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Rental Car Test Drive: Rent it & Drive it Before You Buy it

For most people, car shopping ranks right around the same place as root canals and public speaking. There’s so much to consider… like whether the car is really right for you, whether the test drive gave you an accurate read on its handling, whether the car is worth the money… the list goes on and on. The good news is that if you rent a car you’re thinking of buying, you can get behind the wheel for more than 10 minutes and spend time truly considering your choice.

Before you hit the road in the rental car, there are a few things to keeping in mind:

  • Long-term comfort. Does the steering column adjust up, down, in and out to make reaching it a breeze? Do the seats adjust enough – and provide your back with enough support to make road trips comfortable? Do the seatbelts cross your body without rubbing your neck?
  • Power. Can the rental car pass others without straining? Can it go up hills and mountains without struggling?

  • Brakes. Do the brakes stop the car without your foot going to the floor? Are you comfortable with the speed at which the car stops? Do you like the way the brakes feel underfoot?

  • Suspension. How does the car handle going over bumpy roads and speed bumps?

  • Noise. Is the car quiet enough for you to carry on a conversation (in person or on the phone) with ease? Does the engine drown out the sound of the radio?

  • Space. Does the back seat give you enough room to comfortably take friends and/or family out for dinner? Is there enough room in the trunk for groceries or luggage?

  • Safety. Does the car feel sturdy enough to protect you in an accident? Are there sufficient airbags?

When you rent the car you’re thinking about buying, be sure to get driver privileges for other of-age drivers in your household so they can also experience what driving the vehicle is like and weigh in on the worth of the car.

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