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Buying a New Ride? Here Are Common Mistakes to Avoid When You Test-Drive a Car

Buying a car is not like buying fish in the market. You can’t just say, “Uncle, I want a kilo of Honda Civic” and be on your way. For many of us, it’s a huge financial commitment that ties us down for up to nine years. So, when you decide to buy a car in Malaysia, you have to think carefully about what you want in your car from the make and model to the safety features, and more.

Once you have narrowed down a few cars you’re interested in, the next step is to find a dealer and schedule a test drive. But, you know how it is, right? When we get too excited seeing the car in person, we might forget how to test drive the new car and miss out on important things.

To help you make the right decision when buying a car, here are some mistakes to avoid during your test drive.

1. Not Deciding on the Car You Want to Test-Drive

Since buying a car is often a pricey, long-term financial commitment, let’s make your decision worth it. Go over your finances and set a budget of what you can afford to pay be it over a five or nine-year loan period.

Based on your budget, you can shortlist several cars to check out and test-drive. One tip for test-driving a car whether new or used is to only test-drive the cars on your list. This will ensure you don’t go over budget and risk getting your car repossessed because you defaulted on your loan. 

For instance, you walk into the dealership to test-drive a Honda City and end up test-driving a pricier vehicle like the HR-V. While just test-driving doesn’t mean you’ll settle for the car, you might be tempted to upgrade your choice, especially if you only need to top-up a few thousand ringgit. 

man in car holding car keys

2. Not Planning Your Test-Drive Route

Before test-driving a car, ask the salesperson how long is the test-drive route. Most test drives span 5km to 20km, depending on the dealership you visit. Ideally, your route should include a mix of roads including highways. So that’s another thing to ask before you take the car out for a drive.

By driving on different roads and in different traffic conditions, you can better evaluate the way the car handles bumps, stop-and-go traffic, and high-speed open roads. Don’t forget to go through roads with multiple turnings and/or roundabouts so you can gauge the car’s handling, brakes, and suspension as well. 

3. Not Inspecting the Car’s Exterior Condition

You might think you know how to test-drive a new car but if you’re shopping for a used car, you have extra things to look at. Checking the exterior condition of a brand-new car can give you an idea of the build quality of the car you’ll actually get. But when it comes to a used car, properly inspecting its condition can ensure you get a quality car that won’t let you down.

Inspecting the car’s exterior before your test drive will help you identify imperfections in the paint and body which can indicate if it’s seen significant damage or not. By doing it before you drive, you can also avoid getting blamed for damages that were not your fault.

Read More: 6 Industry Secrets Shared by CARSOME Inspectors

4. Not Checking the Service Records

All cars need to be serviced at certain intervals and the service should be recorded in the owner’s service booklet. If you’re buying a used car, don’t forget to check the service records as you’ll be able to tell if the car was serviced on time and if it had abnormal issues that needed repairs. 

If the seller doesn’t provide the service booklet when you ask for it, there could be an issue with the car. However, many car owners choose to service their cars at third-party workshops after the warranty has ended because it’s cheaper. If that’s the case with the car you’re looking at, you can ask for past service receipts as well. It’s important to get as much information as possible on the car you’re buying, so you don’t sacrifice safety for a cheap car.

5. Driving Recklessly

Another important tip for test driving a car, whether new or used, is to stay safe on the road. Make sure you follow all traffic laws and don’t push the car to its limits just because you need to ‘really test the car’. 

Driving recklessly will not only endanger other road users but if you end up in an accident and damage the car, you’ll face hefty repair costs if it’s determined to be your fault. It’s understandable to get excited when test-driving, especially if it’s your dream car but remember to take it easy and not be a menace on the road.

Warning triangle in front of car damaged in accident

Read More: Top Women-Friendly Car Features to Consider

6. Forgetting to Assess the Car’s Comfort

We spend a lot of time in our cars especially if we commute in it daily. Therefore, don’t forget to pay attention to the interior space as well. Vital things to consider include the comfort of the seat, steering wheel adjustability, front and rear legroom, features and usability of the infotainment panel, and storage space. 

Pay attention to how the interior of the car feels when you drive, whether you can access the various controls easily, and if your passengers are comfortable. This goes for both new and used cars, so don’t neglect the interior.

Check the Car Thoroughly before You Buy

To recap, be sure to narrow down your car choices before you test-drive, stay safe while test-driving, and pay attention to the car’s exterior and interior, as well as how it drives. Whether you’re buying a new or used car, these test-driving tips will help you know exactly what you’re getting in your car. And that’ll ensure that you buy a car that really fits your lifestyle and needs. After all, you wouldn’t want to be stuck servicing a loan for a car that you don’t like.

Test-Driving a CARSOME Certified Car Is Now Even Easier!

If you’re looking for a quality, affordable car, why not get a pre-owned car from CARSOME? Making a test-drive appointment at CARSOME has always been straightforward but it’s now even easier when you book it on our app.

Just pick a car you like, select your preferred test drive date and time, and a CARSOME Consultant will contact you to confirm your appointment. 

We have up to 30 car brands in our inventory, and each car has gone through a stringent 175-point inspection so not only do you have a large selection to choose from, but you can rest assured that each car is safe and roadworthy.

Find your dream car on CARSOME or download our app and start booking your test drive!


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