Deciding what your next car is going to be is an important decision. The car should not only look and feel the way you want, it should also be a dependable way to get you where you are going. When test driving used cars, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Before you even take the car out on the open road, take stock of the first impression it makes. A secondhand care is going to have a little wear and tear, but it is important to make sure there are no rips or stains that might not come out. Give the engine a good look to make sure that there are no signs of leaks or cracked hoses. Notice the smell of the vehicle to gauge how much you might have to invest in removing odors left by the last owner. Your dealer can be a great source of information, so feel free to ask about any concerns you have.
Notice how the car feels when you drive it. Are you able to sit comfortably in the seat, and do you think it will remain comfortable on longer drives? Is it easy to adjust to the car’s steering capability? It is a good idea to choose a car that is a good fit for you and the way you drive.
Play with all the bells and whistles to make sure that they are working. Test things like the air conditioner, the heater and the sound system. More importantly, pay attention to how the engine sounds, how well the car brakes and how easily the car shifts between gears. Check with the dealer on the car’s maintenance history so that, if you ultimately choose to take the car home, you will have a better understanding of its care.
A test drive is meant to reveal how well the used cars you test fit your needs. Knowing what to look for and what to ask is an important part of the decision process.