There are many steps involved with getting a great deal on a used car, but one of the most important is taking a test drive. Test driving the car will help you learn things about its condition that might not be immediately apparent on the surface. However, there are a few techniques that will ensure that you get the most information out of your test drive. This can give you material for negotiation, allowing you to get the best possible deal on your used car. The following are a few tips to keep in mind before you arrive for your next test drive.
Research Cars in Advance
For the most successful used car purchase, you’ll need to look at all your options carefully and conduct a bit of preliminary research. It’s helpful to write down a list of what you’re ultimately looking for in a car, and then researching the models that most match your priorities. You can then look at comparable cars to extend your search. For example, if you see a Ford Falcon at carsales.com.au that you like, you might want to look at rival sedans as well to see how their features compare to one another. This could lead you to a vehicle that is the best fit for your particular needs.
Inspect the Car before the Test
Before you start up the engine, you’ll want to take a look at the car first. Look at factors like tyre pressure, oil and coolant levels, and what shape the car appears to be in. There’s a lot you can tell about the general condition of the car just from initial observation, even if you’re not an automotive expert.
Ditch the Distractions
Although coasting along with your favourite tunes cranking at top volume can give you some idea of what it would be like to actually own the car of your dreams, it’s better to turn the radio off for evaluation purposes. Driving in silence will alert you to any unusual sounds or nuances that you might not otherwise notice. You’ll want to test the air conditioning and heating systems, but turning these off from time to time will also help you get a better sense of how the car runs.
Take your list that you made ahead of time and pay attention to the most important areas that you want to focus on. Be sure to write down your initial impressions of the drive, along with any unusual facets your noticed. Cover all the most important areas of the used car, such as the tyres, steering, interior comfort, and technological features, jotting down your notes for each area. Don’t be afraid to take the car for a lengthy drive if you need more time to assess each area of the car. It’s in the best interest of the seller to give you all the information you need to make a decision.
Bring a Third Party
If you have little car knowledge other than the fact that you like the look of Citroen cars, you’ll probably want to bring along an expert to give you a second opinion. Even professional road testers usually bring along another driver for more accurate results. If you think you’ve found the perfect used car, you’ll want to bring it to a local mechanic for a final look before making your purchase.
By researching your options and taking the test drive seriously, you can improve your chances of finding a safe, reliable, and budget-friendly used car.