Helpful Tips for Car Shoppers and Test Drives

Car shopping can be difficult, these tips can help.

byMark Sanew| UPDATED May 15, 2017 4:03 PM
Helpful Tips for Car Shoppers and Test Drives

NPR recently had a great and simple article on how to shop for a car, including helpful tips for potential buyers. According to surveys, 55 percent of shoppers buy the first car they test drive, which means some buyers may not be following some basic steps along the process.

 Among the most important things described in the article was making sure no sales technique muddied the joy of a buying experience. Sometimes the buying experience is more complicated than just having fun.  If the buyer is getting bad vibes from a dealership, it's best to steer clear.

Stressful Buying

, I deserve that new car!, Getty

Tips For The Test Drive

The handy list provided by NPR discusses some often forgotten common sense topics for buyers. Car shopping can be stressful, many people tend to cave in and buy the first vehicle they drive.  

First on the list was simple, "Do your Homework."  In the popular segments such as midsize cars or CUVs there can be at least 6 vehicles in the segment which means being prepared is time consuming.  One of the best ways to make it easier is to create a list of the vehicles that are important or attractive and weed them out by price.  

There are other basic tips in the story, two of them connected: Schedule test drives ahead of time and also make sure car shopping is not jammed into a work day or busy schedule.

One of the most important things on the list, though, is: drive the car.  Sometimes dealerships and sales people will talk and talk during a test drive, and it takes away from the experience.  Drive the vehicle on an extended route, not in rush hour traffic or for a quick ride around the block.  If a vehicle becomes top pick most dealerships will allow extended test drives or an overnight test drive.  

Bottom line, buyers need to take time, and one of the best ways to ward off a pushy sales person is to let them know there are other cars on the list to see before committing to a purchase.