As a car enthusiast, I, like many others, have a hankering to drive everything I can get my hands on to see what it’s like. However, unlike some enthusiasts, the means I have for doing so are very slim, and most of them require taking trips out of state or involve cars that are less than stellar. So, in conclusion, the only way I could even get behind the wheel of the latest and greatest of the industry is going to a dealership and asking for a test drive.

That, however, creates an obvious problem: how do you do this without coming off as nothing but a time-waster? That’s the question on my mind.

I’ve driven a handful of cars in my lifetime, ranging from mundane crossovers like the 2012 Nissan Murano to exciting sports sedans like the new Giulia. Most of these encounters have been through the means of actually purchasing a new vehicle or renting one for a period of time, with a handful being an actual test drive. Those test drives, such as the Giulia and the Stelvio, were mostly just lucky occasions brought on after buttering up the salesmen with vast knowledge about the cars (it also helped that they were enthusiasts themselves).

However, as someone who’s interested in expanding into possible car journalism, I feel as though I need to expand my horizons and get into more cars to experience them and subsequently talk about them. I obviously cannot afford to rent cars, and I can’t really buy them all either. I also don’t see one of those programs who give manufacturer cars to journalists knocking on my door any time soon, which leaves me to the cheapest and easiest way of doing it: test driving.

So, I suppose that leaves me to the question that I ask of all of my fellow Opponauts, some of you who I know may or may not have experience as a car salesmen, is it a good idea to ask for test drives without buying? And if so, how should I go about doing it?