It is typical of human behavior to desire instant gratification, but unfortunately, instant gratification can often lead to buyer’s remorse. This buying trend is customary across all industries, including the auto industry – and purchasing the wrong car is an expensive mistake to make.
It’s easy to fall in love at first sight when you meet a car with all the right curves in all the right places, in addition to the technology, safety and luxury features that you’ve always wanted. You take the car for a quick spin and make the commitment to financing for years to come, but what you didn’t consider was comfort, reliability and how the well (or not well) the car will fit into your lifestyle.
Below are some items to remember when you venture out to spend thousands of dollars on that hot new set of wheels, and to make the most of your next test drive.
Plan Before You Go
Take advantage of the internet environment that you have complete access to. Do yourself a favor and conduct research on the type of vehicle(s) you are searching for, the level of reliability you need, and create a running list of features you will require in order to feel confident when making a monetary commitment. Upon narrowing your selections, you can make plans to visit a dealership, or various dealerships, to check out the selections that are available to you. It is important to call ahead with an appointment, or to verify that the dealership you are targeting has a vehicle to show you that meets most of your requests.
Know When to Listen
While your opinion is most important when purchasing a car specifically for you, expert opinion can often offer you information that you may not be able to experience during a test drive. While you may be itching to take the car up to 100, it is also important to be respectful of test-driving etiquette, and listen to the professional who is there to answer your questions. Come prepared with car feature questions to ask an expert, or conduct your own online research to ensure you aren’t leaving a test drive with more questions than you arrived with.
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Drive it Like You Own It
Comfort is important. It is necessary to think about everyday driving situations that you encounter, and verify that the car you are considering can handle them, while meeting your comfort standards. You are the only person who knows what your driving habits on a daily basis are, and therefore you are the only person who can determine if the car you are test driving will fit into your lifestyle. Parallel park – how’s the visibility? Pay attention to the road, engine and wind noise – are any of the sounds too loud? Drive over some harmless bumps and dips – does the car ride well or bounce too much?
Take a Second Pair of Eyes
There is a widely popular stigma around car salesmen, and whether it is true or not, it is an added comfort to bring along someone that you trust to give you good advice and point you in the right direction. If you have a friend or family member who has a lot of car buying experience, mechanical experience, or just really enjoys keeping up in the auto-industry, it might be beneficial to bring them along to offer their opinion on which car is best for you. After all, they might be a frequent passenger in your car.