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How to test-drive a Vehicle

Written By, Brad R.


The first step anyone should take when test-driving a vehicle is to make sure they have their license with them. Many dealerships will require that they hold your license or make a copy before a test drive. Just be sure to have that no matter what! The second step is to adjust all mirrors before leaving the dealership. Rear-view mirror? Check. Side-mirrors? Check. Vanity mirror to check hair before taking a selfie in this new car? Double check! Let’s be honest, there’s nothing wrong with being excited about getting into a new vehicle. With that said, go through every part of the vehicle before any test-drive experience starts.

Check the Ride, Before the Drive

Sit in the passenger seat, sit in the back seats, open the trunk to inspect the cargo space and lift up the hood to look at the engine and battery. There’s plenty to check out before taking that first test-drive. This is done to make sure it’s enjoyable and has no defects for the passengers that will be sitting in the other seats. We recommend to adjust and touch everything that comes inside of the vehicle to know what perks the vehicle offers and gather knowledge about the vehicle’s features that may have gone unnoticed before driving. Don’t fall for the look of the outside or the feel of the test-drive of a vehicle before finding what perks are or are not offered inside first.

Get Ready for the Road

Now that the vehicle has been thoroughly checked, the time to begin the actual test-drive experience is next. Ensure the seatbelt works, double check the vehicle’s visibility and make sure to simply drive the vehicle to begin. The only difference between a test-drive and when a vehicle is normally driven is the acceleration test and brake-check exercise every potential buyer should do. Does the vehicle have the engine power needed to satisfy? With that said, only drive ahead fast when it’s safe to put the pedal to the metal. Of course, follow all the rules of the road, including speed limit!

After finding out if the engine is strong enough, check on the brakes to ensure they are sufficient, as pick-up speed and checking out the brakes are among the most important. Lastly, while test driving, see how the suspension is. Does the vehicle handle bumps well? How about turns? Is the steering wheel stiff? These are the questions to know the answers to before buying.

Get the Final Choices Right

What kind of interior will provide comfort for weeks, months and years later? Does the lower trim provide enough features to enjoy? Is the car color ideal? Infotainment system and audio system adequate? Everything from the vehicle should be amazing and feel great. Don’t overlook anything that bothers you on the original test-drive. It will bother you a lot more if the vehicle chosen falls short of expectations early on and the option chosen ends up becoming a regretful one. Also, keep in mind the length of the vehicle and the size overall. Does the vehicle fit in your driveway or parking garage? Practical reasons like this are sometimes overlooked.

The Best Buying Experience

Have you gone on a recent test-drive, but didn’t like the price? Maybe you couldn’t find the exact specifications you were looking for? That’s where NowCar comes into play. For those looking for a rewarding, hassle-free experience, that’s where NowCar shines over traditional car dealerships. Let us be your total vehicle guide for anything you’re looking for. You are not limited to an inventory lot and we can assist you along the way for any of your questions or concerns.

Check us out on social media for further information. For any needs you have about buying your new vehicle, we can help at NowCar. Search and build what vehicle you want directly from the comfort of your computer, phone or tablet. It’s never been easier to shop for a new vehicle than now, with NowCar!


Photo credit: Dodge