It makes sense to take up the opportunity to test drive a vehicle you are thinking about buying for a variety of reasons.  The thing to remember is that test driving does not commit you to buying the vehicle, but does give you a chance to give it a complete check over.

During the test drive process you have the opportunity to have a look at how each part of the car is working, including the following:

  • Transmission
  • Brakes
  • Locking systems
  • Lights
  • Electrics
  • Engine
  • Doors and windows
  • Paintwork

You can conduct a thorough examination of every inch of the vehicle so that when you come to make an offer it is on the basis of excellent background knowledge.  You can also get a feel for how customer friendly your dealer is going to be. How helpful they are during the test drive arrangements may determine whether you continue with the process of buying or leasing the vehicle from that particular dealer.  Expect outstanding customer care and attention to detail before you decide to go any further.

When you first visit a dealership they will ask you if you are looking to buy that day, and it is case of replying that you are at the stage of looking for a test drive, rather than making an immediate decision. At that point the salesperson should be happy to make arrangements for you to test drive the vehicle you are interested in – this is a normal part of the process of buying.

Test driving does not always involve driving!

When inside the vehicle, first of all test the comfort of the seating, the space around and above you, the convenience and visibility of the controls, and how easy it is to adjust the driving position and the mirrors so you are comfortable and safe. Test the entertainment accessories.  Also check the trunk and storage space, door opening and shutting, and whether the lights are working correctly, using your companion to help you.

It’s important to take someone knowledgeable with you if at all possible to get their opinion and if they are going to be driving the vehicle, to give them the opportunity to see if it is going to suit them as well.  If you use child seats, take these along and check whether they will be secure.  If buying your new vehicle is a family decision, then involve them.

Checking the engine

As well as actually driving the car, test driving should also involve ensuring the vehicle is fit to drive and operates as the dealer claims.  Checking the oil level, coolant and brake fluids is important, and making sure the gauges work correctly. If you do not know how to do this, take someone with you who does. There are independent mechanics who will perform a vehicle check for you, for a fee.  Have a look under the hood and check the underneath of the vehicle.

If the person or business selling the car is not happy with your checks, this might well suggest they have something to hide, so beware.  This is why going to a reputable source such as Ford is recommended as they have professional standards and total commitment to customer care before and after purchase.

Iren Parusheva is currently involved in projects connected with automotive experience such as Ford test drive service and she is glad to share her knowledge.