Why you’ve got to test drive your dream car


Before you lay your dollars on the car dealer’s table, make sure you test drive your dream car. Why? Well, a car is an asset and you’ll invest quite a bit of money into it. It can become your baby: you clean it, feed it (fuel, of course!), take it to the doctor (ahem, mechanic) and pay its way in the world (insurance, rego, the list goes on).

On paper, you know your dream ride inside out: its specs, fuel consumption per kilometre and every inch of its sweet paintwork—but what does it feel like inside the car? According to expert AAMI Mechanical Assessor, Chris: “Test driving a vehicle will give insight into the car’s comfort, handling and performance. Not all vehicles are the same and what may suit one person may not suit another. If you’re buying a used car, test driving will provide insight into how well the vehicle has been looked after.”

Whether it’s your first or third, new, used or demo, you want to be sure your dream car’s a comfy and safe go-between. Here are a few simple things to be on the lookout for when test driving a car.

Run your eye over the shape and paintwork

Test driving isn’t just about learning what to look out for when putting your foot on the pedal. First, imagine what your dream wheels will look like driving. Ask a few questions about your life in the car—how would you feel being seen in the car? Will it fit a car seat? Is there room for your golf clubs? Think about how you use your current car and ask whether this dream car can do the same, or (hopefully!) more. Plus, if it’s not love at first sight, you can always move on to the next seller.

Poke your nose under the hood

Happy with the way your dream car looks? Now it’s time to get tech-savvy. The motor is the car’s heart, which is why you should keep your eyes peeled when checking under the hood. Make sure the engine’s clean and doesn’t smell like burnt oil.

There’s nothing worse when buying a car than buying a lemon. Sussing out the finer mechanical details helps you save time and money down the track. Some of these things should also be checked over by a mechanic, and it’s okay to ask for a proper go over.

Put your dream car through its paces

You’re about to dish out some serious dollars, so you want to be sure about your purchase. It’s time to take this beauty for a ride!

Adjust your mirrors to make sure you have a clear view for the test. Drive through roundabouts and local streets to see if any part of the car gets in your way, and make sure you take note of what using the wheel, the handbrake and the gears (if you’re getting a manual) feels like.

Things to look out for when test driving include rattles from the suspension or steering, gearbox faults and any warning lights on the dash. If you’re unsure what to look for, take a checklist along with you on the day.

Get nosey, because with the amount of time you’ll spend living it up in your dream car, you need to enjoy being in it.

Remember you’re lucky with AAMI

After all that hard work, you’ve made your dream car a reality—what a reward! It’s now your baby, your asset, and deserves to be taken care of should anything happen.

Because safe driving is a lifelong love, AAMI rewards safe drivers on Comprehensive Car Insurance policies. AAMI’s Safe Driver Rewards® is like upgrading your wedding ring with each big anniversary: we have Gold, Platinum, Ruby, Sapphire and Diamond. Each of these rewards you with discounts and credits, making sure you and the ones you love (including the car!) are always taken care of.

You can always give the AAMI help desk a buzz on 13 22 44 if you’re looking at Comprehensive Car Insurance. One of our friendly AAMI staff will be happy to help you out.

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Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.