The Importance of a Test Drive: What to Look for When Buying a Car

Brickell Honda

A test drive is an important opportunity for both the buyer and the dealership. For drivers, it's the most important aspect of buying the car, beyond the actual financing. For the dealership, it makes sure that they are selling a car that meets the buyer's needs. The entire process changes drastically the moment you are at the dealership. When you were browsing online for the car you want, you were reading reviews about the brand, resale values, and reliability. When you take the car for a test drive, you are actually getting a firsthand experience at the condition and the overall driveability of the car. Let's take a look at what you should inspect and how you should test drive the vehicle.

Visually inspect the car before you take it for a test drive

At Brickell Honda, we make sure your used vehicle (or new for that matter) is in outstanding condition. Many people take advantage of the Honda Certified program to find a used car for their needs. With a used vehicle, there are a few things that you should look out for in any situation:

  • Tires: Just make sure that the tire tread is adequate. Florida has a requirement of 1/16" tire tread. If a penny stands up in the tire tread, you are good. New tires within a few months of buying a vehicle can be a minimum of a $700 expenditure.
  • Check the body: Look for any rust, scratches, or dings. The less visible damage to the car, the better.
  • Open and close each door: Not only does checking the door let you inspect for damage that you can't see, but you'll also get a sense of what it is like to get in and out of the car.
  • Measure the car, especially if you are upgrading: If you are getting a larger SUV, like a Honda Pilot, you want to make sure that it will fit comfortably into your garage.
  • Get acquainted with the technology: If you are new to touchscreen infotainment centers, have the dealer show you how everything works. This will let you figure out how to use things like GPS and understand the safety features. No one wants to have to read the driver's manual from cover to cover.

The actual test drive

Bring another person when you take the car for a test drive. This will let you feel how the car handles without having to worry about actually operating the vehicle. After a while, switch to the driver's seat. Here is how you see if the car is a good fit:

  • How does the driver's seat feel? If you are comfortable with the seat, you are likely going to be comfortable with the car.
  • Take notice of the safety features. If you are uncomfortable with blind spots, is there a safety camera to cover them? Blind spots can be a determining factor in whether the vehicle is a good fit for you.
  • Test the vehicle in city traffic and on the freeway. You will want to see how the vehicle handles at all speeds.
  • Make sure that the breaks are in good working order. Take note of how the car slows down and listen for vibrations or other noises that could indicate the brakes need replacing.

How many vehicles should you test drive?

You should drive at least a few vehicles if you are making up your mind. The average buyer will test drive three different vehicles before making their choice. Don't be afraid of inconveniencing the dealership. The average person spends about three to four hours at the dealership before they purchase their car.

It's best to come into the car dealership with a list of vehicles that you've browsed online. This will maximize your time with the dealer and help you drive test vehicles that are a good fit for you.

Three common mistakes people make when test-driving a car

When test driving a car, make sure that you don't make these three mistakes:

  • Don't waste time driving cars you aren't interested in. At Brickell Honda, we'll show you the vehicles that you are interested in. If we also have a good fit in mind that just came in, we'll let you know.
  • When you test drive, make sure you thoroughly understand the technology. You might not like how certain controls work, and should know where things like cruise control are and how they operate.
  • Think about your purchase. You are comparing the actual experience of driving the car to what you saw online.

Test drive a new Honda at Brickell of Miami

Taking a test drive at Brickell Honda is a great way to experience the power, comfort, and reliability of a Honda vehicle. Whether you're in the market for a new car or just curious about the latest models, a test drive can give you a feel for what it's like to be behind the wheel. It's an opportunity to see if the vehicle meets your expectations and to compare it to other models in its class. The sales staff at Brickell is knowledgeable and will be able to answer any questions you have about the vehicles and their features. They can also help you find the perfect model to meet your needs and budget. So, if you're ready to take the next step in finding your perfect vehicle, head to your Brickell Honda of Miami and schedule a test drive today. The experience is sure to leave you impressed and confident in your decision to buy a Honda. Don't wait – the road to your new car starts with a test drive.