How To Take A Test Drive?

Be logical and systematic, and every new car that you drive will reveal its own secrets!

It is possibly the most important part of your car-buying decision because no matter how good the car looks, only a test drive can tell you what it will be like to live with. If you’ve got a shortlist of models, try and drive them on the same day – it makes them easier to compare. Leave yourself plenty of time – as well as a decent drive, you’ll want to spent time exploring the interiors.

Finally, it seems obvious enough, but will the car fit in your parking lot?!


Plan your route in advance so you can focus on the way the car drives, and make sure that you drive on a variety of roads. Ask the salesperson not to chat about the car, so you can form your own impression.

test driving car buying tips

Don’t be afraid to push the car – trying acceleration in all the gears (and after you’ve warned your passengers and check traffic behind) perform an emergency stop. Do external or internal noises intrude, and do you need to raise your voice? Think about how slick the gearchange is, whether the steering is responsive and whether the ride is smooth.

Also Read: How To Avoid Road Rage While Driving?


Can you get comfortable? Experiment with the seat and steering adjustment, and ensure there’s enough head and legroom.


Make sure the door pillars don’t obstruct your view of the road when turning out of junctions. Reverse into a parking space and see if the rear headrests obscure your view out.

Also Read: Road Safety Starts At Home


How easy is it to reach and adjust the buttons for the stereo and the climate control? Listen to the stereo before you set off – you don’t want distractions once you’re moving.


It’s a good idea to take along any regular passengers, including children. Better to hear any complaints at this stage, than during every long journey to come.


As well as storage in the cabin, cupholders and map pockets, how well does the boot suit your lifestyle? If it is a small car, can it take enough kit for the weekend trip out of town?

Also Read: Stretching A Litre Of Fuel (Mileage Tips)

Dhiyanesh Ravichandran

Editorial consultant (Automotive and Technology), academic, and blogger based in India. He can be reached at

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