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7 Essential Things to Do Before Your Next Test Drive

Darrek Olson
7 Essential Things to Do Before Your Next Test Drive

Congratulations! You’ve decided it’s time to buy your next vehicle and are ready to get out at take a few for a spin. You’ve got a good idea of what will work for your budget and what kind of features are important to you. But before you pop it into 5th gear, let’s take a look at things to do before your next test drive.

1. Visit Carsforsale.com and find the perfect vehicle.

With customizable search features and zip code locator, you can search Carsforsale.com’s massive inventory for the perfect vehicle within your budget, all from the comfort of your home. You can even contact the dealer directly to schedule a time for your test drive and request to see if they have a vehicle history report you can review.


2. Ask a friend or relative to tag along.

Test driving a vehicle is fun and exciting. Ask a friend or relative to tag along with you and take notes about how well the vehicle is performing or to write down any questions you may have for the dealer. Your friend or relative may also pick up on things you may not have otherwise noticed.

3. Plan your test drive route.

Chances are, your vehicle will be driving in diverse conditions and battling the elements at various times of the year. To test just how well the vehicle handles, plan your test drive route to include a steep incline or a hill. Be sure to also include a highway or freeway on your route, and an empty parking lot to better test brakes, acceleration, and sharp steering.

Plan Your Test Drive Route

4. Call your mechanic.

If you have a trusted mechanic or local maintenance shop you prefer, give them a call and ask if they will take a few minutes to look over the vehicle for you. A trusted mechanic is a fantastic resource and can offer insight into the potential cost of maintenance or other mechanical issues that arise from a specific make and model. This will prove beneficial at the bargaining table.

5. Do your own research.

A search on Google will also provide quite a few sources of information about the vehicle you are looking to purchase. Be sure to look for how the vehicle has been rated by fellow consumers as well as by research firms. Safety is important, and so be sure to look to see how well it does with crash ratings and not just focus on gas mileage or style. You can also look at the vehicle’s recall information on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website at www.nhtsa.gov.

6. Don’t forget your favorite mix.

We all have our guilty pleasures when it comes to music, whether it’s Taylor Swift, Boyz II Men, or Wham! The point is, be sure to bring along some of your favorite tunes to test the stereo system. A favorite CD or your MP3 player should suffice. If the vehicle has Bluetooth capability, you’ll be able to test to see if your mobile device will sync. Keep in mind that safety comes first and to test your devices while parked.

Don't Forget Your Favorite Mix

Check out Apple CarPlay vs Android Auto

7. If the car fits…

Something else to keep in mind is whether or not your new vehicle will fit in your garage or parking space. Not all dealerships will allow you to take a vehicle home overnight, and so it’s a good idea to know the dimensions of your garage or storage space.

Remember there is no obligation to buy when you test drive a vehicle. Carsforsale.com has millions of vehicles and thousands of dealers to choose from. Have fun searching and don’t be discouraged if you need to test drive more than one or two vehicles before deciding on which one is perfect for you. As Dad always said, “it’s the right car, not always the first one.” Just be sure to come prepared and enjoy the ride.

For more buying tips, check out What To Look For When Buying a Used Car

Is there something you do before every test drive that did or didn’t make our list? Let us know in the Comments section below!

Darrek Olson
Darrek Olson

Darrek is an enthusiast driver who values the journey more than the destination. A self-proclaimed Miata fanboy, his obscure knowledge of cars sometimes prevents him from remembering what he had for breakfast.

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