One of the advantages of a second hand car is its lower price compared to brand new cars. However, buying a used car requires thorough inspection and testing to make sure you are purchasing one that will not give you problems and high maintenance costs, but will instead serve you for several years to come. In this article, we provide tips on how to test drive a used car before you commit to purchasing it.
1. Do your research about the particular make and model you are interested in before heading out to test drive the used car. Is the particular make and model known for its speed? Or perhaps it is popular for its powerful engine. Doing your research first will help give you reasonable expectations about the car's performance.
2. Don't rush. You don't need to have the drive quickly over with. Give yourself plenty of time to focus on the car. This may also be a good time to ask the salesperson questions about the car when something does not feel right during the drive. Does the driver's seat feel sunken? Or perhaps the ride becomes bumpy and noisy when you hit the rough road. Let the salesperson know your concerns to have them addressed before you purchase the car. Be thorough with the test drive to make sure you the used car you are buying is still in excellent condition.
3. If you have a trusted third-party mechanic, ask them to go on the drive with you. When something in the car feels out of the ordinary, a mechanic can easily point out what it means and can give you good advice if the car you are testing is well conditioned and maintained.
4. Test drive the car in different roads to see how it performs in varied conditions. If buying at a dealership, ask the representative if you can drive off the usual route. Drive the car on the highway. Does the car accelerate well? Can you pass other cars at speed? Next, drive the car on a bumpy road. Does the car feel bumpy and noisy or does it drive smoothly?
Also try to drive the car along tight corners. Is the car able to make a turn adequately? How are the brakes performing? Finally, test drive the used car on an uphill road to see how it performs on an uphill drive. Does it drive smoothly uphill or is the car having a difficult time just getting up an inclined road?
5. Test drive 2 to 3 cars to help you make accurate comparisons between them. This will also help you determine which car feels right for you. Try not to drive too many cars though as this can confuse you about which one to purchase!
6. Don't overlook the small details in the car including the seat belts, mirrors, pedals, heat, air conditioning and lights. More often than not, buyers will be concerned about how the car runs that they forget to test these items. Make sure these are all working well. Take a look at the back seat and trunk as well to make sure it has the space you require.
7. Check the controls on the dashboard. Make sure they are functioning well and are easy to set and adjust.
Some final tips
After a few days of your initial test drive, try to ask the seller or the dealership if you can drive the car a second time. This will give you the opportunity to see something you might have missed out on during the first test drive.
This article was written by Tom Jerrat for Jupiter Motors. Jupiter Motors is one of Australia's leading regional car dealerships located in Wagga Wagga, NSW. We provide a comprehensive selection of new Subaru, new Mazda, and high quality Wagga used cars. For more information, visit jupitermotors.com.au