Follow these simple rules to get the most from a test drive
A test drive is a crucial part of the car buying process, helping you see what a car will be like to live with. Here are our tips for getting the most out of a test drive.
Drive rivals back to back
If you’re interested in several models, try to arrange the test drives for the same day. It’s difficult to spot the differences between cars if you drive them more than a few hours apart.
Take your time
When arranging a test drive, ask the dealer for at least an hour with the car so you can see what it’s like to drive in town, on the motorway and on country roads. And make sure you avoid the rush hour; there’s no point in spending the whole time stuck in traffic.
Consider seat comfort
Another advantage of a lengthy test drive is that it will let you check how comfortable the seats are during an extended period behind the wheel.
Test the right spec
Ask to drive the exact model you’re interested in. It’s no good trying the wrong engine or gearbox, and ideally you’ll try the car in the correct specification, too; more expensive models often have different wheel sizes and suspension setups that can have a big impact on comfort.
Check the car fits your life
If you’re buying a family car, make sure everyone has enough space. And bring along child seats and other items you regularly carry to make sure they fit.