Coming to grips with car-buying

10 January 2020

The least you should do is sit in the vehicle first

There’s a lot of discussion in the automotive industry at the moment around methods of buying cars and, of course, buying them online is very topical.

That’s all good, but there are some things the internet cannot provide: like the all-important aspects of how a car feels to sit in and how it drives.

Head room, audio quality, luggage space... There’s a lot to think about. So it’s still very useful to see a car ‘in the flesh’ before buying it.

Just sitting in a car is very important.

The main reason for this is that many vehicles have steering wheels and control pedals that are off-set. That is, they’re not always in direct alignment to the driver.

Off-set pedals can be part of the overall vehicle design and build process. Often they’re placed slightly to one side of the footwell due to the available vehicle space or the location of the mechanicals of the car.

This isn’t generally a problem but it pays to check that a comfortable and safe sitting position isn’t compromised by the location of the steering wheel or pedals.

This is especially important if you happen to be buying a car for your young-adult children. It’s probably something they wouldn’t consider when they see a car online.

Steering wheels often have lots of adjustment but foot pedals less so. Either way, ask your licensed car dealer about pedal and steering wheel placement and make sure you spend a few minutes making sure your body and the car’s ergonomics are compatible.       


Words: VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym. As featured in the Herald Sun 10 January 2020.

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