How To Test Drive A New Car – 7 Tips



Test drive or not? Test driving a new car seems like an unnecessary step when you know what car you want. You have done your research and you have driven a car before. Why is it important to test drive before you buy a new car? Don’t all cars pretty much drive the same?


Build quality of the majority of cars today is good and they are required to meet Government regulated safety standards. Most car brands have a minimum 3-year warranty a number have up to 7 years warranty. Therefore theoretically if something goes wrong it will get fixed. Even so, it is still the second biggest purchase you will make so why not ensure it is exactly what you are after. This is why the test drive is worth while.




Image Choose A OR B Test Drive New Car TipsYou have done your research and have found two cars that you like but you’re not quite sure which one, A or B? This is where the test drive is so important. Believe it or not, cars have a distinct personality associated with the brand. Have you ever heard someone say I would never buy an X brand because the suspension is so hard or too soft? This is where the test drive comes in.

Refining those distinctions to suit your driving style and preference. After all buying a new car is one of the biggest purchases you will make other than a house. Most people will keep a car for at least 3 years. Often longer. A test drive can be a game changer in the decision-making process. A car may read well and look good but when you get behind the wheel it just doesn’t feel right. A test drive will determine if it is the right car for you and your needs.


Give your local dealer a call and set up a convenient time. If you have engaged our services at Red Plum we are more than happy to do this for youIt is also important to drive the preferred cars back to back. Your memory is the reason for this. When you drive each car consecutively comparing is easier. The emotion of driving a new car influences decision making, however, our 7 Steps To Test Drive will make it easier.




1.     Allow at least 1 hour for each car. The dealer will need to get you to fill out their paper work and in addition, you want to drive in a few different locations, highway, bumpy road, stop start traffic and parking.

2.     Seats are very important for comfort and safety. Look for easy adjustment for height and legroom and lumbar support. You do not want to feel cramped or uncomfortable. Another reason for a longer test drive, you will quickly work out if it is comfortable or not.

3.     Do not engage too much with the salesperson as this takes your attention away from the feel and drive of the car. Test the radio and sound system at the end but leave it off whilst driving. This allows you to hear any rattles or noises that may be annoying at best but potentially may cause problems later on.

4.     Check if there are any blind spots. Do this by shoulder checking as if you were changing lanes. If all you can see is the back pillar of the car this potentially could be dangerous.

5.     Drive and performance. Without breaking any traffic rules or your driving skills take a few corners at a speed you are comfortable with to ensure you feel the car held the road and you felt in control. Check the responsiveness of the acceleration by putting your foot down. The response needs to be considered based on the engine size however you do not want to be caught in the middle of an intersection with inadequate acceleration.

6.     Parking. Check the turning circle no one wants to do a 10 point turn just to turn around in a suburban street. Check ease of maneuvering into and out of a car park again this seems simple but challenging with cars backing up behind you as you try to reverse park at the shops. Some cars are easier than others. It doesn’t have to be hard.

7.     Finally, ask your self how you felt. Comfortable, safe, in control but with some power if you felt the need!




At Red Plum we believe buying a car should be one of life’s pleasures that’s why taking a test drive is important. You need to not only find a car in your budget but one that you enjoy driving every day.


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