Test Driving A New Car

You are excited to test drive that new car, the weather is beautiful and it is time to head to the dealership to start the process. 

The starting line

The salesperson hands you the keys and you head out to drive what you hope will be your next new car.  What is the first thing you do?  Easy, you turn the music loud.  After the stereo is set, maybe you link your phone to the car or you lower the windows.  You are creating your typical driving conditions on a nice day.

Simply put, cars are a major purchase, maybe the biggest one that we make.

We know that cars are very significant financial commitments.  In addition to the financial end, cars are so important to our daily lives.  They transport us to work and they carry our family and friends around for various purposes.  When it is time to buy or lease that new car, it is critical that we make the best decision we can with the information we have.  Following this thinking, it is important to gather the best information possible.

Daily habits can be distractions.

Maybe talking on your phone, listening to loud music and feeling fresh air with lowered windows aren’t the best idea when you take a step back and consider the purpose of your excursion.  Why not?  Maybe you like loud music and fresh air. 

The answer, which I have learned through listening to so many stories from thousands of clients, is that you really want to focus your attention on the noises that the car makes.  Those outside distractions pull your attention away from where it needs to be.  Is the engine rattling?  Are there strange noises?  How does the driveline sound or feel?  You cannot know the status of the car if you cannot hear many conditions.

The best idea is to silence as much as you can and focus on the sounds of the car.  You can go back to the dealership and listen to the stereo or talk on the phone after the car is parked. 

Keep seeking information.

After the test drive, you want to ask questions about the car.  The first request I ask of my salesman, as strange as it may sound, is for him to print me a copy of my vehicle history.  The first time I asked him, he looked at me like I was asking for something that made no sense.  You would be surprised how often I take calls from potential clients that found out that their new car was subjected to an engine replacement or another significant warranty issue, even though there are only a few miles on the car. 

Do more research.

In addition to the things you learned on the test drive, you will want to research various resources for information related to problems with your year/make/model.  The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration maintains an incredible database where you can search recalls, service bulletins and so much more.   

The finish line.

There are many other resources and avenues to obtain information and my main goal is to help you to pull in as much information as you can to make the best decision.


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