People test drive cars all the time, but how many of them really know what to look for? Especially if you’re test driving a used car, you want to make sure you’re using that opportunity to make sure that car is totally right for you. Here are some tips on how to test drive a car.
Once you’ve decided on a few cars to test drive to compare notes on, make appointments at the dealership all fairly close together so that they’re fresh in your mind when you make your decision. At the dealership, before you take the car out, look it over thoroughly.
Does it have enough cargo space and seating? If you have kids who will be in the car, bring them with you and have them test out the back seats. Do they fold down easily? All of this is important if you’re going to invest in a vehicle long-term.
Next, drive it. You aren’t just listening for signs of damage or worn parts, though that’s definitely a concern, especially with used cars. You want to listen to the cabin—if it’s quiet or noisy, if you can hear the engine—and get a feel for the way it drives, how far away the controls are from the steering wheel. If it’s not comfortable or accessible for you, you might want to consider other vehicles. Check the AC and heat, make sure everything is working properly.