Test Driving a Used Car

When buying a vehicle, one of the most important steps is the test drive. It’s a time when you get to come face-to-face with the potential purchase and evaluate all its features. Always test out a vehicle before making a purchase. Read on to learn what to look for during a test drive, and how to take advantage of what can be revealed.

Prioritize Features

Every vehicle offers a different set of features and comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. Decide what features are most important before the test drive. What is most important? Comfort? Reliability?Mileage or gadgets? Have a clear idea of your priorities before the trip.

Test Drive in Real Life Situations

When test driving any vehicle, it’s important to evaluate it in situations that mimic your driving needs. If your commute involves highway driving, it’s important to get it up to highway speeds. If your daily drive is more in town, make sure the brakes are of good quality and stop frequently during the test.

Evaluate the Mechanics

Features are nice, but they don’t dictate how well the vehicle drives. Always assess handling and condition before focusing on available features. Pay close attention to the following while on the drive.

  • Do the heat and AC work well?
  • Do the gears change smoothly?
  • Is the car quiet during regular operation?
  • Is braking smooth?
  • Can the car handle changes in road surface?
  • Does the car accelerate smoothly?
  • How does the engine sound while idling?
  • Are there any exhaust issues?
  • Do the windows operate correctly?
  • Are maintenance records available?
  • Is the oil clean?

Check Out the Goodies

Examine the different features of the vehicle, including the media system, power seats, DVD player (if present), the cigarette lighter and anything else that you can think of while in the vehicle. Evaluate as many features as possible. Find out if they are enjoyable and useful, and if they all work properly.

Get Expert Help

There are two ways that every car buyer can get an expert on their side. One is to order a car history report; the other is to have the car inspected at a trusted garage. Both steps are important and worth doing when seriously considering a vehicle. This will let you know of potential problems, and the possibility of bargaining for a lower purchase price as well.

A proper test drive makes it easy to see whether a vehicle is right for you. Implementing one of these drives before every purchase is the best way to save money and prepare to make a wise purchase decision.