Taking a Test Drive Without a Salesman

June 19th, 2019 by

Taking a Test Drive Without a Salesman

You’re craving a new vehicle. You’ve done your research online and now it’s time to get behind the wheel to take a test drive. But what are the pros and cons of taking a test drive without a salesman?

Your First Steps

Before you get behind the wheel for your test drive, you’ll go through a relatively brief process. Generally, you will have a dealer rep in the dealership to answer any of your car-related questions. When you get on site, you will be required to give the dealership your license and insurance info. After squaring away what their insurance policy entails, you should be ready to hit the road.

Taking a Test Drive Without a Salesman, The Pros and Cons


  • The lack of in-car chit chat gives you the opportunity to take in large amounts of first-hand information. You’ll be able to listen to the engine and peruse the navigation system, for instance. While you’re at it, you’ll also want to pay attention to how the brakes sound. Do they squeak or squeal? If they do, you’ll want to get them replaced before choosing to buy. Other things to evaluate include how smooth the car shifts and how easy it is to steer.
  • Allowing yourself to be sold by a salesperson is one thing, but doing so AFTER you’ve had a chance to take notes on your potential new car is another. Take advantage of your solo test-drive outing by writing up your own chart of how the vehicle performs across different categories like acceleration, braking, fuel efficiency, and off-roading (if applicable).
  • Alone time means time to take the road less traveled. Avoid the smooth, pre-determined route and opt for a variety of street, freeway, and other miscellaneous driving terrain (hills for example) to get a real idea of the vehicle’s performance.


  • Outings without a salesperson will also be minus their expertise. When you leave the lot without one, you’re also likely to be missing out on the wealth of knowledge that they possess. This includes their auto knowledge in general, as well as specifics about the car you happen to be test driving.
  • Say you’re not sold on the vehicle you’re test driving. Hardly the end of the world! But if you would have had a salesperson riding with you, the two of you would have also had more time to discuss the options that would work better for you.
  • If you’re test driving a used vehicle (or even if you’re not) you’re going to want to know what type of warranty that it comes with. After all, having a solid warranty in place helps you stay financially protected. Questions you should be asking in regard to any potential warranty a dealership is offering include “who stands behind the warranty” and the all-important “what’s covered in this warranty and for how long?”

Now is a good time to upgrade older model Ram 1500, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Wranglers.

Did you know?

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