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What You Really Get From Taking That Test Drive This Holiday Season

We know what you’re thinking — the end of the year is here, and that means a lot of people are thinking about getting a new car. So why not join them? You might have already done some research on exactly what you want, and exactly what you can afford. If that’s true, good for you. If that’s not the case yet, you’re going to definitely need to put some time and thought into this. There’s a lot that goes into a car, and now is the time to really ensure that everything runs smoothly. The more you plan and the more time that you really give yourself to plan, there’s nothing that can really stand in your way.

In the age of online car purchases something like a test drive can seem almost archaic, backward, and retro. Yet we’re of the opinion that a test drive has a lot of benefits that aren’t as clear as they should be. For example, if you’re really thinking about owning a car for the long term, you need to check it out.

And when we say check it out, we mean doing more than just looking around the car a few times and driving it around the block. You need to see how that car handles on a bigger track. For example, if your city has a highway — you need to see how the car handles at high speed. You need to see how the car handles at low speeds. You want to see stop and go traffic. Basically, you want to try to get as much information about the car as you possibly can before you make an ultimate buying decision.

Unfortunately, this is not news to anyone, really — but we still don’t do it. Is there a reason for that? Actually, there really is. You see, a lot of people know exactly what they need to do, but they really don’t’ want to make waves. They really don’t want anyone to think that they’re not happy about getting a new car. After all, there are plenty of people that really can’t buy their own car yet, so shouldn’t you just be grateful for anything that you come across?

The truth here is that it’s perfectly okay to be picky. After all, it’s going to be your money on the table — shouldn’t you make sure that you have everything in order first?

The price has to make sense as well — make sure that you talk to someone that can make the right negotiation calls. If you get the run around from an associate, feel free to talk to the manager. If you know that you can get a better deal elsewhere, try to see what can be done to sweeten the pot.

Naturally, all negotiation needs to take place after you’ve had that test drive. You’ll need to most likely present your driver’s license and your insurance card — these will be photocopied and put on record. If you were to wreck the car on your test drive, your insurance might come into play. However, there is also insurance for every car that sits on the lot.

A test drive should be at least 30 minutes to an hour. If your sales associate seems to be pushy and rush you on this, you might want to find another associate — or another dealership. You still really want the chance to test out the car. This is also a good time to have the car checked over by an independent mechanic. We know that dealership mechanics are usually above the board people, but do you really want to take a chance when your money is on the line? We didn’t think so!

What you really get, at the end of the day from the test drive is a sense of where you’re headed. You get an idea of what you get out of the car, and what you can get out of the car in the months and years ahead of you. This is knowledge that you really can’t get online.

Though if we’re going to mention online, you should know that the Internet is still a great source of information for the car of your choice. You need to look past the sales brochures and look at the features that you’re actually going to get with the car. In addition, honest reviews from real people are going to be far more valuable than canned responses from a car manufacturer.

You will know a great car when you find it, and you will know a bad deal when you run across it. Listen to your gut — when something doesn’t sound right, it’s probably not right at all!