Buying a new car is a significant investment, and it’s important to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money. One of the most important steps in the car-buying process is the test drive.
It’s your chance to see how the car performs on the road and whether it’s the right fit for you. Here are the top five things you should do on a test drive that could save you thousands of dollars.
Test the Car in Different Driving Conditions
Don’t just drive the car around the block. Take it on the highway, drive it in stop-and-go traffic, and take it on winding roads. This will give you a better sense of how the car performs in different driving conditions. Pay attention to how the car accelerates, how it handles turns, and how comfortable it is to drive.
Check the Brakes
Make sure the brakes are responsive and don’t make any unusual noises. Try doing a hard stop to see how quickly the car comes to a halt. If the brakes feel spongy or the car doesn’t stop quickly, it could be a sign that the brakes need to be replaced, which could be a costly repair.
Inspect the Tires
Check the tire tread and look for any signs of uneven wear. Uneven wear can be a sign that the car needs a wheel alignment, which can be a costly repair. Additionally, if the tires are worn out, you’ll need to replace them soon, which can be expensive.
Check for Any Unusual Noises
Listen carefully for any unusual noises while you’re driving. Rattles, squeaks, or clunks could be a sign that there’s something wrong with the car. Additionally, pay attention to how the engine sounds. If it’s unusually loud or makes any strange noises, it could be a sign that there are problems under the hood.
Test All the Features
Make sure all the features of the car are working properly. Test the air conditioning and heating, the radio, the windshield wipers, and any other features the car has. If any features aren’t working properly, it could be a sign that the car hasn’t been well-maintained, which could lead to costly repairs down the line.
A test drive is a crucial part of the car-buying process. It’s your chance to see how the car performs on the road and whether it’s the right fit for you. By testing the car in different driving conditions, checking the brakes and tires, listening for unusual noises, and testing all the features, you can ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money and avoid costly repairs down the line.
Editor's note: This article was produced via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of GOBankingRates' editorial team.
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