News and Reviews

First Car Buyers Guide: Browsing and Test Driving

March, 2014

If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably been dreaming of your first car purchase for a while now. You know exactly how it will look, how it will purr down the street, and how many heads will turn in envy as you cruise on by. Right?

Before you make a purchase, there are a few more things to consider. Today we’ll run you through taking a test drive.



This is the fun bit. Buying a new or used car gives you a great excuse to spend hours trawling through car listings and strolling through dealerships in search of the one. It’s fun, and it’s also an important step in understanding general pricing and features on the market. Make note of models that pique your interest and include details on mileage, year and special features. Once you’ve had enough of browsing, review your notes to make a short-list of cars to test drive.


Taking her for a test drive

By now, you should know what model you’re interested in and have an idea of features. Take your short list down to your local John Hughes car dealership and let one of our friendly salespeople know that you’d like to take a few cars for a test drive. Taking all your test drives on the same day is ideal, as this lets you make the most accurate comparison.

Think small, too. On a day-to-day level, what are you after? Somewhere to put your coffee cup? Lots of storage in the boot? Make note of important details to compare before purchasing.

Here are some things to consider before jumping in:

  • Ease of entry and exit for passengers
  • Are the seats adjustable and comfortable?
  • Is the vehicle electric, premium or unleaded gasoline?
  • Craftsmanship of the details like visors, glove box and upholstery

And here’s what to consider when you’re behind the wheel:

  • How does the clutch and steering feel? Is it too heavy or light?
  • Are display screens and gauges easy to read?
  • Is the climate control system sufficient?
  • How do the pedals fit your driving style?
  • Take a few corners and explore varying road conditions to check for smooth operation
  • Park the car in a number of positions to assess the difficulty of each
  • Drive with the windows closed and open to determine wind flow
  • Pay attention to the sound levels in the vehicle with the windows closed

Taking a test drive is an important step in any vehicle purchase – not just first time buyers. Remember, you’ll be driving this car on long trips and short trips, and hopefully for many years so you want to make sure that you’re comfortable with the feel of the car.

Buying your first car might seem like a big ordeal, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself along the way. Take your time, and explore all your options. Buying a first car is a milestone and one of the really fun ones too – so enjoy the moment!


What is your dream car?

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