After preparing your finances and researching which vehicle makes and models will fit your needs, it’s time to step onto the lot or meet up with your seller and take a test drive. A test drive can tell you not only if the vehicle you’re purchasing is in good running condition, but it will also tell you if you will feel comfortable driving the vehicle. It’s a good idea to pick a route that will highlight the features and performance of the vehicle, so choosing a route that includes hills, curves, and bumps can be very helpful. Before making your final decision, be sure to check out all aspects of the vehicle during your test drive. Some things to check include the following:

  • Vehicle accessibility (Can you enter and exit the vehicle safely and comfortably?)
  • Head-room and leg-room (Do you feel cramped?)
  • Seat comfort and support (Is the seat comfortable? Is it too high or too low?)
  • User-friendly and accessible gauges and controls (Are you able to reach the gauges and controls?)
  • Visibility and blind spots (How easily can you see out of the windows and mirrors? Where are the blind spots and how large are they?)
  • Acceleration and shifting (When accelerating, does the vehicle downshift appropriately and easily?)
  • Road noise (Does the vehicle provide a quiet ride?)
  • Hill-climbing performance (Does the vehicle downshift during hill-climbing easily and appropriately?
  • Braking (Do the brakes “grab” suddenly?)
  • Handling (How does the steering wheel feel? Is the vehicle responsive to your movements?)
  • Suspension (Does the vehicle provide a comfortable ride?)
  • Trunk/Cargo space (Will the vehicle provide enough cargo space for your needs?)

If you have any concerns with the vehicle, take them seriously . Small inconveniences now could become major issues down the road. Take the time to find the vehicle that fits your needs best, and that you feel comfortable driving before making a purchase.

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