Test driving is one of the most important steps to buying a used car. Why? Because each car is unique. Even those of the same make and model will have slight differences that you will need to get accustomed to. So, here is what to check on a test drive.
Since you will be driving any car you buy, why not take the time to be sure you are comfortable? Checking how easy it is to get in and out of the car can be vital for your health. A car that is too high or low may be more trouble than it is worth. Adjust the mirrors and check how the car restricts or enhances your situational awareness.
It is also wise to check all the little things like cup holders and other amenities like the air conditioning and the infotainment system. These small quality-of-life features can over time make your time driving something you dread or look forward to every day.
Before you start driving, be sure to avoid any distractions like the radio. You want to be able to focus on evaluating the car. Usually, the dealer would have a pre-determined route for you to drive but if you feel that the route does not cover everything from stop-and-go traffic to bumps, you should request permission to drive on a different road.
Pay close attention to the steering and the handling, as any deviation could be a sign of some underlying maintenance issue. Testing the brakes and the acceleration should also be done, but not without prior warning and permission. It is after all, not your car. It is best to do these tests on a straight and even road.
Rain is a frequent occurrence in Malaysia, so while it may be annoying to test drive a car during a shower, you will eventually have to drive it in the rain. So why not test drive the car in the rain and see how it handles before you buy it? Just be sure you know how to drive it safely before you decide to do so.
Read more: 7 tips to drive safely in the rain
To avoid frustrations down the line, it is advisable to test parking the car a few times. Both parallel and reverse parking should be attempted at least once to be sure you can confidently do it when you own the car. You will need to park it every time you use it after all. You can also use this opportunity to test out the sensors and cameras that most cars come with nowadays. Test parking a car also tells you how the car handles turns.
Utilise the space
Lastly, bring luggage bags. You can use them to get a feel of the space you have when you travel or when you get groceries. If you have kids, bringing them and any strollers along can help you get an idea of how the car will feel when fully in use. The kids can also provide feedback on the comfort of the car. You don’t want to stay in a car with uncomfortable children for hours on end.
If you carry a bag to work or use a purse, be sure to bring them so you can check if there is a convenient place to put them. Test a variety of places to put your handbag or laptop bag so you can easily access its contents if necessary.
Be sure to make note of everything you liked and didn’t like about the car and let the dealer know. Now that you know what to check on a test drive, do make sure you test drive multiple cars so that you find the best car for you. If you are looking to test drive a car, browse our inventory for your dream car!