Test Drive – Do and Don’t
In Singapore, a car is considerably the second largest purchase after property, in terms of its value. As much as you like that particular car model, we will like to emphasize on the importance of having a test drive prior purchase. The test drive often gives a good gauge whether the car is suitable for your driving style, allows you to have comfortable control over it etc.
If you are a newbie on the lookout to purchase cars, do use below pointers as general guidelines!
- Make appointment
Have you picked the car and the dealer who has it? Make an appointment with them to avoid a waste trip! You can also ensure that the car is still available in the showroom, at the same time. Otherwise, it may turn out to be a disappointed trip.
- Do your Homework
Check on the reviews and specifications on the model that you are interested in. Ensure reviews are made by people who actually buy the car (yes not those influencers!). It is otherwise time consuming to identify what you want to try, as you are most likely to be overwhelmed by choices in the showroom.
- Have a Checklist
While you do a research at home, do create a list of questions for yourself that you think may affect you decision. These questions may include:
- Purpose of the car
- Petrol efficiency?
- Monthly installment budget (Note: Be sure to ask your dealers about the loan financing option, road tax/insurance!)
- Number of previous owners (for second-hand cars)
- Warranty period
- Examine the car thoroughly
Have a walk around the car to check on its physique: dents, scratches and broken fixtures should be informed immediately. Negotiate with the dealers for a final touch up if you do decide to purchase that car, you will be surprised at their reactions! Not forgetting the interior space! Sit in, have a feel in the driver’s seat. It is only right that you feel comfortable driving in the car. Ensure that you are able to keep your eyes on the road while adjusting the audio or air conditioners. Also, get the dealer to explain various functions of the buttons, hidden or not!
- Have a test-drive
Last but not least, get behind the wheel and go for a drive! Remember to take several turns to evaluate the control of the steering wheels. Listen to the engine sound and make sure they are not overbearing for the ears. Take note of any strange smells (such as burnt smell) during the drive.
- Limit yourself to one car model (only)
Do test-drive a few models for comparison. Keep the comparison within 3 vehicles to have a better gauge of how controlling the vehicles feels like. One should keep in mind that what looks pretty on the outside, may not be the most suitable for the roads. Staying practical and make the most out of your bucks is essential!
- Be afraid to test the hidden technology
Technology is a double-edged swords, we all know. With the advancement of technology, many vehicle have built-in GPS, Bluetooth wireless connection, assisted parking features, auto drive mode and more! Test them out to see if they are indeed helpful for your drives, but one should be reminded to always stay vigilant on the roads.
- Restrict the spaces
Adjust the seat and ensure that the leg space is sufficient. You do not want to get cramp towards end of the test drive, which will not be a fair testament to your experience on board. In addition, if you are intending to purchase the car for family use, ensure that the car boot has that kind of capacity to accommodate your kids’ scooters, prams, and your groceries!
- Be a Racer
Never attempt to pick up speed within a short time frame, as it may cause one to lose control of the car, especially when one is not familiar with the test car yet. Practice extra caution and be safe on the road.
- Be inconsiderate
Avoid eating or drinking or even smoking in the car. These actions are not acceptable in the bus where all commuters share a common space, then dealers have the right to stop these too! Be considerate towards the next driver, in case you decide not to drive it away. Afterall, nobody enjoy sitting in a stained and smoky car, right?
And so, what car will you be on the next time?