Car dealers offer warranties and guarantees that might lead you to believe new cars are free of problems or defects. Sales reps will sometimes accompany you on a test drive so they can emphasize the positive features of the car. Test drives are not just a formality before you negotiate a fair price, but allow you to compare new cars and may offer you critical information as to how well they run.

You should take someone car shopping with you, even if you are just going for a test drive. Your partner can occupy the dealer so you can pay attention to how the car drives.

Make sure to spend plenty of time on the test drive. You can even take as long a half an hour. You don’t have to return to the dealership until you are ready, picking your own route. Don’t let the dealer pick your route for you.

Some items you should concentrate on when test driving a new car are braking, steering, comfort and how smoothly and easily the car accelerates. Make sure the vehicle is easy to control and that the controls are easy to locate and operate. Steering and braking should also respond quickly and not jerk you around.

If the sales rep accompanies you on the test drive, this is good opportunity for you to ask about the car warranty. Depending on what it includes, you might want to check into purchasing an extended car warranty.

It is wise to test drive all of the cars you are interested in on the same day. This will allow you to compare them to each other. If you need to, take a car for a test drive a second time. Sales reps should not try to rush you through a test drive or sale. If they do, leave the dealership and go to another one.