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Test driving a car is an essential part of the buying process. It allows those who are car shopping to get a feel of the vehicle before deciding to purchase it. But not every aspect of test driving a vehicle is fun and exciting. Here are the most complained about parts of test driving a car.

A Mercedes-Benz sales facility with new models parked neatly out front, ready for test driving
New Mercedes-Benz models for sale | Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Buying a car is a large and important investment for most families. Without test driving a few vehicles in comparison, it’s difficult to discern which car, truck, or SUV is the better choice. In addition, the pandemic restrictions have rolled out, altering the test driving experience in many cases.

Dishonest sellers

Sometimes, a salesperson at the dealership or someone selling their personal car will want to hide problems or defects. This generally means they are hoping to get a higher price than what the vehicle is worth. Of course, this isn’t always the case. There are certainly plenty of honest folks out there––even car salespeople.

A silver 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line midsize sedan out for a spin on a curvy two-lane mountain highway overlooking an ocean
2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line | Hyundai Motor America

However, dishonest sellers are one of the most complained about parts of test driving a car. If you wind up with a seller that just wants to paint the vehicle you are testing in a good light, they may advise you to take a certain route. In fact, Consumer Reports warns against this.

According to Consumer Reports, you should “plan your own driving route in advance. A salesperson or private seller may suggest routes that hide or minimize problems.” Someone like this could also try to cut the drive short. Consumer Reports recommends driving for at least as close to 30 minutes as you’re allowed.

A seller that talks too much while you are test driving a car

It’s not easy getting acquainted with a new vehicle and inspect it for high and lows within just half an hour. That said, it’s especially difficult if a salesperson or private seller talks the whole time. Information about the car, truck, or SUV that you’re testing is valuable. However, a verbal relay of the specs and a story about how much someone’s friend loves the vehicle after buying one a month ago aren’t helping you focus on how the car feels during the drive.

a red 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 parked during a drive
2022 Porsche 911 GT3 | Porsche

Car Gurus reports that test driving a car, truck or SUV is vital before buying. But that because of complaints such as these, “some people opt to forgo the test drive altogether.” But riding with someone who is (should be) more familiar with the vehicle than you are has its benefits too.

The upside to having a seller in the car is having someone to answer questions as you drive. In addition, they can also give you a brief tutorial of the various settings and commands available in the cabin. But it’s not ideal to have constant chatter for the duration of the test drive.

Consumer Reports suggests bringing a buddy along. This may prove a little more difficult these days due to social distancing orders. In fact, it’s easier now than ever to test drive a vehicle alone. But landing in a vehicle with a chatty seller is definitely one of the most complained about parts of

When test driving a car makes your decision more complicated

Another one of the most complained about parts of test driving a car is when you find yourself torn. Sometimes we love the exterior and interior style of one car but prefer the handling and driving dynamics of another. Other times we may find that the car, truck, or SUV that we thought we wanted is underwhelming.

Inside the Kia Telluride cabin with a view of the dash display navigation
Kia Telluride interior | Kia

Regardless of these issues that people talk about, test driving a car is a key element in the decision-making process. While these are the most complained about parts of test driving a car, most of us will deal with at least one of these annoyances at some point. I’ve heard countless complaints like these, but virtually everyone in the industry advises testing out a few cars before making your final choice.


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