Donate |

After the test drive

This is the best time to collect your thoughts

Last updated: February 2014

As soon as you return to the dealership from your test drive, a salesperson will almost certainly try to hustle you into an office to start the buying process. He or she is counting on your enthusiasm after driving a new car to seal the deal. But this really is not a good time to start the negotiating process, especially if you have planned to test drive vehicles from other manufacturers. This is actually the best time to collect your thoughts.

Evaluate the dealership

How you’re treated during your first visit to a dealership may tell you a lot about any future relationship, so make sure you’re comfortable with the atmosphere and test-drive experience.

Your test drives give you a good chance to evaluate a variety of dealerships. Even the lowest possible price usually won’t compensate for a bad experience with a particular dealership. Salespeople should treat you with respect and honesty. Unfortunately, there are exceptions, so here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding where to buy your next vehicle:

  • Was the salesperson responsive to questions?
  • Was I treated with respect?
  • Did I get all of the information I needed?
  • Did I get honest answers?
  • Was it easy to arrange a test drive?
  • Were any high-pressure tactics used during my first encounter?
  • Was I invited back for additional test drives?

If you answered “yes” to more than a few of these questions about a dealership, there’s a good chance you might want to do business there. If you answered “no” often, you should think about going elsewhere to buy your car.

New Car Buying Guide

Learn more about choosing a car, what to do at the dealership, pricing, trading in your car, financing, closing the deal and more in our new car buying guide.




   

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters!
Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Latest From Consumer Reports

REFRIGERATOR REVIEWS
Find your new fridge at Home Depot, Lowe's, or Sears The stores have deals on some of our top-rated models.
DIGITAL CAMERA REVIEWS
How to take better underwater photographs and video Getting the shots you want in the pool or at the beach requires know-how.
PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS
How to rattle a company's cage and gets its attention Use these surefire tips to deal with frustrating customer service.
PICKUP REVIEWS
Ratings update: Find out which pickup to pick upVideo The 2015 Ram Diesel is the top full-sized pickup in our latest tests.
RETIREMENT PLANNING GUIDE
Why you can stop freaking out about retirement How to worry less and plan better for a secure and satisfying future.
WHAT TO BUY WHEN
7 products on deep discount in SeptemberVideo Our lab tests and shopping tips will help you find the right stuff.

Connect

and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:

Cars

Cars New Car Price Report
Find out what the dealers don't want you to know! Get dealer pricing information on a new car with the New Car Price Report.

Order Your Report

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more