what to look for when test driving a car

Test driving a car can be exciting, and as much as you may want it to be “the one,” there are a few factors to watch for. Start by printing out a test drive checklist to help you stay focused. Take it with you and note any concerns that come up during your first time behind the wheel of your potential new car. Here is what to look for when test driving a car:

1. Visibility

Cars, SUVs, trucks, and minivans provide varying degrees of visibility. Check the vehicle’s blind spots and notice how much of your surroundings you can see from the side and rear windows. Pay special attention to how easy it is to comfortably change lanes, park and navigate through traffic.

2. Noise

Some cars are just noisier than others. The vehicle’s cabin design, engine size, and whether it’s a performance model can all contribute to the amount of noise you experience while driving. Turn the radio off for your test drive and listen for noises that should not be there, such as thumping, squealing, squeaking, knocking, and ticking. Small noises can signal that you are in for big problems later on.

3. Size

It can be difficult to understand the true size of a vehicle until you are in its presence. Pay attention to how physically comfortable you are entering and exiting the car. Are you contorting your frame to fit? Do you have to jump to get up into the driver’s seat? Even if everything about the vehicle meets your needs, if it’s too big or too small, it’s OK to move on.

4. Comfort

Not all vehicles are designed with the driver’s comfort in mind. How comfortable you’ll be on a long road trip or running errands in your vehicle depends on multiple factors about your physical abilities, your size and your needs. When shopping for a used car, pay attention to the condition of the seats. If they seem deflated, it could indicate that excessive wear will cause an uncomfortable ride.

5. Handling

Assessing a car’s handling is more about your ability to control the machine than it is about how well it may perform in a race. Make sure you can easily reach and operate the brakes. If you must use a lot of physical energy to stop the car, the vehicle may not be a good fit for you. Pay attention to how easy it is for you to operate the vehicle under your normal driving conditions.

Schedule Your Test Drive Today

At Auto Action, we encourage our new customers to take their time during the test drive. Visit any of our lots in person to see our inventory first-hand. We have locations in Mesa, Chandler, South Phoenix, Glendale, Avondale, and Phoenix. If you have more questions about what to look for when test driving a car, come in and see us!

Our auto financing experts make it easy to get into the car you need, even if your credit is less than perfect. Shop our online inventory from the comfort of your home, apply for financing online, and schedule your test drive today.