Interested in buying a car? Of course, we all know it can be a hard process, between getting a loan, doing your research, shopping around and negotiating. Possibly the most important part of the car-buying process, though, and often one of the most overlooked, is test-driving. So, we have a few tips about where to go and what to do when you're on a test drive here in Malaga.
Drive on Rough Roads
One of the most important places to go on a test drive is on rough roads. There are two reasons for this. One is obvious: You'll know how a car drives on harsh surfaces. It would be no fun to drive home in a new car and discover later that the ride is too jarring for you to handle, which would be a problem that you'd only recognize more as you spent more time with the car.
The other reason that rough roads are an important place to go test-driving is that harsh surfaces will help you hear any issues with the suspension. When you're on a rough road, we suggest turning down the stereo volume and listening for noises.
The Costa del Sol has some good little cobblestone streets where you can get a feel for the car in this kind of an environment.
Many shoppers on a test drive forget a crucial aspect of driving that can be very stressful: parallel parking. That's why we strongly suggest that you take any vehicle to a parking space, even if there aren't any other cars nearby, and attempt to parallel park. If you do, you'll get a better understanding of the size of the car and how comfortable you feel.
Drive on a Highway
Most dealership salespeople make sure that getting on the highway is part of a test drive. In case they don't, we strongly suggest that you head for the nearest highway and drive there for at least a few minutes. The reason: Cars sometimes behave a lot differently at high speeds than they do on city streets. You might hear wind noise you don't like, for instance, or you might hear more noise from the tires than you want. Those are things that you won't find out unless you take the car on the highway.
Drive on Curvy or Local Roads
After you've driven on a rough road and on the highway, your next stop should be a road with some curves or tight turns. You'll want to do this in order to feel the physics of the car. Is it too top-heavy? Do its motions make you carsick? And, of course, do you feel like the steering and handling is adequate for your needs? A curvy road is the best place to answer each of those questions.
Don't Be Shy
Our most important test-driving advice for shoppers interested in buying a car is simple: Don't be shy about asking for a longer test drive in order to reach the places we've mentioned. After all, it's likely that you'll own your next car for years to come, and that means you'll want to spend more than a few minutes behind the wheel before you sign the papers and drive it home.