Buying a new car: basic rules for the test drive

Many car buyers make the mistake of choosing their new car purely from the catalogue. Frequently, the first visit to the car dealership is followed by a very short test drive and then ordered immediately (possibly at the gross price). Much more important than putting together special equipment is the future car, which is often your everyday companion for many years, extensively test drive! We have put together some basic rules for the test drive here:

Basic rules for a test drive

  • Make an appointment in good time and take it time:
  • The test drive should take at least an hour! Actually, you can’t test the suitability for everyday use of a vehicle in a 3-hour test drive, a weekend would probably be optimal. Tell your salesperson, who may only want to let you drive 20 minutes, that you are serious about buying and therefore want to properly test drive the vehicle.
  • If possible, drive exactly the engine, which you also want to buy! Ask the seller in advance to possibly provide a suitable vehicle. The shock is often deep when you test drive a 2 liter diesel engine, but get the ordered 1.4 petrol engine when you pick up the new car.
  • At the beginning of the test drive, let the seller explain the vehicle and basic functions such as cruise control or automatic air conditioning.
  • If necessary, take a technically knowledgeable acquaintance with you
  • Ideally, you drive in the city, on country roads and some motorways.
  • Forget extras like heated steering wheel and focus on driving characteristics
  • For the test, take a seat on the passenger side and in the rear, test the loading options in the trunk, if relevant.
  • Don’t waste time at the supermarket or McDrive during the test drive

Purchase contract? Compare before!

Nowadays, it is often a fatal mistake to simply order a new car from the car dealership where you have been a customer for many years. Usually new car sales have a very big profit scam for car dealerships – regardless of whether you are a first-time customer or a regular customer, discounts should be negotiated here. In order for this to succeed, comparisons are necessary beforehand, especially in the case of used or annual vehicles. The relevant car portals such as mobile.de have proven themselves here: You can filter exactly according to the desired vehicle (and age) and submit comparative offers to the local seller.

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Car dealerships often see test drives as a burden and act unprofessionally, as can be seen here on the license plate.

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