Some tips I feel very strongly about having recently experienced the testing process & car sales people:
- Do not feel pressured to buy on the day of. They use all sorts of tactics. "This is the only one." "This car goes quickly," etc. Don't be fooled!
- Do not go alone!! It's easy for them to gang up on you if you're alone. It's helpful to confuse them - they don't know who is actually making the decisions. It's helpful to have a second opinion. Plus if you're bewildered and confused, your friend can give you kick to break the car dealer's spell on you.
- They are sexist. They are ageist. Be mentally prepared to ignore this.
- Pay attention to how the car handles when you accelerate, break, and turn.
- Pay attention to how comfortable the driver's seat is. Are the gauges, knobs, etc. in a comfortable place? I can't really tell the difference between the ways cars handle, accelerate, etc., but I do know as a drive, if I like the space that I'll be sitting in.
- Check the inventory of car dealers online, before you go! It seems like most dealerships don't have a say in what they get. Most dealerships have online inventories.
- Do your homework before and after. Know what you want to test drive, and know what it is about that specific car you want to see in person. Is it the trunk? The type of fabric that covers the seats? Afterward, compare the different available options for the car. Most places do not have the super baseline, lowest priced car. See what your actual car options are.