Published: August 2019

Guidelines for test driving a car you are considering purchasing

Yes, test driving is a must chore and one that has to be diligently completed with regard to handling, options, and equipment. Take your time to indentify where the emergency brake is located, the dome lights, the functions of the instrument panel, the radio and heater, the mirrors, the turn signals and lights before you turn the key in the ignition. A car purchase is always a big deal emotionally and financially and should not be rushed. Bringing a list of what you want in that new for you vehicle is an important consideration. In that manner you won’t be waylaid by a ambitious salesperson or your own response to what seems like a particularly ‘perfect’ model.

Really take note of the color of the exterior and the interior. In all probability you will be driving this car for many years and you will want to be happy with those choices. Is the vehicle easy to access and disperse from, is it really low to the ground making it more difficult for older people to be comfortable accessing, exiting and sitting in? These are important concerns, especially if you are taking an older relative grocery shopping every week or have a friend with a knee handicap.

Adequate leg room and head room are yet other considerations. You want you tall friend to be able to sit upright and if you are using the car as a daily driver it needs to be comfortable for you. Are the gauges easy to read and are the controls easily manipulated? Is there enough trunk room for your specific needs?

Pay close attention to the feel of the vehicle while test driving and be sure to test out all of the accessories. These include the air conditioning, heat and radio. Make sure they are all functioning properly and that there is nothing missing. Pay close attention to the engine, especially during cold start ups. Are the brakes working properly? It is wise to test drive the vehicle on roadways paved with diverse materials and on level as well as inclined terrain. Does the car pull to the right or left? This is a sure sign of alignment or perhaps a frame issue. Have you seen the Carfax report?

That special car is just waiting for you. If you are diligent in analyzing your vehicle needs in a practical manner versus a purely emotional response to the look of a model you will be successful in finding a comfortable car that will last you for many years.