When you arrive at the dealership to test drive a vehicle, you can finally see whether the car is a good match for you. A pre-owned vehicle may have signs of wear and tear, so it’s always a good idea to inspect the vehicle for any issues. With a new vehicle, it may have all the features you want, but you should go on a test drive to determine whether it’s comfortable from behind the wheel. The following tips will help you make the most out of every test drive.
What To Bring
To test drive a vehicle, you’ll need to bring a valid driver’s license. You should also bring a checklist of what you want to inspect on the vehicle and any questions you want to ask the salesperson. Having a written list will help you stay organized and address any concerns you have about the vehicle with the salesperson.
Perform an Inspection
If you’re going to take a pre-owned or used vehicle on a test drive, it’s a good idea to perform an inspection of the vehicle. Walk around the vehicle and check for any scratches or dents on the exterior. Visually inspect the brakes through the wheel spokes, push down on the front and rear bumpers to test the suspension, look under the car for any fluid drips, and open and shut all the doors. Be sure to pop the hood to give the engine a quick check and open the trunk, too.
After an exterior inspection, get behind the wheel and test the driver’s seat and all the features inside the car, including the steering wheel controls and the heating and cooling system. Don’t forget to check the rear seats and evaluate the available space, especially if you need to fit a car seat in the back.
Test the Vehicle in Action
When you’re ready to take the vehicle on the road, get your bearings behind the wheel. Adjust the seat, steering wheel, and mirrors. Don’t forget to check all the electrical components, such as the input jacks and interior lights.
When you start the engine, listen carefully for any odd sounds. As you drive around, pay attention to the transmission and keep an ear out for any abnormal sounds. Be sure to also test the brakes when no other vehicles are nearby. If possible, take the vehicle on a 10-mile drive, so you can experience several situations and speeds, including highway speeds.
After the Drive
After your test drive, jot down anything you noticed about the vehicle — both features that you liked and that caused concern. You can address any concerns with the salesperson, and be sure to get any price offers in written form. It’s good practice to test at least three vehicles, so you can compare notes before making a final decision. Just remember that you’re trying to find the vehicle that best fits your needs, so make any notes that will help you make the right decision.
Chaparral Ford is here to help you find your ideal vehicle. We’ll help you schedule a test drive with any of our used, certified pre-owned, or new cars, so you can find the vehicle that meets all your driving needs and preferences.