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Test drives still important even when buying a car online

Test drives still important even when buying a car online

The test drive is an essential part of any car purchase. You may love the colour, the design and trim of your new car but what’s it like to drive? Do you like the driving position? Are the seats comfortable? Does the steering feel alive or dead? All questions the test drive is designed to answer.

So what happens when you buy a car online? How do you test drive?

You have two options. You can come to a dealership and test drive in advance or use the return period to test drive the car before making your final decision.

Test drive options

If you’re not self-isolating, our dealerships are all open for business. Our sales teams have been trained to work at a social distance and all test drives include hygiene preparation before you get in the car.

When you buy a car online from Car Nation Canada you have 3 days or 250 km to change your mind. Notify us in writing within that 3 days and you get a full refund or can exchange the car for another from our stock.

What to look for in a test drive

A test drive is about more than how comfortable the seats are, especially if you’re buying used.

Here are a few things to look for in your test drive:

  • How easy is it to get in and out?
  • How adjustable is the driving position?
  • What blind spots are there?
  • How does the engine sound and perform?
  • How smooth are the gear shifts?
  • Does the engine hunt for gears when accelerating?
  • Does the car lean or handle corners well?
  • How stable is it under heavy braking?
  • Does all the technology work for you?
  • What’s the trunk space like?

If possible, test drive your new car with the family or a friend. Have them sit in different seats and tell you how much space they have and how comfortable the journey is.

Load up the trunk with typical road trip luggage or week’s groceries to see how practical it is to live with. Drive around for a while with the car full to make sure it can cope with the load.

Also make sure to try different roads in different conditions. Concentrate on the type of roads you would drive each day but cover all your bases within reason.

If you mainly drive on the highway, spend some time at highway speed, practice overtaking, check the blind spots and assess how comfortable and quiet the car is.

When you buy online, you have the advantage of not having a sales person on the test drive with you. You can be honest with yourself or your passenger(s) and get honest feedback without any sales pitch or pressure while out on the road.

For that alone it’s worth buying your next car online!

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