When you’re shopping for your next car, test driving the potential candidates you’re considering can mean the difference between finding the perfect vehicle for you and making a decision you’ll end up regretting. Contrary to popular belief, test driving doesn’t just include taking the car around the block and seeing how the acceleration and braking feel. You may be wondering, what else could I possibly need to know?
Cue our knowledgeable team here at Watkin Motors! There are many different factors to keep an eye on when taking your potential new vehicle for a test spin, and today we’re happy to bring you 7 helpful tips to get started.
Don’t Pull Out of the Lot Just Yet!
The “test” in test driving doesn’t start when you pull onto the street - it starts when you first walk up to the car. Examine the vehicle for any dents, blemishes, cracks, or any other physical or cosmetic flaws to mention to the sales professional. Also, make sure to check the tire’s tread and wear; if it is uneven, that could be a sign of improper alignment.
When you get in the car, don’t immediately take off. Let the car idle for a bit and see how it reacts while sitting still. Make sure to take note of any unusual noises or behavior that seem to come from under the hood. Additionally, check that the A/C, heat, and radio work properly, as well as paying attention to any warning lights that may appear on the dashboard. And last but not least, make sure you feel comfortable in the driver’s seat and have good visibility of the road.
Drive in Different Types of Traffic
Once you leave the lot, have a plan in mind of the type of traffic you want to experience in the vehicle. You have to remember that this car isn’t going to be just driving around the dealership’s neighborhood and back. It’s important to experience what the day-to-day driving of this car might be like. A good tip to start would be to drive in stop-and-go traffic. This will help you measure how the vehicle operates in an environment where it has to go from idling to moving, and back again.
That’s not all, though! After you’ve gotten a feel for that, take the car on the highway to see how it handles at higher speeds. Getting an idea of the full spectrum of the car’s capabilities is vital to understanding how it will act from day to day. Keep in mind how the gas and brake feel, what noises the car may make at different speeds, how it handles loose or tight turns, and how it does on rougher roads.
Keep in Mind What You Can’t See
Blind spots are called that for a reason! While many cars may have general blind spots that most drivers are aware of, each car can be different; being aware of the areas that lack direct visibility can save you trouble in the future. When you’re driving at lower speeds, make a mental note of the areas in your peripheral vision that aren’t as easily accessible and consider how this could affect your regular driving habits. Make sure to ask our sales professionals here at Watkin Motors about some additional available safety features, like blind-spot monitoring and lane departure systems.
Find an Area to Practice Parking
This may sound silly, but it’s important to mention again that all vehicles handle differently. Finding an area to pull into a parking spot, both forward and backward, can help you determine how comfortable you are with the car. Trying out parallel parking can also ensure you won’t run into any issues, no matter where you end up needing to park. If you’re looking at a newer model, you may even be able to test out some safety features like reverse sensor systems and a rear-view camera.
Examine Additional Features
You don’t only have to test out the safety or practical features of a car; there are plenty of additional and convenient attributes you should try out. How easily does your phone connect to the Bluetooth - or does it have Bluetooth connectivity at all? Check out the infotainment screen as well. Is it easy to change radio stations or tweak the volume while keeping your eye on the road?
These may sound unnecessary, but they’re still features you could potentially use regularly, and it’s important to know they work well for you.
As we mentioned, safety features are also a significant feature to keep in mind. These days, many current-year models come standard with rear-view cameras, lane departure systems, collision avoidance, and other innovative technologies. When you’re test driving newer models, take note of these features and consider which ones you know you can’t drive without.
How Do You Feel?
Here at Watkin Motors, we also think it’s important that you factor in how you feel while driving the car around. Is the seating comfortable? Do you like the interior and exterior? How many cup holders and charging ports does it have? Remember to factor in these smaller details, as finding out later can lead to some major annoyances. Don’t be afraid to peek at possible additional features that would make your driving experience even better!
Drive Off the Watkin Motors Lot Today
There are many factors to consider here, but in the end, finding the right car for you is the most important thing to remember. That’s our mission here at Wakin Motors, so don’t hesitate to stop by our lot today and test drive the car of your dreams! We proudly serve Vernon and its surrounding areas.