First, do all your research. Get online find out what you like, don’t like and what you’ve got to have. Once you get it narrowed to a few choices it’s time to call or email a few dealerships. It’s a get up and go world, and any good sales consultant will contact you the way you want to be contacted, even via text. If you email a dealership & ask questions about availability & pricing, they should email you back very quickly with answers specific to your questions. If you get a generic email back, don’t waste your time! Work with someone who makes you a priority, is transparent and will answer all of your questions. The relationship with your salesperson doesn’t have to be dubious. There truly are people in the car business who want to help you. Those folks will do what they can to make the process an excellent experience.
Now, off the soapbox and on to the test drive. There are five basic areas to consider when we test drive.
Technical-there’s all the technical stuff you saw when you researched the car. A 2.4L 4 cylinder, dimensions, blah blah. The most important technical thing to know is MPG or gas mileage, right? So, we have ruled out the gas hogs already, and possibly the huge gas savers (since we’ve passed too many of those that can’t keep up on the interstate). The other things we will go over in the real world, not in numbers.
Comfort-Can you get in and out easily? Can you reach everything? Do you like the layout? How does your seat adjust? How comfy is the seat? Do you need 3 rows of climate control or is the one up front enough for your needs? Don’t forget…you’re going to need cup holders!
Technology– Hands-free, Voice-activation, Bluetooth, Navigation, Back up cameras, lane departure signaling…all the fancy extras. (Don’t forget to ask later-how much is included in cost & how much will cost you extra).
Necessities– Can you accelerate quickly enough to jump on the interstate? How do the brakes feel? How about turning? No one wants to make a 50 point turn to pull into and out of a parking spot! Can you see everything? Are there any blind spots? How’s the wind and road noise? Don’t forget…is there enough room for the groceries? Speaking of groceries, is there enough back seat space for the kids?!
After the Drive– Ask about maintenance, is it included? What about warranty? Well, what’s the warranty cover? Don’t forget to ask how much of those awesome ‘extras’ are included in the price! i.e.: back up cameras, Bluetooth, usb ports. Is the sales person going to teach you how to use all that cool stuff? (A good salesperson will not only show you how, but will teach you how to use all the technology).
Most importantly, give yourself honest answers to these questions: Do I want to spend my time in this vehicle? (For some of us, that’s a lot). Will this vehicle meet my needs? Ultimately, after all, your needs & your comfort are what matter most when it comes to finding your perfect vehicle.
We at Harry Robinson Buick GMC would appreciate the opportunity to earn your business if you are in the market for a new or used vehicle. Give us a call, or text, or email. 🙂 479-629-2705.
Thanks so much to Aaron Crowe for using excerpts of this blog post for his article:
How To Test Drive A New Car Beyond Just Hitting The Gas