Buying a car simply can’t happen without a test drive. After all the research you conduct online, you need to get behind the wheel to see how the ride feels before you would even consider making a deal. It might be that the car you had your sights on turns out not to be so comfortable. That’s okay because there will always be another car to test drive. It might seem like going on a test drive isn’t complicated but you want to make sure you get the most out of that ride before you make your final decision.

Bring Who You Need

It is always good to have a second opinion when making a major investment like buying a car. In many cases, that second opinion might be a spouse who will also be driving the car. This is who you should bring with you for the test drive. The same could be said of any kids. Although it might be a challenge to keep kids occupied for the duration of the negotiations, it is important to know that they’ll have enough room in the backseat.

Look For Faults

This is probably more important on a used car than a brand new one but you still want to check for faults especially if the car you’re test driving could ultimately be the car you’re driving off the lot. That means doing a complete walk around the vehicle to look for any dents or scratches. On the inside, don’t just take in the view from the driver’s seat but also sit in the passenger seat and in the backseat. Try out all the features from the power windows to the A/C.

Check Out the Functions

You don’t have to learn how to work your car yet but you should familiarize yourself with the basics before pulling out. It is the same thing as with a rental car. You don’t want to get on the road and not know where the windshield wipers are.

Go For a Real Ride

Most test drives amount to a spin around the block from the dealership. If the dealer is riding along with you, then you might feel pressure to “hurry up.” Just keep in mind, that dealer wants to make the deal so he is working for you. If you can take the car on the highway, then all the better. At the very least you should not only ride for several minutes but also park and check for blindspots. See how the steering wheel responds and how the pickup is.

Don’t Rush

Just because you had a successful test drive doesn’t mean you have to close the deal the minute you return to the showroom. There is nothing wrong with coming back the next day. That might even give the dealer more incentive to work with you.