What is the most important step when you buy a car? Some say it’s saving money for the big purchase, others are convinced that picking your perfect make and model is more important. We at JiJi are certain that there is nothing more vital in the process of buying a car than taking it for the first drive. In a way test driving a car is like looking for a gown or tuxedo: you’ll never know if it 100% fits you until you try it on.
Skipping the test drive part of buying a car can result in an unsatisfying purchase; sure, your new car can work properly, but if it doesn’t feel right when you drive it, it’s all you’ll be able to think about. This is why we advise you not to skip this important step, and instead check out our must-know test driving tips.
Before the test drive
Before you even start making any decision, picture your ideal car. What is the make and model you like most of all? Can the car be a decade old, or are you determined to buy only a new one? Should the new car be spacious and high-performing, or do you prefer modestly sized and fuel efficient cars? Only after you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to make the right choice. Before that you can take a look at these cool cars on JiJi: Toyota, Honda, Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Volkswagen, and BMW.
At the car lot
After you’ve arranged the meeting with the seller, you will go to the car lot or other location where the car is stored. Carefully observe the exterior of the car to see if there are any dents and imperfections. Then sit behind the steering wheel. Try to answer these questions:
- How easy it is to get into the car?
- Is there enough leg and head room around the driver’s and the passenger’s seat?
- Are the seats comfortable and adjustable enough?
- Do the side and rear mirrors provide enough visibility?
- Do your feet rest comfortably on the pedals?
If you’ve answered negatively to any of these questions, consider going for another car, because a car that is not comfortable to drive will not make you a happy driver.
Whenever you’re ready to take the car out for a drive, don’t forget to strap your seat belt and adjust the seat and the mirrors. Don’t distract yourself from driving by turning on the stereo system; besides, you won’t be able to hear any car noises that can signal internal problems. Try to choose a test driving route that resembles the roads you’re usually driving in terms of traffic, terrains, and difficulty.
Here are the issues to pay attention to while test driving your potential car:
- How responsive are the handling, the steering and the brakes? Do the brakes respond immediately after you slam them?
- How soft or stiff is the suspension? Can you feel the bumps and holes in the road while driving?
- Is the engine producing any weird, uncharacteristic noises? Do the brakes or the suspension squeak?
- Can you easily access all controls while driving?
- What about the ergonomics of the seats?
Not only should you answer these questions, but you should also try and go through all kinds of road situations. Additionally, try parking your future car in every way that you know. Also don’t forget to check if there are hands free capabilities, comfortable cup holders, and other facilities.
After all, you car may be new or old, expensive or affordable – the only thing that really matters is how comfortably you feel driving that car. If there is anything about the car that feels uncomfortable to you, better look for other options – on JiJi we have thousands of clean used cars!