Beginner’s guide for test driving at the dealership


The time has come — you’re headed to the dealership soon to get your very first car. But how will you know which one of the vehicles you’re contemplating is the ideal fit for you? Being one of the most major purchases you will acquire in your lifetime, how can you get the most out of it?

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Surely, within this process, you’ll be taking various models for a test drive. On the test drive, you’ll have to exercise good judgment, diligent monitoring, and understanding of what exactly to look out for. Continue with us through our article to learn how to prepare for this crucial event and what to remember while test-driving a new automobile for the first time.

Research Ahead Of Dealership Trip

Don’t just walk onto any dealership lots to look at the automobiles. When you reach the showroom, you should which models you prefer and which features you desire. Don’t waste the first trip by just starting to explore options. Make the first trip simply for the goal of getting in the driver’s seat — do your homework in advance. Search for keywords like “test drive nz” before heading off. 

Have it so that you’re able to drive your prospective options one after another on the same date to compare them effectively. Maybe also get a buddy to tag along to keep the dealer engaged and to direct 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 would like to test drive the cars you’ve identified interest in. After that, tell them that you will be heading over to the other showrooms and repeat the process so that you can compare the different models and costs. This will show the dealer that you have other options in mind and will go elsewhere if the offer is unsatisfactory.

Since different choices and powertrains may drastically change how a car feels, it’s critical to test the model and trim level you’re considering. If your vendor does not have the powertrain you require, either wait or find another dealer who does.


Inspect the Exterior and Interior

Use all the time you need to properly inspect the car, jotting down notes and comparing how it seems in person to how it appears in images. Instead of immediately starting the engine and slamming the throttle on a trial drive, go around the car and check it properly. Examine the vehicle’s fit, finish, and overall construction quality. Observe the condition of the glove compartment, sun visors, and seat cushion material, or even the functionality of the gearshift and how firmly the doors close, since these are all indicators of the overall construction. 

Identify Irritable Features

Consider how some elements, such as insufficient storage compartments and drink holders, and also a trunk that might be a hassle to utilize or seems to have too tiny or too high of an opening could become bothersome in everyday use.

Although the front two doors may be spacious and uncomplicated to pop open and close, consider the accessibility of opening and closing for backseat passengers. This includes access and exit to the third section of seats, if relevant, and even the difficulty of installing a baby seat. Ask every question you can come up with. Are the back seats configurable, comfy, and large enough, as well as foldable for more baggage space? 

Safety is Important

Don’t ever forget safety. This includes the number of easily extendable safety belts, emergency airbags, active-safety electronics such as tire-pressure monitors, the strength of glass windows, and so on. If you have children who will be in the car often, take them along on your visit and show them the many functions and accommodations in the back seat.

Unique Car Type Features

Verify whether the car runs on premium or regular fuel (petrol or gas), or whether it’s a diesel that requires special maintenance. 

For convertibles, determine if it is easy to adjust the top and the amount of storage space lost when the top is safely tucked away. 

For bigger cars, check the towing component and capabilities, including the trailer connector type and elevation, and make sure the required trailer-electrical connectors are already installed and configured at the factory or could be serviced by the dealership. 

For pickup trucks, consider the heftiness of the tailgate and inquire about the available choices to increase the bed’s functionality.

Considerations For the Test Drive

You’re finally set to get behind the wheel! Begin by taking a look around and seeing how nicely the key controls are arranged. Because we spend a lot of time inside our vehicles, manufacturers are focusing more on designing interiors with the newest technology, and unique layouts. Furthermore, pay close attention to the intuitiveness and ease of use of the electronic systems within a car. The vehicle’s human-machine interaction must be evaluated as a technology that plays an increasingly essential part in our everyday lives. Try connecting your phone’s music Bring you to see how well the speaker audio sounds and how effortless it is to navigate the phone music platforms once it is connected to the entertainment centre. 

Checklist To Pick Out The Right Car

  • Is it simple to operate the main basic controls? Such as the clutch flexibility, and steering wheel weight.
  • Are seats supportive enough and pleasantly comfy (not too firm or soft)? 
  • Are the readouts for the gauges and the display screens easy to read?
  • How about the climate-control and temperature systems, are they operating as they should?
  • Are voice command, wireless Bluetooth, and a Wi-Fi connection available, and how well does it interact with your smartphone? 
  • Is there enough space to store your electronic devices while cruising?
  • Does the navigation system feel easy to use and give correct directions?
  • Ask if you’re able to take the car for the night to get a more comprehensive feel and assurance of the car’s capabilities. Emphasize the need to test the car out on a myriad of different conditions such as different speeds and road surfaces. You should also take the time to attempt parking, merging in traffic, turning many corners, visibility in all directions, and much more. 


After you’ve completed the test drive, you should try out the remaining cars on your shortlist, taking time to evaluate them one by one to figure out which one best fits you. Come back to the showroom only afterwards so that you can purchase the vehicle. This amount of research and trial-and-error does not always ensure that you will adore your new automobile for the rest of your life, but it is standard procedure for a large purchase and will almost certainly increase your confidence in your final selection.

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