The easiest way to arrange a test drive is just to phone your nearest dealer (who you’ll be able to find using the car maker’s website) and set one up. But, if that’s not possible, almost every manufacturer lets you arrange a test drive online.

Generally, you won’t be able to set anything up at really short notice, but if you’re planning ahead, setting things up online is certainly worth considering. Typically, you’ll be asked to select the vehicle (or, in some cases, vehicles) you’re interested in and (after inputting your postcode) choose the most suitable dealer. Then, depending on how the system works, you can either book the appointment online or arrange for the dealer to call you back.

The advantage of arranging everything online is that you don’t have to call during office hours; but, doing so does mean that you can’t confirm the exact specification of the car you’ll be driving.

In some cases, you can request a particular model online, but there’s no guarantee you’ll actually get it. So, if you want to drive a particular engine, gearbox or suspension set-up, our advice is to ring the dealer well in advance.

Indeed, for the ultimate peace of mind – and to avoid turning up and being disappointed when you discover the car you want isn't available – we recommend calling the retailer to confirm details in advance. Turning up unannounced can just lead to everyone involved being mighty upset.
  • TOP TIP – Make sure you confirm the exact spec of the car you’ll be driving in advance

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Buying a new car