Guide On How To Test Drive A Car

The most exciting part about buying a car is the test drive! So you have narrowed down your selection to one car, read all about it, and is now ready to take the plunge. But wait, how can you make a final decision before taking a test drive? How will the car seat feel? Will the car be smooth to drive? What about the comfort level?

Even after days of theoretical research, you won’t know wholly about a car until the time you sit behind the wheels. Reading about it and driving it are two very different things. But, before you take a test drive, there are a few things you should keep in mind. This information will help you to fully understand the car and decide if you should really buy it. 

Before the drive

If you truly want to experience driving the car, you need to do it for at least 30 minutes. You should request the seller to give you a good amount of time with the car. If he disagrees, then you should question why?

Before the drive, plan out the roadmap you will be taking. It is better to drive the car on a variety of roads and take it around town. But, if you are short on time, then you can probably drive on a road that is similar to the kind of road you will drive on every day. 

The next thing is to do a thorough inspection of the car before you get in. Check for any dents, marks, or scratches that were not mentioned in the car ad description. You can negotiate for a better discount if you spot any. 

See also  Road Trip Ready: How to Check Your Car

As you enter the car, note if you can easily enter the car, or do you bump your head while entering? You should be able to easily climb in the car. You may have to make adjustments to the driver’s seat and the steering wheel too. Take your time to adjust the seat to a position you are comfortable in. Check if the seat gives you good visibility over the steering wheel. 

Adjust the side and rearview mirrors according to your needs.

  • Familiarize with the controls

Before you begin, familiarize yourself with the controls of the lights, wipers, heater, and other functions. Switch on all of them and check if all are working properly. 

  • Check the engine and electrics

Place your hand on the bonnet and note the temperature. If it feels warm, it may indicate that the engine is reluctant to start well when it’s cold. Once the engine is running, be wary of any rattles or clunking sounds, and make sure that no smoke comes out of the exhaust. 

Try out all the electrics in the car, from the windows to the music player. Make sure that all buttons respond with just a simple tap. 

While driving

As you drive the car around, pay attention to a lot of details, even though the seller may be blabbering while you drive.

Does the steering feel too heavy? Or too light? Some drivers prefer light steering, while others may not like it. Heavy steering may be bothersome if you drive a lot in the city. Also, check if the ride feels smooth. 

See also  When It’s Hard to See It Coming 5 Dangerous Roadway Obstacles to Avoid

Brakes are very important, so try to study how the brakes feel. Does it make smooth stops or grabs too hard? Does it stop quickly or has a long braking distance?

Make sure that you can see properly in all directions, especially through the rear window. Most of the new cars these days have wide trim around the windows that can make it difficult to get a good view of your left and right. Check if you can clearly see someone crossing the street in front of you.

Try and listen carefully if you can hear the tires on the roadway. Is the car too noisy? Check for other noises inside the cabin while driving. 

If you are driving a car with a manual gearbox, then check if the clutch has a clear biting point and the gears engage easily. If you think that the engines rev faster than the car’s acceleration, then the clutch is on its way out. 

If you are driving an automatic car, then check for smooth gear changes and response when you accelerate. 

Do you like driving the car?

The point of a test drive is not only to check the mechanics of the cars. But also how comfortable you feel while driving it. You should rev the engine in between to check how well it accelerates or presses the brakes hard and fast to check if the response is quick. 

If the car has any sounds coming out, then you need to know if you are comfortable with that level of noise. There is also the efficiency and overall performance of the car you should make a note of. 

See also  Injured in a Truck Accident? Crucial Things to Know


Test driving is an important component of the car-buying process. If you plan on test driving more than one car, then make sure that you make notes and keep. That will enable you to later compare the cars and decide on the best. You can buy used or new cars from, where you can find many varieties to choose from and genuine sellers.