Test Driving: Tips and Tricks

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips and Tricks, Used Cars on Monday, March 12th, 2018 at 8:53 pm
girl smiling in a car holding the door open

One of the most important steps in the car buying process is the test drive. The test drive is the best place to find out if the vehicle is right for you. Also, seeing the car in person is a great way to see little things that might not show up in the CarFax or the advertisement photos. But what steps should you do when you test drive a car?

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What steps should you do when you test drive a used car?

Exterior Check

When you first come to the dealership to look at your prospective used car, walk all around it to check for damage or rust. Even a vehicle that has been in a fender bender can be a great vehicle for you, but it’s important to make sure that the advertised damage isn’t more than you were told about, and that if it has been repaired it is done well.

Interior Accessibility and Technology

When you go to get into the car, try it several times to see if it is easy to get in and get your seatbelts on. Is there an area for your phone, bags, or coffee cup? Is the size right for you? Also, don’t forget to try the back seat. While you may not need to use it much, anyone you carpool with will thank you for checking it out. While you drive, or before, you should also check the technology in the vehicle. Are the radio, air conditioning, heat, and other technology working? Are the lights and the cruise control lever easy to use? How does the sound system work, or other infotainment features? If the vehicle has a sunroof or moonroof you will also want to check that those are working.

During the test drive

The test drive is designed to test the handling of the vehicle, which means you don’t want to take a quick trip around the block. Some things that you should try during the driving portion of your test drive include:

  • Hard braking
  • Parking and backing up from a parking spot
  • Making a U-turn or Y-turn
  • Highway acceleration
  • Cruise control and instrumentation

The car struggles with any of these, or you just don’t like the way it performs, it may not be the vehicle for you.

view of a man driving a car, operating a gear shift

Third Coast Auto Group offers a large used car inventory at four dealership locations around Austin TX, and also offers financing for all credit situations. If you need a vehicle, consider applying for financing with us today.