Test-driving your new truck is probably the most exciting part of purchasing a new vehicle. Test driving not only offers you the opportunity to see what it would be like to drive the vehicle, it’s also a chance for you to envision yourself using the truck several years from now as it pulls a boat or one of the Australian manufactured caravans behind you. Trucks are built to last, which is why you are encouraged to try as many of them as you would like.
Your requirements for cars are personal, specific and maybe even weird, which is due to the fact that the truck you finally purchase is exactly that – personal, specific and weird! Most test drives usually last about five minutes – but it can be seven minutes if you miss an exit – and during that time, there is a salesperson riding shotgun and delivering a rehearsed speech on the vehicle’s APR and GPS tech. However, here are tips on how you can get a more personal, specific and weird experience with your potential vehicle within a couple of minutes – even with the salesperson by your side.
Do Your Homework First
Even if you have a distinct idea of what you want or even don’t know what type of truck you are looking for, it’s always a good idea to research your options beforehand. The research will prove critical in narrowing down your expectations with regards to appearance, costs, as well as many other considerations. Even if you have an idea of what exactly you want, make sure you test drive at least three trucks, just to give yourself a few more options.
Don’t Go Alone
If you are not a car-savvy individual, it’s much better if you have a family member or friend who knows about trucks come along. However, if you cannot find a car person or mechanic, an extra pair of eyes will prove critical in noticing small things that you hadn’t seen or they will even tell you what it feels like being a passenger in the truck. Plus, they may point out potential issues that you would have otherwise glossed over, especially if you are not experienced in buying new cars or are relatively inexperienced at driving.
Inspection Before the Drive
Before you get into the truck, consider things like color, cargo space, and measurements. Measurements will help you find out if the vehicle will fit in your driveway, parking space or garage; include mirrors when measuring the truck’s width. When settled for the test drive, consider how easy it is to enter and exit the vehicle, whether the truck has ample seating space, whether you can read the various gauges and controls, and if you can see out of the car.
Drive as You Usually do
When driving, drive the truck as you would on any other day, so you have a real feel of how it handles on the road. Test things like speed and acceleration on the highway, maneuverability as you drive into a parking lot, make a U-turn or a three-point turn, and test bumps and comfort by driving over rougher terrain where possible. However, don’t take the truck through unrealistic stress tests because it’s highly frowned upon by dealers.
While driving, make sure you test features like GPS, radio, Bluetooth functionality, cruise control, and climate control.
If a feature is easy to reach, make sure you test it out; especially those features you know you depend on a lot. Test the features in different situations; for instance, if it has a rear camera, what happens if someone calls your Bluetooth connected device while reversing, does the call cancel the rear camera?