How To Test Drive a Used Car
Test Driving a Used Car is a critical step on your way to a secure deal. Test Driving allows you to get the "feel of the car", which neither vehicle history check nor inspection can do.
Getting Prepared to Test-Driving
- Don't take anyone who could distract you from the process along with you (kids, pets, parents) unless the person is an expert who can help or he or she is going to share this car with you.
- Don't wear perfume - this part of vehicle check includes to not just listening and watching but also sniffing carefully! No strange smells should interfere.
- Remember: you are customer, you are always right. It's you who is doing a favor to the seller and not vice versa.
- You have the right to ask any questions about anything that draws your attention or seems suspicious. Don't be shy! The seller answers uneasily walk away - he has something to conceal.
- Don't pass all bounds - don't be rude or aggressive. If fact, if you are friendly and the seller likes you he may become talkative and tell you what he wasn't not going to tell.
- You are test-driving not to solve problems but to detect what your mechanic should pay attention to.
- Plan test-driving route in advance. Make sure it includes local streets, a piece of highways and a parking lot
- Negotiate test-driving time in advance. You need at least 30 min.
- Be unprejudiced, be as objective as possible. Don't let you mind get swept by your fascination with the vehicle.
- Take a note-book and a pen. Don't rely just on your memory.
Before You Start
- Remove air fresheners - remember, you'll have to sniff.
- Get in and out of the car several times. Make sure it fits you and you fit in well.
- Open and close all the doors. Do they fit well?
In the Driver's Seat
When you get into the driver's seat check the following:
- Is the seat comfortable and easily adjustable? Do seat controls work properly? Do you have enough space for legs?
- Get the feel of the steering wheel. Does it telescope and tilt easily? Can you adjust it to the position you need? Does the position fit you comfortably?
- Can you easily reach all other controls from the seat? (mirrors, audio, air-conditioner, lights, transmission, the key). Check redundant audio and cruise control buttons.
- Check if the transmission shifts easily. Take a note of all funny sounds and pass them to your mechanic to check out later.
- Make sure the keys goes in and out and turn easily.