You know that buying a used car can give you the best deal for your money, but what else should you know when shopping for one? To help you find the best pre-owned vehicle for your needs, follow these six tips when you’re ready for a test drive.

Advice for Test Driving a Used Car

1) Examine the Exterior

You don’t have to be a mechanic to notice obvious red flags. Take a look at the entire surface of the car. Pay attention to imperfections such as scratches, mismatched paint, and dents. Look under the car to see if anything is hanging down or leaking. Check the tire treads for excessive wear and open the hood to see if things look generally clean. 

2) Test Interior Features

Test every technical feature from the air conditioning to the USB ports before you leave the lot. Make sure that every feature you are paying for is working properly or request the price to be adjusted accordingly.

3) Listen Closely

Unusual sounds are helpful indicators that something in the engine is malfunctioning or hasn’t been properly maintained. Drive with the radio off and listen for sounds such as grinding, whining, or knocking. Periodically turn off the air conditioning to allow for further silence. Don’t hesitate to bring these sounds up to the salesperson for further investigation. 

4) Drive It Like It’s Yours

Drive it like you own it. Follow motor vehicle laws and speed limits, but make yourself comfortable so you’ll get a true feel for the car and how it makes you feel. 

5) Don’t Rush

Don’t feel pressured to speed through a test drive just because a sales person is in the passenger seat. A car is a big investment so relax and take your time. Drive until you feel comfortable with the way the car handles, turns, accelerates, and brakes so that you have no regrets or questions once it comes time to buy. 

6) Get a Second Opinion

Before signing a contract, get the car inspected by an independent mechanic to see if there are any problems you didn’t notice or that weren’t recorded in the vehicle history report. This final inspection will give you the peace of mind you need to confidently drive your new car home. 

Test Drive a Used Car in Clayton, NC

If you’re ready to find your next used car, visit Matthews Motors Clayton. We have a large inventory of used and certified pre-owned vehicles to choose from. Be sure to check our used-car specials before you come. Our staff will help you take the necessary steps to avoid unnecessary risk so you leave with the perfect car for you and your family.