A car is a huge financial responsibility. Apart from the price of the vehicle, you’ll also have to deal with maintenance, road tax, motor vehicle insurance, petrol, and all the other expenses that come with car ownership in Singapore. Whether you are planning to buy a new car or a used car, it is crucial that you give it a test drive. It allows you to truly get a feel for the car, how it handles on the road, ask questions, and, essentially, if it’s worth the price tag. Here are the dos and don’ts when test driving a new car.
Before making an appointment with the car dealership, it is important that you do your research beforehand. Check out reviews from trusted local magazines and websites on the prospective cars that you plan on trying out. They’ll often talk about the specifications of the vehicle as well as any characteristics and possible faults. This will give you an idea if it really is worth the trip.
DO Create a Checklist
Another important tip is to also make a quick checklist of all the features you want in a vehicle. To get you started, take a look at a previous article we did on how to go about creating a personal checklist. How you plan on using your future car will be the best basis you have for forming your checklist. Do you plan on using it for long distance drives? Are you planning on making it an off-peak car (OPC)? All of these should come into play when deciding on your list.
DO Drive on a Variety of Road Conditions
To truly test a car’s capabilities, it is ideal that you test the vehicle on a variety of road conditions. (This, unfortunately, might be limited depending on your chosen dealership.) If you can, test it out on expressways, side roads, hilly areas, and, if you’re lucky, regular traffic conditions. Steering, especially in tight turns, should be responsive with no vibrations. Examine how the car accelerates and if the brakes are effectively precise. Try reverse parking the car too. This will give you an idea on any blind spots and test out your parking sensors.
DO Examine the Exteriors
If you haven’t already, examine the appearance of the prospective car from all angles. Although test vehicles might not come in the finish you want, a quick look around the vehicle will allow you to truly examine it up close and note any design elements that might be a deal breaker for you. It is, after all, a car that you’ll potentially be stuck with for a while.
DO Check for Comfort
If you are planning on using your car a lot, comfort and accessibility should be high up on your checklist. Driver-oriented interiors allow you to keep your eyes on the road without much effort when toggling the temperature or controlling the infotainment system. Check how comfortable the seats are. A friend or family member will come in handy when checking the passenger and rear seats. Are the seats adjustable, comfortable, the right size, and do they fold down for additional cargo capacity?
DON’T Limit Yourself to One Car
It is important that you have a handful of cars to choose from before settling on one car. Don’t hesitate to test drive other brands with car models within your price range. This allows you to explore all your options to find the best car for your budget.
DON’T Forget to Test the Electronics
As technology plays an increasingly important role in our everyday lives, it is vital that you also examine the electronics in the vehicle. If it has Bluetooth wireless or Wi-Fi connectivity, make sure you note if it is compatible with your devices and how efficiently it syncs with it. If it comes with a navigation system, test how accurate it is in its directions. Ports and storage space also matter. How many gadgets can you charge? Does it have ample room to place your gadgets when charging? Make sure you also test out the driver-assisted features of the vehicle.
DON’T Miss Out on Space
Space is something that you might overlook when you are pressed for time during the test drive but it is definitely something you should pay attention to. Whether you are stuck in traffic or you plan on taking long trips, cramped spaces most often lead to discomfort. Make sure leg room in the front and rear is ample. Check truck space too. Will it be able to handle your monthly groceries?
DON’T Go Alone
Take a friend or family member along with you to point out things you might overlook. If you are getting a family car, it’s also important that they get to test the vehicle with you too.
DON’T Leave Without Asking Questions
Before heading down to the car dealership, make sure you have a list of questions you want to be answered. After all, not everything is listed in their brochures. Ask questions like: What are the terms of the warranty? How long will it be covered or what parts are included? The test drive is the perfect time for you to ask questions that will affect you if you purchase the car.
By keeping these tips in mind and doing your due diligence, you can be more confident in your final decision.
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