One of the cardinal rules of buying a vehicle, whether new or used: Never sign on the dotted line until you’ve had a chance to test drive it. Test driving allows you to identify any potential problems with how the vehicle sounds or feels. It’s also a good way to ensure the ride is really comfortable, and that you enjoy being behind the wheel.
It’s important to make sure you test drive effectively, however—and there are a few ways to do that.
Do Your Research
First and foremost: Before you show up to the dealership, it’s good to have an idea of what kind of car you want to test drive. Do some online research at home, reading reviews and comparing specs. Show up at the dealership with a list of two or three vehicles you’re really interested in.
Make an Appointment
We’d also recommend calling the dealership to schedule a test drive. This ensures that the dealership actually has the car you want to test drive. It also gives them the chance to retrieve the car from their lot and pull it up to the front entrance, saving you some time and hassle.
Pay Attention to Cosmetics
Does the color look as good in real life as it does in the pictures? Does the vehicle seem to have the seating you’d need? Is the cargo space sufficiently roomy? If you spot any deal breakers, you might as well tell the sales rep before you waste time with a test drive.
Note the Feel
When buying a used vehicle, you obviously want to make sure you like how it feels. Pay attention to how comfortable it is getting in and out of the car. Ensure there is enough legroom for you. Be certain the level of visibility is sufficient. Again, if there are any deal breakers, let your sales rep know.
As you drive the used car, pay attention to how it sounds. If you notice any rattling noises, or scraping and moaning sounds as you brake, that’s cause for concern, and reason enough to look elsewhere.
Test the Technology
You obviously want to make sure the vehicle drives and handles correctly—but don’t forget to test the features and amenities, too. Does the Bluetooth connect properly? Does the infotainment panel work? Does the stereo sound good? These are not minor issues! Be mindful of them during your test drive.
Be a Smart Consumer
Again, you should never buy a used car without test driving—and as you test drive, we recommend taking as much time as you need to really get a feel for the car, and to ask your rep plenty of questions.
We’d love to hook you up with a local dealership where you can schedule a used car test drive. Reach out to Get My Auto to start the process!