When shopping for a new or used vehicle, one of the most exciting parts is the test drive. During a test drive, you’ll get to have firsthand experience of the car, providing a great chance to see if it’s the right car for you. Here are a few tips to get the most out of a test drive.

Do Your Homework
When you decide to go to a dealership to test drive some cars, a little preparation will go a long way. Taking some time to ask yourself these questions will help you find the perfect car for you.

Assess Your Needs

Make sure you consider a few important questions to determine what you need the most, so you have a list of priorities:

  • How Will You Use the Car? City driving, long distance, commuting, carpooling, transporting goods?
  • How Many People Do You Need to Drive Around? Just you? You, your spouse, your kids and your dog?
  • How Many Miles a Day/Month/Year/ Do You Plan on Driving?
  • Do You Need 4 Wheel Drive or All Wheel Drive? Do you plan on driving in the mountains a lot?
  • What Style Do You Want? Coupe, sedan, wagon, van, SUV?
  • What Options Are Important to You? Leather seats, premium wheels, upgraded stereo system?

Inspect the Vehicle up Close
Before you hop in the car to take it for a drive, take a few moments to thoroughly inspect the vehicle inside and out.

  • Outside Appearance. How does the paint look? Are the tires in good shape? Do the lights work? Are the mirrors intact? Are there any signs of rust or dents?
  • Interior. Is the upholstery in good shape? Are there any signs of water damage? Does it have a weird smell?

The Drive

When you go to drive the vehicle, it’s important to remember to drive the vehicle like you normally would in everyday life. Also, try to keep an analytical eye out for any potential problems. Here are some things to consider while you test drive:

  • Ride Comfort. Are the seats comfortable? Can you see well out of the car? Does it drive smoothly?
  • Noise. Are there any odd noises coming from the engine? Do you notice any rattles or squeaks?
  • Power/Acceleration. When you step on the gas pedal does it accelerate smoothly? Does it lurch forward? Does it shift smoothly?
  • Braking. When you step on the brake pedal does it slow down smoothly? Does it stop abruptly?
  • Handling. How is the steering? Do you feel like you can easily control the car?

Reflect on Your Test Drive Experience

After you inspect the car inside and out, after you complete the test drive with an analytical eye, be sure to take some time to assess whether the car is right for you. Ask your sales representative any follow up questions, and any questions about other options available for the car. If you don’t feel like it’s the right car for you, check out some others! At Georgetown Toyota, we will help you every step of the way until we find you the perfect car for you.