A COVID-19 safe test drive, tips from IAM RoadSmart

Blog post posted on 18/09/20 |

Bolton and District Advanced Motorists wanted to check out what test-driving a new car involved in this COVID-19 world we now live in and contacted their local Bolton Kia showroom,  which could not have been more helpful.

Barry Sloan, group publicity officer, volunteered for the experience and was guided through the new procedure and advised that before his test drive, the car would be completely cleaned and sanitised. He was asked to wear a face covering and gloves during the drive. If this was not possible, then the showroom would make arrangements for a deeper clean of the car when it was returned.

Barry was sent a video of all the controls beforehand, allowing him to familiarise himself with them, even before he sat in the car, and helping to minimise the amount of close contact time needed by staff to familiarise any potential customer with the controls.

The route in and out of the showroom was clearly marked to maintain social distancing. A hand sanitising station was prominent and staff were on hand to guide Barry safely to his test-drive vehicle.

When planning a test-drive, here are Barry’s handy hints:

  1. If possible, make an appointment in advance.


  2. Make sure you have your Driving Licence and, if possible, your DVLA Check code.


  3. Ensure you wear a face covering when visiting, and gloves that are suitable and comfortable for driving.


  4. Plan a route that you think will allow you to take in all the different types of traffic and road types you want to consider.


  5. Make sure you can complete your route within your allotted time.


  6. Go prepared with the questions you want answered. You may find you have more questions, following your test drive.


  7. Remember you will be in a totally unfamiliar vehicle. Take time to learn the position and function of the controls before you set off.


  8. Don’t forget your cockpit drill, even more important than ever in a vehicle you are unfamiliar with. Plus, if you are used to driving a manual petrol or diesel powered one, and you are test driving electric, then take time to get used to it not having a clutch or having to change gear.


  9. Finally, enjoy yourself. Remember that this will be one of the largest purchases or lease costs you will ever be making. You will certainly want to get it right!

Barry said: “If you are in the market for a new car, with a little pre-planning you should enjoy the test-drive and have confidence you can choose right model for your lifestyle.”