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How to Ace a Car Dealership Test Drive

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Buyers and dealers know a test drive can be the most crucial element in the car buying process.

But some sellers are counting on your not mastering some of the crucial techniques buyers need to maximize the test-drive experience and get everything they need from the "thinking of buying it" ride.

Rolling to the rescue is Edmunds.com which is out with some reminders for car and truck buyers on getting the most from a test-drive.

It's all about checking much-needed decision-based items off your vehicle shopping list.

"Every car shopper should feel empowered to own their test drive and make sure that they focus on all of the factors that are most important to them," says Philip Reed, consumer advice editor at the online auto expert. "If the car doesn't look, feel or sound right in any way, then it's OK to trust your gut and walk away. The small red flags you find early on could become big waving banners down the road."

"It's a little like trying on clothes," Reed says. "People come in different sizes and shapes, and they have different tastes in what they want. The little things that you spot now could be major annoyances later, so don't discount any of your reactions."

That process starts before you get in the car, he says. Go into the experience with your eyes open, especially before you put the keys into the ignition. Here are some of the item on Reed's text-drive checklist:

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