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How to Test Drive a Used Car


How to Test Drive a Used Car

Test driving a used car should be easy, right? Get behind the wheel, take it for a 15-20 minute spin and see how it feels. But if you aren’t paying attention to the details, you may be missing out on important information that can help you make a sound decision. While many of the tips below are applicable on a new car test drive, they are especially helpful during your preparation for a used car test drive. So without further ado, here are some of the essentials you should know about how to test drive a used car.


Before you start to drive, see how easy it is to get in and out of the vehicle. Configure the seat to its most comfortable setting. If you start driving and you realize you need to make an adjustment, find a safe place to pull over to find your ideal position. Small discomforts may be okay during a short test drive, but think about how they’ll feel during your daily commute. If you plan to regularly have rear-seat passengers, sit in the back seat as well to see how much space is available.

Vehicle GaugesWhat’s in front of you?

Take a look at all your gauges and controls. Are they easy to read? Are they easy to reach? Are things where you expect them to be? These are all important questions that need answers.

Can you see?

There is a lot to think about any time you are driving, but visibility should be one of the top considerations during your test drive. Adjust your mirrors to your liking and change lanes a few times to see what size blind spots you might have. Also shoot some wiper fluid onto your windshield to see if the wipers effectively clear the glass.

Steering and Braking

You’ll be doing a lot of both of these things and it’s important you feel comfortable with them. Evaluate how responsive the car is with quick turns of the wheel. Make sure you feel comfortable and in complete control. The same goes for your brakes. Try to pump them a little harder than you normally would once or twice to make sure they are as effective as you’d expect.


Used Cars

Vehicle Noise

When you accelerate, brake, steer, etc, make sure you are listening for any unnatural noises. These could point to larger mechanical issues or they might just be bothersome sounds you aren’t willing to put up with.

Driving conditions

It’s important you test drive a used car in city and highway conditions. Check if it’s powerful enough to get up to speed on an on ramp. Also, run the air conditioner at highway speeds, because it will sometimes slow the vehicle.

Before you test drive a used car in Edmonton AB, make yourself a checklist of all the things you want to be on the lookout for so you can make a savvy decision. Our used car specialists can also walk you through some of the key systems to show you they are all in good working order before or after your test drive.

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