4 Tips On How To Test-Drive Used Cars

There’s a lot more to test driving a car than just taking it out for a spin. You have to really get to know a car, maybe even fall in love with it, before you commit to buying. When you test drive a car, here’s are four tips that’ll ensure you make the most of your time:

1. Make an Exterior Inspection Checklist

2009 Dodge Challenger 2

Before you even get behind the wheel, you’ll want to inspect the exterior of a used car. Be sure to take this quick list:

Tires. Check if for worn tires or cracked, and check if the wear is even on all four tires.

Rust and Dents. Check doors and hinges for rust. Look along the side of the car for ripples that could signal past repairs.

Lights. Operate the headlights, brights, brake lights, and turning signals to make sure they all work.

2. Make an Interior Inspection Checklist

Hyundai Veloster dashboard

Once in the car, remember to check that the seats and controls are up to your standards. The smell and condition of the seats is certainly something to consider, but don’t forget to check these things:

Stereo. Operate the stereo, including the auxiliary option or CD player if available.

Seats. Try adjusting your seat and the passenger seat.

A/C and Heat. Work the air conditioning at all fan levels and temperatures.

Cruise Control. Make sure the cruise control works, even when you use the turn signal.

As you inspect the car, keep an open mind and take notes for future decision-making.

3. Look for Value-Adding Features

Do you know what makes a car a good resell? You can enjoy the luxury of these features and still get some money for it if you decide to sell again:

Hands-Free Option. With many states forbidding drivers from using their cellphones while on the road, newer cars are offering hands-free or blue-tooth options. These laws aren’t likely to change, so the value of these systems will stay intact.

Leather Interiors. Leather has long been appreciated as a high value in cars. It is still preferred today, so go ahead and spend the extra on leather if you love it. You aren’t likely to lose the money on it when you sell.

4. Ignore Value-Diminishing Features

While great features like cruise control and intelligent keys can add to your car’s resell value, too much customization wastes money when it comes time to get rid of the vehicle. Here are two things that a sales rep might highlight but that you shouldn’t consider as an addition to your car’s value:

Flashy Colors. Something unusually bold or bright like gold or lime green may seem cool at the time, but it can make resell difficult. Traditional colors like black and white are a surer way to go.

Flashy Rims. It’s not that you can’t buy nice and new rims for a car you buy used in Richmond, but something especially flamboyant or expensive may put off some buyers. Instead, choose moderately sized rims.

Did you take a checklist to your test drive? What tips do you have? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


How to beat high gas prices

Here are some tips on how to battle high gas prices by improving your gas mileage. Here’s on of the tips:

Keep your car

Buying a new car may not be financially viable at this time so keeping your current car may be your only option. However, there are a variety of things you can do to ensure you are getting the most mileage possible. First, perform scheduled maintenance. Make sure to replace all items specified by your owner’s manual according to the schedule, especially such things as oxygen sensors, fuel filters, air filters and spark plugs. Also, make sure your fluids like oil and coolant are up to date. These items will keep your car operating at optimum efficiency and will guarantee that you are getting every advertised mile out of a gallon of gas. Also, if your tires need replacing, look into a set of low rolling resistant tires. There are a variety of brands out there and you can check car tire sites to see if such tires are available for your make and model of vehicle. Most importantly, check the air pressure in all your tires since low tire pressure will adversely affect your mileage.


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