The Try Before You Buy
At some point in life, you will be faced with this task of buying a new car. It can be a very exciting experience browsing through all of the options and trims available at your favorite dealership. However, the researching, number crunching, and lot rummaging can be tiring and slightly discouraging at times. Regardless of the experience that you have, the feeling of leaving the lot with a new toy is one that is incomparable. There is one step in the car buying process that is critical to make sure that you are making the best vehicle purchase. This step, my friends, is the TEST DRIVE!
In recent years, dealerships have noticed a decline of customers test driving vehicles. These customers believe their extensive internet researching and dealership visits are enough and test drives are a waste of time. This is NOT TRUE AT ALL! Actually, that is exactly why the test drive is VERY important. It will lay to rest all of your reservations on how your favorite set of wheels performs on the road and helps to solidify your decision of purchasing the vehicle or not.
Now, before you go jumping into the car of your choice for a test drive. There are a few basic tips that will make the process run much smoother and eliminate confusion and miscommunication.
- Have all of your registration information with you (license and proof of insurance). Besides the fact that it should always be with you while operating a vehicle, dealerships will require a license before they turn you loose with their merchandise.
- ALWAYS examine the vehicle before the test drive. Inspect the exterior and interior for any damage or marks and alert your salesperson. No need to get accused of something you didn’t do and change the air of an otherwise delightful visit.
- Wherever you go, it goes. If you drive a lot on the highway and street, make sure that you test drive on the highway and street. Give ‘er some gas and test the acceleration. Get comfortable from the most accurate ride.
- Finally, PAY ATTENTION! Know what is important to you in a new vehicle and make sure that this car meets and/or exceeds those requirements. Also, test the functionality of interior features (A/C, radio, seat adjustments). This could possibly be the car you buy, you should KNOW that you’ll enjoy it.
Depending on the dealership, their test driving protocol can vary. Some may be required to ride with you or leave items other than your ID for “collateral”. Whatever the case, you should never deprive yourself of this essential process when considering a new car purchase. This is a huge responsibility and investment, make sure that you are thoroughly satisfied with it.