Beginner’s guide to test driving at the dealership

The time has come – you’re soon heading to the dealership to get your very first car. But how will you know which of the vehicles you are considering is best for you? Being one of the most important purchases you will make in your lifetime, how can you get the most out of it?

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As part of this process, you will definitely take different models for a test drive. During the test drive, you will need to exercise good judgment, diligent monitoring and understand exactly what to look for. Continue with us through our article on how to prepare for this crucial event and what to remember when testing a new automobile for the first time.

Pre-Trip Dealer Research

Don’t just walk the lots of a dealership to look at the automobiles. When you reach the showroom, you should know which models you prefer and which features you desire. Don’t waste the first trip by just starting to explore the options. Make the first trip just for the purpose of sitting in the driver’s seat – do your homework beforehand. Look for keywords such as “test drive nzbefore leaving.

Make sure you can pilot your potential options one after the other on the same date to compare them effectively. Maybe also have a buddy follow you to keep the dealer engaged and draw your attention to anything you might have missed.

Considerations before the test drive

Try and compare multiple dealerships

When you reach the store, tell the salesperson that you want to test drive the cars you are interested in. After that, tell him you’ll be heading to the other showrooms and repeat the process so you can compare the different models and costs. This will show the dealership that you have other options in mind and that they will go elsewhere if the offer is unsatisfactory.

Since different choices and powertrains can drastically change the feel of a car, it’s essential to test drive the model and trim level you’re considering. If your supplier doesn’t have the powertrain you need, wait or find another dealer who does.

Inspect the exterior and interior

Use all the time you need to properly inspect the car, taking notes and comparing how it looks in person to how it looks in the pictures. Instead of immediately starting the engine and hitting the accelerator during a test drive, walk around the car and check it out properly. Examine the fit, finish and overall build quality of the vehicle. Observe the condition of the glove box, sun visors and seat cushion material, or even the functionality of the gear shift and the firmness of the doors, as these are all indicators of the overall construction.

Identify irritable features

Consider how certain items, such as insufficient storage compartments and cup holders, as well as a trunk that might be complicated to use or that seems to have an opening that is too small or too high, could become inconvenient in everyday life.

Although the two front doors can be roomy and easy to open and close, consider opening and closing accessibility for rear passengers. This includes getting in and out of the third section of seats, if any, and even the difficulty of installing a baby seat. Ask all the questions you can find. Are the rear seats configurable, comfortable and large enough, as well as foldable for more luggage space?

Safety is important

Never forget safety. This includes the number of easily extendable seat belts, emergency airbags, active safety electronics such as tire pressure monitors, window resistance, etc. If you have children who will be in the car often, take them on your visit and show them the many features and amenities of the back seat.

Unique characteristics of the car type

Check if the car runs on premium or regular fuel (petrol or gas), or if it is diesel requiring special maintenance.

For convertibles, consider how easy it is to adjust the roof and the amount of storage space lost when the roof is securely stowed.

For larger cars, check component and towing capabilities, including trailer connector type and elevation, and make sure required trailer electrical connectors are already installed and configured at the factory or can be repaired by the dealer.

For pickups, consider the heaviness of the tailgate and inquire about the choices available to increase the functionality of the bed.

Test Drive Considerations

You are finally ready to take the wheel! Start by taking a look around and see how well-arranged the key controls are. Because we spend a lot of time inside our vehicles, manufacturers are focusing more on designing interiors with the latest technology and unique appointments. Also, pay special attention to the intuitiveness and ease of use of a car’s electronic systems. The human-machine interaction of the vehicle must be evaluated as an increasingly essential technology in our daily lives. Try connecting your phone’s music Lets you see how good the speaker sound is and how easy it is to navigate the phone’s music platforms once it’s connected to the center of entertainment.

Checklist for choosing the right car

  • Is it easy to use the main basic commands? Such as clutch flexibility and flywheel weight.
  • Are the seats supportive enough and pleasantly comfortable (not too firm or soft)?
  • Are the displays of the gauges and display screens easy to read?
  • What about the air conditioning and temperature systems, are they working as they should?
  • Are voice control, wireless Bluetooth and a Wi-Fi connection available, and how well do they interact with your smartphone?
  • Is there enough space to store your electronic devices during the cruise?
  • Is the navigation system easy to use and does it give correct directions?
  • Ask if you are able to take the car overnight to get a fuller idea and assurance of the car’s capabilities. Emphasize the need to test the car in a myriad of different conditions such as different speeds and road surfaces. You should also take the time to try to park, blend in with traffic, take lots of turns, have visibility in all directions, and more.


After completing the test drive, you should try out the remaining cars on your shortlist, taking the time to evaluate them one by one to determine which is best for you. Only come back to the showroom afterwards in order to be able to buy the vehicle. This amount of research and trial and error does not always guarantee that you will love your new automobile for the rest of your life, but it is standard procedure for a major purchase and will almost certainly increase your confidence in your final selection. .

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