A new car is likely to be one of the most expensive purchases you ever make, so a thorough test drive is essential to make sure your chosen car lives up to your expectations.
Plus, if you’re not sure whether to choose one car over another, then test driving the models you’re interested in is a sure-fire way of knowing if they suit your needs and determining which one you prefer.
So, how do you go about booking your drive?
Book a test drive online
Did you know you can book a test drive online with Car Keys? Our test drive booking form can be completed in two simple steps and then we take care of the rest.
Simply select the vehicle you are interested in, using our new car finder tool. Then once you've selected your model, fill in your details and we'll contact you first before going directly to our dealers to ensure it's the vehicle you want to test drive. We'll then pass your details on to your local dealer, who will call you to arrange a mutually convenient time.
It’s as easy as that.Book a test drive today
Visit a dealer
If you’d rather look around a potential purchase before taking it out for a spin, then your local dealer will be more than happy to see you. If it’s a popular model that you’re interested in, then chances are they will have a demonstrator that you can go for a drive in, either there and then, or by making an appointment.
The advantage here is that you can ask any questions in advance of the test drive, the downside is that most car dealers will be trained to try and get you to buy the car there and then. Don’t be afraid to walk away, as the deal will still be on the table when you go back.
Try an extended test drive
Some manufacturers and dealer groups will allow you to take the car away for an extended 24-hour test drive, which can be a real benefit. Not only can you take the car home to see if your other half and/or family like it, but you can also discover things you wouldn’t notice on a shorter run – for example, if you drive it for a couple of hours on a long journey, you’ll know if the seats remain comfortable for an extended period, if you can get on with the infotainment system, or if the cup holders are any good. It’s little details like this that can make all the difference when you have to live with a car every day.
Look for test drive offers
Car manufacturers will try all sorts to get you to cross the threshold of their dealerships, and if you’re shamelessly after a freebie then fill your boots. Some of them are even a bit off-the-wall – for example, MG dealers were recently offering a £10 dine-in-for-two voucher from Marks and Spencer if you test drove an MG3.
Renault, meanwhile, is promoting a £750 ‘additional discount’ if you test drive a Captur at your local dealer.
Don’t get carried away
Remember that dealers’ and manufacturers’ demo cars are often the most highly-specced and powerful examples in the range, so if you’re after a mid-spec 1.6 and a driving a top-of-the-range 2.0-litre, the car isn’t representative of the one you’ll actually be buying.
If the dealer doesn’t have the engine you want to try as a demo, they may let you take a car out that’s in their used stock. Its certainly worth an ask. If not, don’t get carried away with the higher spec car and assume the one you buy will be identical.
Try your local car hire depot
If you’ve got your mind set on a particular car, you could also try your local car hire depot. If you don’t mind the cost of one day’s rental, ring around and see if they have one on their fleet. Most popular models are on daily rental fleets – but be specific, you don’t want to book a test drive in a Volkswagen Golf to turn up at the depot and find they’ve replaced it with a Ford Focus, for example.
Test it properly
Now you’ve booked your test drive, why not visit our top test drive tips to ensure you make the most of the experience.