Test Driving A New Car
When it comes to looking for a new car, one of the most critical steps, and also one of the most overlooked, is the test drive. For many, just the fact that the car is newer than what they’re currently driving is enough to sell them on the vehicle. But much like trying on a new pair of shoes or pants, you want to test drive a car to make sure it “fits.”
Here at Markley Motors in Fort Collins, we work hard to make sure that the car buying experience is an enjoyable and educational one. That’s why we encourage our customers to test drive a car the right way. Here’s what you should think about as you test drive your next vehicle.
Start By Doing Your Research
There’s a different kind of vehicle for nearly every need. But that doesn’t mean that one vehicle is going to do everything well. It’s important to figure out how you use your current vehicle and how you expect to use your new one. For instance, if you take lots of trips to the mountains and hills outside of Loveland to ski and climb, a compact car likely won’t carry your gear and your dog at the same time. But if you’re commuting from Greeley to Boulder every day, a small, gas-efficient car like a sedan is perfect for you. Identify the category of car you need then look within that category.
Within that category, find a few different models from different manufacturers. You’ll want to compare trim packages and features between them before you test drive them. Consider specs like gas mileage, device connectivity, and what kind of gas the vehicle needs.
Prepare Your Driver’s Info
It’s always a good idea to have copies of your insurance and driver’s license printed off before you visit the dealership. Not only will the dealership want to make copies of these things anyway, but it also limits the chances of identity theft since someone else isn’t copying and handling your documents.
Devote a Day to the Experience
With your list of cars and features in hand, it’s time to dedicate a day to test driving your choices. And yes, this will take an entire day. Make time to meet with the sales consultants, discuss the car you’re interested in, and of course, actually drive it.
Don’t feel pressured to buy the car right away, especially if it’s your first stop. Test drive all the cars before making a decision. Bringing a friend can keep you from making any hasty decisions, and make the experience more fun.
Give the Car a Careful Once Over
It’s important to inspect the exterior of the car closely. Even brand new vehicles can have subtle nicks, scrapes, and chips. This is especially important if you’re purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, as the former owner may have been rougher on the vehicle than you will be.
Hit the Road
From there, it’s time to start driving. As you drive the car, compare it to your current vehicle. Think about the driving position. Is the car comfortable? Do you have enough room for your head, arms, and legs? What about your passengers? Here’s where your friend can come in handy. Have them sit in the back while you drive and ask them about how they feel about the passenger seats. Keep in mind features like accessibility. Can you get in and out of the car with ease? How about the trunk or back gate. Can you open those with ease? You’ll also want to think about the view from the driver’s seat. You should have a clear field of vision everywhere you look. If the car has a backup camera, is it effective?
Comfort is key, but performance is a big part of it too. How does the vehicle handle? It should feel responsive to your touch and should accelerate and brake at a rate that you like. Think about controls and how you’ll use them. For instance, can you access all of the infotainment system’s functions easily? If possible, take the vehicle on the kind of roads you expect to be traveling on the most. That might be a nearby highway, or through a winding pass.
Make a Decision
This step is probably easier said than done, but if you were thorough about your test drive, you’ll find that the process is fairly simple. If you brought a friend along, ask them about the cars you drove that day and which one they felt was best for you. You can also use resources like Consumer Reports to compare features and specs at a glance. If need be, go back and test drive your top two cars again. Sometimes a second chance at driving the cars can make your decision a little more clear. Once you’ve made your choice, it’s time to head back to the dealership and start the buying process!
Northern Colorado’s Premier Auto Dealership
Markley Motors has proudly served the Front Range since 1936. If you’re looking for a new, or new-to-you vehicle, visit our dealership in Fort Collins today! Our sales consultants will work with you to find the perfect Buick, GMC, or Honda vehicle for your needs. We offer incredible financing and leasing options. Experience the Markley Difference for yourself, and visit us today!