Whether you’re a first-time car buyer or you’ve had your current vehicle appraised and you’re ready to trade up, getting a new car is exciting. But it can also be overwhelming. Even if you have an idea of what type of vehicle would best suit your lifestyle, it would be difficult and time-consuming to research every make and model available. So, with so many options, how do you choose? A test drive can help you with that, and is one of the most important parts of the car-buying process. Here’s why.
Familiarize yourself with the handling.
Everyone drives a little differently and is used to a certain handling style. For example, while some may prefer really responsive steering, others may find it to be too much and have trouble maneuvering. Test driving before you buy allows you to experience firsthand how a car feels to drive. The differences in handling you notice during your test drive may be things you can get used to over time. But some cars just won’t be a good fit for you. The only way to find out is to get a feel for it yourself before you buy.
Check out the space.
Many car ads mention “leg room” and “cargo space”. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get an accurate feel for the interior from a commercial or a photo online. The best way to determine if a car is spacious enough is to get in it. Is there enough room in the cabin for the comfort of the passengers during a long trip? Can it accommodate your family size? Does it have a big enough trunk? Your lifestyle may require a lot of room, or it may not and you’d prefer a smaller, sportier feel. Either way, exploring the interior space yourself will help you gauge if it will work for your needs.
Try out the car’s features.
Often, even after you’ve chosen your new car, there are tons more features to choose from. Some of these will be features you want your car to have, but others won’t be necessary and will end up costing you more money. Why buy a model with talked-up features that could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars extra without trying them out first? A test drive gives you the chance to try the extra features and options before committing to them. During your drive, you can get an idea of how useful each feature will be to you. How often would you take advantage of these features? If you can’t see yourself needing to use them much, then you can save yourself the extra cost. But they might be features you find yourself wondering how you ever drove without. You won’t know until you try them.
Decide which flaws you can live with.
There’s always something about a car that you wish was just a little different. The dashboard might not be arranged conveniently, the car seats are too low, or the side mirrors leave blind spots. These things sound small, and some are, but flaws like these can get more annoying—and more distracting—the longer you have the car. While you enjoy your test drive, pay attention to these things. Can you picture driving it every day? Will anything prevent you from driving safely or comfortably? The test drive is fun and thrilling, but make sure the car will work for you once the new-car excitement wears off too.
There are things you can tell about a car just from looking at it, but there’s a lot more that you can’t. A test drive is the best way to ensure that you’re getting the car, truck, or SUV that will best fit your needs. After all, it’s a big purchase and an investment, so it always pays to try before you buy. You can look through our available vehicles online before scheduling your free test drive, or stop by Bobb Says Yes! and see them for yourself today.