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Car Tips: 5 Dos and Donts of Test Driving by PPSL BMW

5 DOs and DONTs of Test Driving


By PPSL / Cars / Sep 21, 2017


Just as you would try on clothes before buying, a test drive gives you a good gauge of the car's performance, fit, finish, and feel. But unlike that shirt which you regret buying, returning a car isn't as simple. A car may be one of the most expensive purchases in your life, so it is important to make a proper assessment of the car. And the best way to do that is a test drive, of course! Here are a few things to consider for a productive test drive.


DO Your Homework

Research the cars that you are interested in. What type of car are you looking for? Do you have any models in mind? Read up on the reviews and specifications of the cars that you plan to test drive. Ideally, arrange to have the test drives on the same day, so your impressions are fresher and easier to compare.
 

DO Make an Appointment

You wouldn't want to turn up at the car dealership only to find the car that you want is unavailable or already sold. Calling ahead gives your car salesperson enough time to get the car ready for your test drive, as it could be parked at a different location.
 

DO Check the Car Inside Out

Before you take it for a spin, try out various features for ergonomics and ease of use. Do the doors open smoothly? Can you adjust the seats for more room? Are the electronics controls intuitive to use? How does the engine sound when idling? And if you're test driving a pre-owned vehicle, look out for dents, scratches and broken fixtures.
 

DO Ask Plenty of Questions

Knowing more details about the car can help you get a better feel of your prospective purchase. Prepare a list of questions beforehand and go into specifics such as warranty terms. The response to your questions may also say a lot about the quality of service you can expect from your car salesperson and the dealership after you've made your purchase.
 

DO Drive to Suit Your Needs

Test the car's capability in meeting your daily driving requirements. Discuss the test drive route with your sales consultant and be specific about the kind of road conditions you'd like to test. Specify requests such as stop-start commutes, steep climbs, bumpy roads and tight corners to test the car's acceleration, steering, handling, braking, and suspension. Do expect that some dealerships may have pre-planned routes for safety purposes.
 


DON'T Rush Through Your Drive

A car only shows its true character during a drive, so take your time in examining the car. Are the controls easy to toggle while driving? How well can you see out in every direction, especially the rear window? Any distracting quirks such as road noise or strange smells?
 

DON'T Be a Racer

Basic road rules and safety still apply in a test drive! Practise extra caution when merging or cornering as you may not yet be familiar with the car's handling and response. If you want to test its pick-up speed and acceleration, let your car salesperson know first.
 

DON'T Just Test-Drive One Car

Test driving a few other cars allows you to compare your options before deciding on the one that suits you best. Remember you will be driving it for quite some time. Keep your options open, so you won't regret your decision!
 

DON'T Go Without Family and Friends

If you are buying a family car, it is crucial to bring family members along. Get their opinions on the car's features and capabilities as they will be your passengers most of the time. Passengers in the front and rear seats may spot things that a driver overlooked.
 

DON'T Decide When You're Pressured

An impatient car sales consultant may start negotiating even before the test drive ends, but you shouldn't feel pressured by time-sensitive offers to decide. Take some time to compare and reflect on all your test drive experiences to have better perspective and confidence in your final choice. A confident sales consultant would wait until you're ready.
 


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5 DOs and DONTs of Test Driving


By PPSL / Cars / Sep 21, 2017


Just as you would try on clothes before buying, a test drive gives you a good gauge of the car's performance, fit, finish, and feel. But unlike that shirt which you regret buying, returning a car isn't as simple. A car may be one of the most expensive purchases in your life, so it is important to make a proper assessment of the car. And the best way to do that is a test drive, of course! Here are a few things to consider for a productive test drive.


DO Your Homework

Research the cars that you are interested in. What type of car are you looking for? Do you have any models in mind? Read up on the reviews and specifications of the cars that you plan to test drive. Ideally, arrange to have the test drives on the same day, so your impressions are fresher and easier to compare.
 

DO Make an Appointment

You wouldn't want to turn up at the car dealership only to find the car that you want is unavailable or already sold. Calling ahead gives your car salesperson enough time to get the car ready for your test drive, as it could be parked at a different location.
 

DO Check the Car Inside Out

Before you take it for a spin, try out various features for ergonomics and ease of use. Do the doors open smoothly? Can you adjust the seats for more room? Are the electronics controls intuitive to use? How does the engine sound when idling? And if you're test driving a pre-owned vehicle, look out for dents, scratches and broken fixtures.
 

DO Ask Plenty of Questions

Knowing more details about the car can help you get a better feel of your prospective purchase. Prepare a list of questions beforehand and go into specifics such as warranty terms. The response to your questions may also say a lot about the quality of service you can expect from your car salesperson and the dealership after you've made your purchase.
 

DO Drive to Suit Your Needs

Test the car's capability in meeting your daily driving requirements. Discuss the test drive route with your sales consultant and be specific about the kind of road conditions you'd like to test. Specify requests such as stop-start commutes, steep climbs, bumpy roads and tight corners to test the car's acceleration, steering, handling, braking, and suspension. Do expect that some dealerships may have pre-planned routes for safety purposes.
 


DON'T Rush Through Your Drive

A car only shows its true character during a drive, so take your time in examining the car. Are the controls easy to toggle while driving? How well can you see out in every direction, especially the rear window? Any distracting quirks such as road noise or strange smells?
 

DON'T Be a Racer

Basic road rules and safety still apply in a test drive! Practise extra caution when merging or cornering as you may not yet be familiar with the car's handling and response. If you want to test its pick-up speed and acceleration, let your car salesperson know first.
 

DON'T Just Test-Drive One Car

Test driving a few other cars allows you to compare your options before deciding on the one that suits you best. Remember you will be driving it for quite some time. Keep your options open, so you won't regret your decision!
 

DON'T Go Without Family and Friends

If you are buying a family car, it is crucial to bring family members along. Get their opinions on the car's features and capabilities as they will be your passengers most of the time. Passengers in the front and rear seats may spot things that a driver overlooked.
 

DON'T Decide When You're Pressured

An impatient car sales consultant may start negotiating even before the test drive ends, but you shouldn't feel pressured by time-sensitive offers to decide. Take some time to compare and reflect on all your test drive experiences to have better perspective and confidence in your final choice. A confident sales consultant would wait until you're ready.
 


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