Rule 7. Always test drive the same car you are planning to buy
It always amazes me how many people don’t want to test drive the car they are planning to spend many thousands of pounds on. How are you going to know if the seats are uncomfortable, or that you find the rear visibility awkward for your seating position, if you don’t try the car to find out?
You don’t have to wring the car’s neck on a test drive, but you do need to make sure you’re comfortable and not put off by anything.
The most common excuse for not test driving a car is that people don’t feel comfortable. Driving an unfamiliar car on unfamiliar roads, with an unfamiliar person alongside them, can distract them from concentrating on their driving.
The solution to this is to ask the salesperson to find some quiet roads away from traffic, and to get the salesperson to sit in the back – or simply ask them to stay quiet so you can concentrate. They’re not going to be offended, and you will find out whether you can live with the car for the next few years.
Given that there are usually several different specifications available, make sure you are driving a car that is representative of what you want to buy. Driving a diesel manual if you really want a petrol automatic is of very little use whatsoever, regardless of what the salesperson might say.