7 tips on what to look for when test driving a car

Last updated on November 25th, 2021 at 09:32 am by Bill Tsouvalas

It looks good, it feels right, but is the car you planning on investing in real gold? Don’t be fooled by gleaming exterior and charismatic words that are ladled into your ear by someone selling you a car. Whether it is a second-hand car or brand new, we have five tips on what to look for when test driving a car to make sure you get the best deal for your money.

1. Take your sweet time

This is one of the few moments in life where you can take your own sweet time. Since this will be one of those important adult decisions you will have to make, take your time in exploring the car you would like to buy. 

2. See how it fairs on various roads

Take the vehicle out for a road date to see how it fairs on different types of road. Before taking it out, check to see that it is in good shape at the dealership so that you won’t have to pay for things that you didn’t do to the car. Going in the morning while the engine is still cool can also help you detect if there are problems when you start up the car. Plan out your test drive route that includes bumpy roads, bends, and a stretch of highway. Test its handling by driving it at different speeds then applying the brakes. You can turn on the sound system at the beginning of the test drive to get you hyped up. Try not to lose yourself in the music as this will prevent you from hearing any strange noises the car makes.

3.. Test to see if its practical for your lifestyle

A car can be a long-term investment and you want to get the most of it for various scenarios in your day to day life. Bring props along to test boot space. Will it be able to support you if you extend your family? What is its fuel consumption? Are you able to get in easily, or do you have to apply a median level of gymnastics just to fit in? Is there enough head and leg room? Adjust the seat to your preferred settings to see if it is comfortable and supportive.

4. I wonder what this button does?

You need to know your car inside out. Prod and poke at buttons to see what functions they have. Look under the seat to see if there are any hidden compartments to store valuables. Are you able to connect your mobile devices to the cars technological system? Check to see if it has USB ports or smart charging ports that can help when you drive. Know what every beeping sound means to prevent any irreversible problems. Ask the salesperson to show you any further technological features the car has.

5. Is it worth the cost?

It is important to find a car that is suitable for your budget and won’t become expensive over time. You can use a car cost calculator or speak to a financial advisor who can assist you in making a sounder decision.

6. Do a car check

There are a few checks that you can perform on the car to see if it is not a dud. Check the tires for any wear or tear by running your hands across it. Open the boot to see if there are no issues with the door. You could perform the same check with other doors to see if it closes without effort. Do you have to hold it open?

7. Get a second opinion

You could be blinded by a love at first sight with your vehicle, but getting a second opinion from someone else will help sober you up. You can take a friend or someone who knows cars on the test drive you to help you source out any issues.

Easily compare car loan quotes today

Our car loans take your money further. See how you can compare and save with us.