So it’s finally time to upgrade your car from a clunker to something more reliable! Before you head on over to any of our 13 dealerships Valley-wide, check out these helpful test drive tips for new drivers!

Do Your Research

The first thing you should do before heading to the dealership is to do your research.

What kind of vehicle do you want? A sedan? A truck? An SUV? What kind of safety and tech features do you want? What about cargo space, or room for passengers? All this and more you must consider when searching for a new vehicle.

Once you found one or a few you are interested in, book an appointment for a test drive. This is important because you will then be paired with a salesperson who will give you more information about the vehicle you’re interested in, as well as similar vehicles you may want to consider as well.

Be Comfortable

Once you get into the car you’re interested in, sit in it and see how comfortable it is.

Adjust the seats and mirrors, reach for toggles, look around and see how the visibility works for you. Ask any passengers how their comfort is as well, including anyone in the back seat.

An average person spends about 8,000 hours in their vehicle in a standard calendar year. That is a lot of time you spend with your vehicle, so make sure you and your passengers are as comfortable as can be.


Now it’s time to take the car out for the actual test drive! Head out and test the vehicle in stop and go traffic. Test the brakes, the signals, how the vehicle turns and responds.

Next, take the vehicle on the expressway, and see how it handles acceleration. Switch lanes, view blind spots, see how the safety tech helps you (if the vehicle has safety tech,) and test how the vehicle steers.

Finally, head to a parking lot and park the vehicle. Try parallel parking, viewing any safety features for parking, and basic responsiveness of the vehicle. Ensure that it is easy for you to maneuver and you feel safe in it as well.


If the test drive went smoothly and you like the vehicle, it’s time to go through with the buying process!

Speak to your salesman about price, ask about the vehicles history report (if it is a used vehicle,) and negotiate payments if needed.

If you are not happy with the test drive, ask your salesman for similar vehicles or even vehicles with certain specifications you want. Your salesman will then present you with different options for you to try.

Payne Auto Group

Payne Auto Group invites you to stop by any of our 13 locations across the Rio Grande Valley! View our entire inventory on