Driving a car with windows down and with child

What to Observe When Test Driving a Used Car

In order to save some money, more and more people are now taking the option of buying a used car instead of a new one. Even for just one model year, the value of a car is significantly reduced, yet the car is still in good condition.

The gold standard for a used car is one wherein the car might be three years old but has low mileage and has not yet undergone major repair jobs. If you can find this gold standard model, you can save as much as half the price of a brand new car.

The key to successfully purchasing a used car is prior research. You need to know which brands are durable and whose quality does not take a dive even if the price depreciates. Cars known for safety such as Volvo in Auckland, NZ, are usually not used by people who wear out their cars.

This location also has excellent driving conditions, so the car is not subject to a tough grind. One of the tips that you must definitely follow is to test drive the car. You must prepare for this because this is where you will base your decision.

Before the Test Drive

Firstly, when choosing a car, it is best to operate on trust. Many brands now also sell used cars along with new models in their showroom. If you have a trusted salesperson whom you bought a new car from, try to purchase from them if possible.

Even while setting the appointment, you should already be preparing to evaluate the car. Try to book the appointment at a time when there are adverse weather conditions, the better to test how the car will respond.

If you need to, set two appointments and insist that you need to see how it drives in the rain. You could also bring luggage and some friends just to see how the car would ride if it carries extra weight.

Riding the Car

man smiling while driving car

When you step in the car, observe all the details: the door handles, the locks, the dashboard, the dials, and the display. Check on the seats and see if you can adjust and recline it smoothly, and if you feel the need to, step in and step out of the car a couple of times.

Also, adjust the side and rear-view mirrors and clarify any blind spots. Test and personalize the windows and the air conditioning settings. Does it cool easily? You need to evaluate this because this could be a problem (and an expense) if left unchecked. Part of the driving experience is entertainment.

Nowadays, it’s not just music. Check on the car’s entertainment system. Is it the stock console or did the past owner replace it? If he did, for what reason? This could give you a clue on whether there could be a problem with the electrical wirings.

Get to try out all your pre-driving rituals and have the mentality of driving it like it is really your own car. This is the only way to test it. Step on the gas; check the brakes, and how well they respond.

Observe While Driving

When you’re ready to start your drive, experts would tell you to turn off the audio system and listen intently for any screeches or wiggle sounds. These can only manifest while you’re driving.

Check the steering and handling. There are car dealers who recommend a particular route for your test drive, but you can request your own so you can test the car in different conditions. When in traffic, you can see if all the signal lights and hazard lights are in order.

Park the Car

Try to park the car in tight spaces. Parallel park a few times just to see how the car maneuvers. This is also a time to test any safety features: rear sensors and reversing cameras are already standard features in later models.

Buying a Used Car is primarily about savings, but when you invest your due diligence, be observant and objective, you can find a competent car at a “steal” price.