Do I need to test drive a car before buying it?
The importance of test driving a car before buying it.
We always recommend that customers test drive the vehicle, new or used before committing to a purchase.
Purchasing a car can often be one of, if not the biggest financial commitment a person can make in their life. With such a big commitment for several years, you need to ensure that what you’re buying is fit for purpose and right for you.
There are many factors contributing to how a car drives. The weight of the car, the suspension, the tires, and even the driver all play a role in how a car drives on the road. That’s why it’s important to test drive a car before you buy it. You need to make sure that it feels right for you.
You could be buying a car in perfect condition with no faults at all but when you drive it you may feel like the car just isn’t right. Believe it or not, features in the car could be off-putting for a buyer but you wouldn’t know unless you had the chance to see them or use them firsthand.
A common mistake is when a buyer is looking at several cars of the same make and model and believes they will all drive the same. Depending on the miles, service history and so on; each one will drive differently. For this reason, there’s no substitute for taking it for a drive.
Do your research.
It’s always good to research any car you’re looking to buy. Read up on reviews of the model you’re interested in, talk to people who have owned one, and get as much information as you can.
Once you have all the facts, you can make an informed decision about whether the car is right for you. Doing this can eliminate a salesperson creating a false dream about a car that you don’t necessarily need. You can avoid ending up with a car that you’re not fully satisfied with. Going into a dealership knowing what car you want, having done your research, makes the process far easier.
What if the car is being delivered to me?
We do have dealerships that offer to deliver cars to the customer. They will often attempt to sell the car via videos and photos. Whilst we aren’t against this and do finance customers who choose to do this, we do still recommend that you test drive a car before buying it. In this instance, test driving the vehicle in your local area on a route you may take every day may be more beneficial and give you an idea if the car performs as expected.
An example of when a test drive has been the deciding factor in a purchase: Previously one of our customers took a vehicle out for a test drive in their local area. They came across a tight angled roundabout and didn’t feel comfortable due to the size of the car. For this reason, the customer chose an alternative car. Can you imagine being that customer if they hadn’t test driven the car, bought it and then experiencing this issue after purchase?
Obviously, this isn’t something that will happen to everyone and something that wouldn’t affect everyone to the point they don’t want to keep the car, but it’s important you consider all possibilities.
We recommend that if you buy a car this way, you cover yourself by asking, “Can it be test driven before it’s signed over”, and “If I don’t like it, what are my options”. If you’re told that once it’s delivered to you, it’s yours and that’s it, then it might be worth thinking about who you’re buying off. Everyone is entitled to a test drive before committing to a purchase.
Remember, you’re only liable for the car you choose once the documents with the finance company are signed, and funds are paid to the dealership.
What else can I do to ensure the car I’m buying is fit for purpose?
Sadly, no one has a crystal ball. There are occasions where things go wrong even when you take every precaution.
If you test drive a car before buying it and work with a reputable dealership who has a good history of providing good cars, then you are minimising your risk. It’s always worth finding out about a dealership’s after care service and asking questions about their process in the event something was to go wrong. If anything was to go wrong with the car, then it’s the dealership that you will be dealing with.
If a dealership has a history of poor after sales service, then you may wish to reconsider before going ahead.
Glenside finance will only work with dealerships who are FCA regulated. Should you need any advice or have any concerns before purchasing your car, our New Business team are on hand to provide advice and support on 01942 466 035, Option 2.