer between the driver and the salesman. When trying to determine if you like how a car drives, the last thing you want is someone talking continually throughout the trip and trying to sell the vehicle while you are driving it. Having a companion along can help to handle the conversation with a dealership representative while you keep your focus on the drive. Or, you could tell him or her too much talking is considered distracted driving and he or she needs to be quiet so you can concentrate on the road!

Think About the Right Things

Being in a new car can be overwhelming, causing you to possibly not consider all of the most important points of buying a new vehicle. While there are many things to consider, there are a few main areas you should focus on. First, think about the comfort of the ride – do you feel every bump in the road, does the car isolate you from road condition changes, or somewhere in the middle? It is important to choose a car that is controlled and tight feeling, while also being comfortable over bumps and dips in the road.

Also, think about how the car handles – take note of how it tracks on straight stretches and if it responds to quick steering corrections and choose a vehicle you are comfortable controlling. Finally, consider how the vehicle breaks and accelerates – are you able to speed up quickly in order to merge onto a busy highway in a safe manner? Do the breaks respond quick enough for you to avoid accidents on the road? All of these elements will help you to choose a vehicle that fits your needs and you are confident driving.

Before your teen driver heads out for a test drive, he or she may need some lessons from an Ocean City NJ driving school like Training Wheels! Keith has been teaching new teen drivers for years and would love to hear from you. To learn more about Training Wheels Driving School or to contact Keith to schedule an appointment, click here.

*Photo Courtesy of Land Rover MENA via Creative Commons License