Test Driving a Prospective Vehicle Purchase
Buying a new car is about making the deal, and the vehicle simply becomes the bi-product of that
deal. But, before you get to the point of negotiation, you must first decide what vehicle will best serve your needs. These tips provide you with a brief guide for testing cars for your final consideration.
When visiting the dealer, bring a copy of your drivers license and insurance verification. However, avoid answering any questions regarding your interest in the vehicle. Don't complete any questionaires regarding credit. Avoid answering any personal, irrelevant questions. Remember you're at the dealership for product information and a test drive, ONLY. Let the dealer know that you're not intending to purchase a vehicle, today.
When test driving, plan a route that will provide you ample highway and town street driving. Using your checklist as a guide, rate the experience of your drive immediately upon returning to the dealership. If you've selected a vehicle with a navigation system, have your route programed prior to taking to the road.
If the dealer representative is to accompany you, have him or her remain in the back seat. Keep discussions and chit-chat to a minimum. You don't want distractions. The sound system, or the high-tech 'toys' will cause such a distraction. Keep yourself focused on your particular issues and needs. Bring your own CD if you're an audiofile.
When you return to the dealership, don't get into any discussion about pricing. Avoid using up the time on your clock...it's too early in the vehicle selection, for this type of discussion. Many dealer representatives are schooled on becoming your 'new best friend' so that they can close a sale.
Bring with you, the Wish List and Test Drive Score Card, on every test drive. Try to create a short list of two or three vehicles, maximum. The test drive should take between 20-30 minutes. Keep to your agenda and not that of the dealer.
Print the Test Drive Guide and take it with you when you give your prospective purchases a road test.
The Test Drive Guide is provided in Adobe Acrobat format. If you are unable to print the form, link here for the Adobe Reader: