Getting a new vehicle is always an exciting process. It’s so exciting, in fact, that we often ignore red flags and make purchases when costly repairs are looming around the corner.
If you’re shopping cars and test driving your options, we’re here to give you a little insight. This car buying guide will give you some things to pay attention to whenever you’re test driving a car.
Whether you’re buying a new car from a car dealership or buying used, make sure to keep the following things in mind.
How It Idles
A car in disrepair will often make a lot of grumbling when it’s idling. Before you start driving, be sure to let the car sit for a few minutes as you listen for loud noises or unhealthy sounds.
If you hear some unpleasant noises, you can ask if you’d be able to take it to a mechanic to check it out.
Any test drive should include a trip onto the highway. Make note of how smoothly the car accelerates as you approach the speed limit.
Older cars will often lurch and sputter a little bit as you hit the gas. Unless the owner already mentioned problems with acceleration, that’s a big red flag.
Any Unforeseen Issues
Anything significant that happens on the test drive that the owner didn’t tell you about should be taken as a serious red flag. If they’re withholding any information from you, odds are they’re being dishonest about the state of the car.
You can read more here about quality cars and see what an honest dealership looks like.
Examine The Exterior
Look around the outside of the car for instances of mismatched pain or evidence that there have been repairs.
Previous damage isn’t always a deal-breaker, but it’s something to watch out for if you weren’t already aware of it. You can typically tell that a piece has been repaired if the paint is a slightly different color.
If you do find that previous repairs have been made and that’s not on the car’s report, you should ask for a price reduction.
Function of Interior Features
If a car was marketed as having a specific trim level, it’s important that all of the features of that trim level are working. For example, if your deluxe edition Toyota Highlander has heated seats, it will go for a higher price.
When those heated seats stop working, the car is worth a little bit less. Be sure that you’re not buying a car for full price when it’s not equipped with fully-functioning features.
What is Your Gut Saying?
Another thing to keep in mind is the way you feel as you’re driving the car. Take a few moments to look inward and see if the vehicle is something you could see yourself in for a few years.
Additionally, use your gut to determine if the situation seems legitimate. Is your gut telling you that the seller might be dishonest? If so, it’s probably a good indication that you should look elsewhere.
Looking for a Car Buying Guide?
If you’re in need of a car buying guide as you go through the process of finding a new vehicle, we’re here to help. There are a lot of areas that you can lose money when you’re purchasing a new car, so it’s important to have as much information as you can.
Explore our site for more tricks and tips on how to make the right choice when buying a vehicle.