Test Driving the Used Car Before Buying One


Whether you have budget constraints or like to play smart with your money, you can decide to invest in a pre-owned car available in your favourite make and model. It can also be one of the most affordable ways to enjoy your daily rides in a vehicle that may not be new in the literal sense but gives those vibes. You can rest assured of this experience because most used car dealers recondition the old cars to make them fit for the new user. And then, you get many options at much lower prices than those new cars. Hence, it can be tempting to drive a new variation you always wanted to own but couldn’t consider for affordability issues.

Since Calgary used car dealerships offer excellent options, you don’t have to think twice about the decision. Still, you must ensure that the car provides maximum driving comfort, safety, and ease of use. You would wish to make the best use of your investment. When shopping for a personal vehicle, you must test drive it well. Here are some suggestions to make this process count.

Preparation before the test drive

It will be best if you can get your friend or one family member along. Having different opinions or feedback can pay. They can notice some red flags that you missed. You will want to be more thorough with this, especially if you plan to buy this for your kid, spouse, or someone else. You also have to decide what you need from a car – more comfort, high-end features, or smooth handling in any weather. Keeping a checklist will be a good idea to compare where the vehicle stands on your expectations. Then, you can also plan different routes to test the car’s ability to deal with other surfaces and situations, such as highways, bumpy roads, smooth roads, etc. If the vehicle makes some noise or vibrates, you may need to reconsider your selection.

Things to ensure during test drive

After thoroughly inspecting the car’s interiors and exteriors, you may want to experience the feel of it. Check how easily you can get in and get out. Get an idea of all the accessories and features to avoid distractions on the road. Adjust mirror, seat, temperature, and radio settings and analyze if they are reachable. Don’t forget to check the status of gas in the tank. While driving, try everything – acceleration, deceleration, merging, and more. Examine the airflow noise, how smoothly you can shift gears, etc. Look at the brakes and park a car to understand the blind spots. Make sure you make the most of this process, and don’t be hasty. You get thirty minutes’ window for it.

If you test a car during the winter, you would want to do it in an empty parking lot to eliminate the risk and see how it performs in icy or snowy conditions. You may forget to check the air conditioning system because of the cold weather. Make sure you test its performance also.

Some due diligence

Do you know at least 30% of all the cars driven today have been through some form of collision? It may have happened in a parking lot, on a busy city road, or highway. But it doesn’t mean the vehicle has some issues. However, as a responsible consumer, you may want to know the records and whether those damages still carry any weight on your car’s present condition. Knowing this is essential for your safety also. Many dealerships understand its significance and can be willing to share the information. Before test-driving it, you may also learn about a few mechanical glitches the chosen model may have had. The dealers may have taken care of those, though.

Also, the duration and methods of a test drive can vary. Typically, you can consider getting 30 minutes for this, but clarify it with the dealer to avoid confusion. Some people choose virtual test drive options if they cannot make time for the experience. It can be convenient, but you cannot feel your car. You have to decide based on what you see in the video. The dealers will try to show the car’s performance from different angles. But you may not be comfortable with this option because even used cars are an investment. And you cannot risk your hard-earned money. At the same time, you cannot properly assess whether you will have a smooth experience driving the car. Everything matters – seat, steering wheel, brakes, gears, accessibility to other essential features.

Like these, there can be different ways to test drive. However, the most traditional is the 30-minute one. A pre-owned car can be a valuable addition to your garage and a wise financial decision. That’s why it can be worth considering the choice and making it work for you too.


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