So you’re in the market for a new car! Seeing pictures of some shiny, new rides from your local, Houston dealer only makes you that much more excited to finally purchase your new vehicle. When this happens, it can be easy for the wallet to fly open, even for veteran buyers.
And that’s where the test drive comes in. The test drive is the only way to really know if that car is right for you. And we’re not talking about a quick, leisurely drive around Galena Park. You need to take a planned-out, detailed, investigation drive. This is even more important if you are buying a vehicle second-hand. To help with this process, we have come up with a few test drive tips to help you know if a car really is your perfect match.
- Do your research. Look up user reviews and actual specifications about the car you want to purchase. Learn about the options that your vehicle has. Research about their brand. Look up the different prices from different dealerships.
- Take your time. Do not plan to take that test drive on your 30 minute lunch break. Drive that car when you have lots of time. If you test drive on a tight schedule, your mind may not be as sharp as you would like it. Being under time constraints can make one stress and not pay as much attention.
- Try out different terrains. Most dealerships have pre-determined routes for you to take, so ask before you drive to go somewhere else. Drive on bumpy or curvy roads to really get a feel for it. Many different places like Channelview and Cinco Ranch have different levels of terrain to try out.
- Stop and Go. Accelerate hard and brake hard. This will give you the feel of the car’s true power.
- Check the climate control. Make sure the A/C works and that all the vents blow. Check that there is no weird smell coming out of the vents and that all the knobs work.
- Stereo check. Make sure the volume, radio, cd player and bluetooth hook up all work.
- Drive with a passenger. It is always a good idea to have a fresh pair of eyes and ears to give you a better sense of your ride. Pay attention to what they have to say and hear.
- Check the doors and windows. Nothing stinks more than not being able to open a door or window on your car. Check all the windows, doors and the trunk to make sure they open properly with the key and with the interior switches.
- Listen. Be on the lookout for anything that does not sound right.
- Adjust the seats. Make sure you are comfortable and that the seats can be customized to you.
After you have completed this checklist, go with your gut feeling on how the test drive went. Try to keep an open mind and make the best choice. Whether you live in Cloverleaf or Columbus, always buckle up and drive safe. Have a great test drive!