Get the most from a test-drive

Plan your trip to the dealership

Every vehicle has its own feel and personality, but differences can be subtle. Schedule test drives for your top few contenders back-to-back on the same day. That way, your impressions will be fresh. If you’ll be sharing the car with a spouse or family member, make sure he or she can come along. If not, bring a friend. You’ll have someone to bounce ideas off and another set of eyes to notice things you might not. Bring a notebook, smartphone or camera and take notes and pictures. Also take along everything you use on a regular basis. If you have children, bring the car seat and stroller. Athletes should bring their sporting equipment. Frequent travelers should show up with their suitcases. It may seem like a schlep, but you won’t have to guess whether the things you use most often will fit.