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How to Effectively Test Drive a New Car

Short listing Cars for a Test Drive

Before you decide on taking a test drive, based on your budget, finalise the specifications and features you absolutely must have on the car. The feature could be as basic as a power steering to something as non-essential as a Bluetooth sound system. Logon to and research the car models and variants that fit these aspects. If you are still confused about which car to buy and will only decide post a test drive then shortlist a maximum of 3 cars as more the number of car you shortlist, the more confused you will be while making the final decision.

Test Drive the Version You Are Considering for Purchase

Yes, it is critical to inform the dealership that you would like to test drive a particular version and not a generic model. When the dealership executive calls you to confirm the test drive, you must insist on knowing the version they are sending. If you are not sure, confirm the following:

Engine: Does the test drive car have the engine shortlisted by you e.g. Petrol or Diesel, 2.4L or 3L?

Gearbox: Does it have the kind of gearbox you are looking for e.g. manual or automatic?

Features: Does it have the features that are going to help you decide e.g. heightadjustable driver seat, lumbar support, power steering etc?

Upholstery: If the car is offered in more than one upholstery options, ask for the car with the upholstery you are interested in e.g. black or beige.Having the exact engine and gearbox is critical. If the dealership doesn't have the version you wish to test drive, you might want to consider another dealership.

Convenient Time and Place

Test drives normally take about an hour from start to finish, including test driving the car and discussions with dealer executive post test-drive. We strongly recommend that you schedule the test drive at a convenient time and place so that you don't have to hurry up. The test drive should typically be scheduled on a day you are relatively free and are at leisure.

Things to Take Along

Family / friends - Have family members or friends join you for a test drive. They can give feedback on how the ride feels in the back seat and will give you a proper understanding of how many people you can actually seat comfortably. They will also help in observing things that you might miss out on.

Your favourite music - Take along a CD/ USB drive with your music on it to test the music system of the car.



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