5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Test-Drive

5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Test-Drive

If you’re looking for a used car, the test-drive will play an integral role in determining the right fit for you. Preparation is the key to a successful test-drive. Make sure you are well-informed and do your homework before you visit the dealership for a drive. We bring you five ways to find a safe and reliable used car.

1. Plan the Drive

Rather than just driving the car on a nearby street, it is better to carefully plan a route beforehand. Try to include highways, local streets and empty parking lots in your route. Also, carry a small notepad so that you can make notes about the likes and dislikes right after your drive. Rather than bringing small kids along, just get their car or booster seats to see if they fit. Small children can be distracting during a drive. However, you should bring your spouse or partner along so that they can help in the decision-making process. Also, ask for all the records, including maintenance papers and check whether the tire-changing tools are present in the car.

2. When the Car is Parked

Before you start driving, look around the car for any chips or excessive body wear. Also, make sure that the tires are properly inflated. Pop open the trunk and see if it fulfills your storage needs. You can carry a tape measure to be sure. Check the interior for any spots or stains that might leave a permanent mark. Don’t be shy to sniff around the car for any odors that may have sunk in.

3. Before Starting Out

Try hopping in and out a few times to see how comfortable it is and if the doors are too heavy or easy to manage. You should also check the rear seat to see if your family can fit comfortably. Next, adjust the seat, mirrors, radio and climate controls to see if everything works right. You also need to check if the transmission is smooth and the clutch engages the transmission easily.

4. On the Drive

It’s go time! Check the visibility on local streets, how easily you can see traffic signals and the response of the wheels to the steering. Your brake pedal should have a firm feel and should give you confidence while driving. Check the alignment on different road surfaces and also in parking lots with a lot of speed bumps. Don’t forget to try parking the vehicle and also parallel park if you spend a lot of time in urban areas. It is best to switch off the radio during the drive so that you are focused on the road and can listen for any suspicious sounds in the car.

5. End of the Drive

If you’re satisfied with the experience, it’s time to talk business with the dealership. Take some time to discuss the pricing and negotiate the best price that meets your budget. Make sure the car is tested by a mechanic as well so that you have complete peace of mind.

Test-driving a used car can be a tricky experience. With the right homework and a detailed outlook, you can definitely bring home an excellent car within your budget.