Test Drive Essentials – 5 Points to consider before going for a practical car inspection

  • Feb 08, 2017

It’s rightly said that hands-on experience is all that counts and one can’t go for long solely with theoretical knowledge. The same concept applies in the case of cars. So, when you go out for car shopping, it’s not the broachers, reviews or salesmen explanations that’ll help. In order to make the right decision one needs to get behind the wheel. A test drive is all that you need. Remember, never go for a car just because your distant relative or office college thinks it's good.

Experience the cars goodness yourself, coz what may work for some may not turn out well for you.

Cars are like clothes; one size doesn't fit all. But test drive isn’t just about a ten-minute long drive; it’s much more than that. A proper course of action is to be followed to get the most out of the micro ride.

Test Drive Essentials

Here is a step-by-step action plan to be followed, while going for a test drive –

1) Do your research

Before going for a test drive or calling the dealership personal home with the car, it’s recommended to do some research work. It’ll include, checking the car’s web page, reading the brochure, going through critics review. See, the available trim options and take the test drive of variant you are considering.

It’s recommended to take the test drive on the route you travel most. Try and bargain for a good 10 to 15 minutes ride. More you’ll drive more you’ll explore.

2) Before the Ride Check-up

Once the dealership agrees to your terms and you reach in for the drive, a check-up needs to be done. See to it that the car provided is the trim you asked for and are interested in buying. With the same engine, transmission and other features. In case, it's not the same trim you asked for, ask about differences.

3) Pay Attention to Built Quality

Taking a 360-degree tour of a car is an excellent idea. Doing so, you’ll get a detailed idea about the car's design language and other prominent exterior features like headlights, fog lamps, roof spoiler, roof rails, chrome highlights, etc. It gives you a good idea of the difference between the variants. As for the built quality, it can be checked by opening and closing the door and observing, is it swift with a solid sound or was it a bit pushy. Check for dual sealing, as it prevents dust from entering the cabin.

4) Cabin Analysis

When inside, observe everything from upholstery to plastic quality, from switches/buttons to storage space. Before starting the test drive, it is vital that you give your mind a small orientation. It’s important as the car is new to you and it’s necessary to get comfortable to analyze the car with a free mind. Also, listen to the engine sound, is it bothering inside the cabin, is it smooth or you can feel the vibration. Observe every little detail.

5) Finally the Drive Begins

Test Driving A Car

While you are behind the wheel, apart from constantly keeping an eye on the road, you got to judge the car and its ride quality. Feel the smoothness of the transmission, responsiveness of the brake, the pick-up, acceleration, and the ease with which the car turns. Try parking the car, this way you’ll get to check the rear view camera (if available) and get a good idea of its dimension and whether or not it fights into tight spaces.

Back to the starting point, only this time with a bit of practical experience. One last advice, remember to note down all points you felt are missing or bothering. Later on, you can compare it with other cars on your checklist, thus helping you make a smart and informed decision.

Share your test drive story and tell us what you think are some must-do checks.


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