A bit of research about the kind of car you are interested in will go a long way in helping you evaluate the car against various parameters during the test drive.
The excitement of buying a new car can be overpowering, but the key is to not get carried away. The only prerequisite of a test drive is that you be sure of the kind of car you need and plan to buy. That narrows down the plethora of choices and makes it easier for you to choose from the huge variety.
Once you know the kind of car you are looking for, and your budget is set, only then should you move on to the next, and the most important step, of test driving the car. A test drive, essentially, is when you drive an automobile before buying it, to evaluate its performance, efficiency, comfort level, and various other parameters.
A major part of your decision to buy a car is influenced by the test drive you take. It is, therefore, the most important step of the entire process of buying a car. Here are the tips on how to test drive a car properly.
Take the test drive when you are away from the everyday hustle-bustle, and in the right frame of mind. Making a hasty decision could affect your choice, and you might end up making a futile buy.
During the test drive, try parking the car at two or three different locations, especially ones you would normally come across in your daily routine, like parallel parking. Check how comfortable it is to park and get out of the parking.
These include cruise controls, music controls, child-lock systems, window controls, seat, luggage rack, hood adjustments, and automatic features (if the car has any). Check for Bluetooth, phone, iPod, and radio connectivity as well.
Once you are done driving the car and checking it from a driver's point of view, test the car from a passenger's point of view. How comfortable are the backseats, is there enough leg room, is it kid-friendly, is the suspension amount just right- these are some of the factors that need to be evaluated so that the passengers enjoy the ride as well.
Ask the salesperson to explain the technical terms and features in the simplest way possible, if you find them hard to understand.
Reflect on Final Considerations
You will probably have test driven many cars and left yourself the freedom of choices and options. Take a second, or even third opinion if needed. Don't get carried away by the advertising skill of the salesperson, and do reflect as much on the test drives you took. Respect your intuition as well, before taking the final plunge.
These pointers should give you the basic understanding of how to test drive a car before you buy it. However, do not stop here. Feel free to ask the salesperson or your attendant at the car showroom if you have any more doubts about the car, and make sure you are perfectly satisfied and become well-acquainted with the car that you finally decide to purchase.