Looking to buy a used car? Whether you’re looking at a pre-owned vehicle on a dealer’s lot or being sold by a private party, it’s important to take your potential new car for a spin before buying it. Here are some test drive tips to help ensure that you’re getting a quality car before you buy it.
First, before even getting into the car, take some time to inspect it. Are the tires worn? Is there a fluid leak? Make a point to open and close all doors, including the trunk, and make sure all of them lock and unlock. Check for rust along the doors or under the carpet. After turning on the engine, open the hood and listen for any unusual noises, and get behind the steering wheel to ensure all the accessories and buttons work properly.
When you are actually driving the vehicle, make a point to take it on a nearby highway or other road with a speed limit above 60 mph in order to observe whether it vibrates or shakes at higher speeds. The steering wheel should not shake or pull to one side. Check for smooth shifting, strange noises, and make sure the brakes are responsive and quick.
Keeping these test drive tips in mind when you go shopping for a used car can prevent you from buying a fixer-upper that’ll end up being more trouble than it’s worth. A quality vehicle can come at a great, affordable price without any problems.