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How to Test Drive a Used Car Before Buying

When you’re out there trying to buy a used car, you’ll definitely give it a test drive. But have you considered what to do while test driving?

Well, fear not as I’m going to prepare you well for your next test drive in a used car.

Time is precious for everyone. Checking a car in the parking lot is one thing and doing a test drive is another. Go for a test drive only if you truly want to buy a car and not fool around. That way you’re being a decent gentleman and not wasting anyone’s time.

In the test drive, you mainly want to check four things. These are engines, suspension, brake, and transmission. These 4 are primary components, and if anything’s wrong with them, then chances are you’ll notice it while driving.

You do want to test drive the car in all terrain. You can do some city rides, some highway rides, and some off-road rides. That way you’ll know how the car reacts in different scenarios.

Don’t test drive alone with the car. Keep the owner sitting beside you and you can ask him different questions during the test drive if you have any. You’ll be pressing the gas pedal and brake pedal hard so do inform him of your actions beforehand.

While driving pick an empty road and accelerate hard to reach the full speed of it. Check whether the gears are shifting smoothly or not.
Now that you’re done with the accelerator. Move on to hard braking. Check whether the ABS is working properly or not. If everything is working properly, the car will stop in a straight line. It won’t go left or right.

Then pick an open area to do the turn test. Turn your wheels as much as you can till they can no longer turn. Check for any sound coming from that area. If there’s no sound that means axles, different joints, bearing, and power steering are all good. Make sure the steering moves with ease and no noise.

After that, you can take the car to a not-so-smooth road. There you can feel the suspension.

While testing the car talk to the owner so that he doesn’t feel left out. Ask him any questions you have in mind. Don’t pressure the car too much, you don’t want to disrespect the owner by doing that.

After checking the car and making sure everything is okay. You can list a couple of things before doing the negotiation.

List all the things that need to be fixed. Calculate what they will be worth money-wise. Then look for the market value of the car. The market value of the car depends on a lot of things. So do consider those things and come up with a good number to give to the owner and don’t try to go too low for a good vehicle.

After you have a certain number in your mind don’t get emotional and alter the number. Stick to the number you’ve decided is the best deal for the car and if it doesn’t work out then it was meant to be that way.

After the negotiation part, you do want to check all the documents properly. In the paper, there’ll be a VIN number. Make sure that the VIN number matches the VIN number in the car. If both VIN is not the same then the paper is not for the correct car.

There will be a couple of more information about the car in the paper, like the car name, model, etc. Make sure all those information matches with the car that you’re trying to buy.

Under the owner tab, you’ll see the owner’s name and there’ll be also the owners driving license in it. Check both information to verify it’s actually the owner you’re trying to buy the car from. You cant buy a car from anyone other than the owner.

Sometimes the bank owns the car and it’s also stated in the paper. So you need to check this information properly.

While filling in the paperwork, make sure you don’t mess up otherwise the title will be void and you have to get a new copy which is just more hassle.

So that’s about everything on how to test drive and buy a used car.

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