Tips for getting the most out of test drives

One of the most important steps in choosing a car to buy is the test drive. No matter how much money you will be spending, if you are paying with a bad credit car loan, if you are buying a compact car or a Ferrari, you should know what to look for when you get behind the wheel of your dream car.

When you go to the dealership, it is a good idea to bring along anyone else who may be driving the car regularly so that you can make sure that the car satisfies everyone involved. If you have a family, you can bring them along to get a feel for level of comfort of the car you are considering, which can be especially important for long road trips to grandma’s house.

What many drivers may not realize is that their ideal car may come in a variety of different trim levels. This can mean different engines, transmissions, and other auto parts that can affect the drive. If you are considering buying a base model of a car and the dealer offers to let you test drive a version with a more powerful engine, they may be trying to sell you on a car that happens to run better than the one you take home.

It is important to know what to expect from your vehicle before you buy it, especially if you are considering car financing. It can be frustrating enough to be stuck with a car you don’t love, but having to make monthly payments on it will just add insult to injury.

Take your time getting used to the location of the controls when you get behind the wheel. If it is the exact vehicle you plan to buy and not just a similar model, you should make sure that things such as the seat controls, radio, heater, air conditioning and other interior accessories are in working order.

Once you’re on the road, forget that the car isn’t yours so you can drive it like you will once you own it. Take the vehicle down roads you would normally drive, and try to test it out on a variety of road surfaces, such as sand, gravel and bumpy roads. If possible, you should also try to test drive the car at night as well as during the day so you can check the headlights and make sure you can read the dash when the sun goes down.