6 Things To Consider When Test Driving A Used Car In 2019

March 8th, 2019 by

You’ve seen it there dazzling beneath the sun in the used car dealership: the car of your dreams! It’s sleek, shiny and sexy – everything you dreamed a car would be! You have inspected it for issues and you can’t wait to test drive that bad boy and see how it feels to ride around in it with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. Not so fast though! A test drive is not just an opportunity to have a quick whip around the block in your new car for the first time. As a matter of fact, a test drive is an important step in the process of determining the quality and state of a vehicle prior to committing to a purchase.

Let’s take a look at some of the main things you should look out for when test driving a used car. The last thing you want is to invest in a vehicle with a bunch of problems you forgot to look out for. Even though the law in states like New York are on your side – it’s a lot of hassle

Ensure You Have Done a Comprehensive Check of the Vehicle First  

Before you get inside the vehicle, you want to ensure that you have examined it comprehensively. This means checking both the interior and exterior to make sure there are no visible signs of damage such as rust, dents, cracks or general disheveled furnishings. It also means ensuring that the lights work as they should, that the engine and the components under the hood function correctly, and that the car is in a generally good condition for its age.

Test the Braking Mechanisms

There are some aspects to checking a car that simply cannot be done while the vehicle is parked and standing still. Checking the functionality of the brakes is one such aspect. Drive slowly and carefully during your test drive. You will need to use the brakes at one point throughout the journey but be mindful of how well they perform.

Listen Out for Weird Noises  

Strange rattling noises, clunks and screeches are a major alarm bell. If you hear anything out of the ordinary throughout your test drive do not dismiss it. Usually weird and wonderful sounds are an indication of a larger issue. During your drive, you should also be sure to perform a sharp 90 degree turn or two. Why? Well this is something that you will certainly have to do at some point throughout your day to day journeys with the vehicle. All may be smooth sailing when driving straight at a low speed through a residential area but some clunks and rattles may only occur when turning, braking, or switching gears – again another indicator of a problem

Make Sure the Car isn’t Shaking

If the car that you test drive is shaking or vibrating even slightly then you should be prepared to walk away. Shaking or rattling of the car could very well be a result of a straightforward matter such as a tire rotation. However it could also indicate more serious steering and suspension issues.

Set Aside a Day Specifically for Test Driving

Advances in technology means that cars are lasting longer than ever. The average car on our roads is at least ten years old. With all of that considered, it is likely that whatever car you purchase is going to be yours for at least a fair few years to come. You really need to think carefully before you commit to making a purchase. As such, try and organize a day to test drive the car, and then take a day or two to think about whether you actually want to buy it or not. Give yourself time to mull over the decision, rather than letting yourself get caught up in the excitement post ride.

Make Sure that You are Generally Comfortable with the Car

Quality checks and technical aspects aside, an important part of taking a car for a test drive is ensuring that you feel comfortable with the car. Can you picture yourself driving this car to work every day for the next few years? Are you going to be embarking on long journeys in this car and is it economical enough that the petrol costs will not be sky high? These are all important things that you need to ask yourself.

The best advice to follow when test driving a used car in 2019 is to just utilize common sense. If something seems off, don’t ignore it. Keep your senses heightened and your eyes open for any potential issues or problems.

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