I suggest the salesperson run off a You also have more choices available for any given model, as you can test drive different trims and options packages and customize the vehicle the way you want. • Are Bluetooth wireless, Wi-Fi connectivity, and voice activation offered, and how well do they function with your mobile device? Did you know that you must keep the Driver’s License information at the dealership filed? • Don’t forget to check the climate-control system and how effectively it pumps out hot and cold air. Observe how well you can see out in all directions, particularly through the rear window. This level of preparation does not guarantee that you’ll love your new car forever, but it is due diligence for a major purchase and will likely make you more confident in your final decision. • Find out if the vehicle takes premium or unleaded gasoline—or if it’s a diesel and requires unique maintenance procedures. For example, highly expensive luxury or performance models are never available to test drive due to their greater cost. and adjustable enough for you and other potential drivers to be comfortable? copy of my list of “how to test drive at a dealership” and hand out to the woman so she can check off • Because certain options and powertrains can greatly alter the feel of a vehicle, it’s important to drive the particular model and trim level you intend to purchase. When you are driving a vehicle that does not cancel out any noises from outside it can be exhausting, especially on longer trips. From there, you can use it for a set period of time during your day-to-day life to help you get a better idea of how well it suits your lifestyle. This Although these features may be a critical element to a vehicle’s dynamic personality, they are expensive to replace and might require frequent maintenance. Transmission — for manual or automatic, are there any issues with the gears shifting up or down. • Although turning the key and mashing the throttle might be your first inclination on a test drive, instead walk around the vehicle and inspect it thoroughly. In general, it’s a better test of how the vehicle can operate by trying it out cold so you can be sure it is able to start and function properly when it is cold. • Are the front seats comfortable and supportive (not too soft or hard)? They can also point out potential issues you wouldn’t think about yourself, especially if you are relatively inexperienced in driving or buying a car. In my If there is a certain feature you want to use a lot, but it is placed awkwardly or somewhere that would annoy you that might make you less likely to buy it. Bring a friend to record your questions or properly attired, good hygiene and a breath mint as you will be talking close to the customer. This is a good sign to the dealer that you are seriously considering buying that vehicle. • If the dealership won’t let you borrow the car for the night, tell the salesperson you’ll get a better feel for it if you go out alone, without any distractions. The last thing you want is to be driving a vehicle with extreme suspension issues, where you get bounced and jostled constantly. Vibrations — for smaller bumps or uneven surfaces do you feel your seat or the vehicle shaking or vibrating all the time? Gas Panel & Cap — do they get stuck or and do they stay securely closed? • Take several corners to evaluate the vehicle’s composure when abruptly changing direction over rough surfaces as well as how smoothly the transmission operates when driving spiritedly. H-Honesty E-Excellence R-Respect • Is the navigation system intuitive to operate and accurate in its directions? However, used cars do have important differences — mainly, they will have wear and tear and do not always come with any warranty. Is the front end so low it scrapes on parking curbs? I’ve had salespeople tell me that when a customer says tear up my copy, they say OK no problem at the dealership, you are now going to be in a car with a woman or women for 10 to 20 minutes. Not all dealerships will have anything but the traditional type, but it is worth asking them what they will allow to make sure you get the best experience possible. This research will help you figure out what you really want and don’t want going into any test drives too, which makes it easier to notice things you love or hate while on a test drive. But don’t be swayed. the turning signal is, instruct her verbally, do not reach over to show her as you never want to be Buying a car is a big commitment — at their cheapest they can cost thousands of dollars, and you will probably own it for at least a few years. By: Cathy Droz – Founder HER Certified Author: A Woman’s Guide to Buying a Car with Confidence and Street Smarts, “Don’t Let These High Heels Fool You” Excerpt from my Book and Training at HER Academy. means that you will be sitting less than three feet away from a stranger. The salesperson knows the best time to make a deal with you is when you return from a test drive, when the new-car smell is … If you are not the most car-savvy person, having a friend or family member who is to come along can be a big help. The biggest fear for anyone buying a used car is that it has been in an accident. Men will be seeing how fast they can go or the exhaust tunes, a It is with this experience and 25 years of women telling me what they like and don’t like at dealerships I September 11th, 2013. This guide will help you learn how to test drive a car so you know how to get the most out of them, and help you make an informed buying decision.