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Video:Tips for Test Driving a Car

with David Griffith

Test driving a car is really important to do before purchasing it, just so you know it runs well and that you're comfortable in it. This video has a couple tips for test driving cars before buying them.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Test Driving a Car

Hi, my name is David Griffith and were here at Jack Kain Ford in Lexington, Kentucky for About.com, and today I'm going to show you how to test drive a car.

Inspect Car Before Test Driving

One of the first things you want to do is a visible inspection on the exterior of the vehicle, walking all around the vehicle. You want to make sure you're driving a vehicle that is road worthy and safe, so inspect the turning lights and head lamps, all the working legal aspects of the vehicle. You also want to make sure that you have insurance and that the dealership has liability insurance as well. And you also want to make sure that the vehicle has a valid license plate. If there isn't a plate, you can ask the sales manager and they should be able to provide you with a dealer plate that will make you legal while you test drive the vehicle.

Get to Know Operating Features Before Test Drive

Some dealerships have a policy that a salesperson must ride with you in order for their insurance to cover the vehicle. Next, you want to get behind the wheel and get familiar with all of the operating features. Get familiar with the turn signals, the cruise control, the power windows or power seat. You want to be familiar so you are not fumbling with those, because while you are test driving this vehicle, you are probably not in your usual neighborhood and you want to be familiar with the car and its operating features before you take off.

Choose Two Routes for Test Drive

You should have two set predetermined routes that you want to drive the vehicle on. The first one is in city driving, just normal city driving. Your next predetermined route should be over a five to ten mile highway where you can get the vehicle up to interstate speed to make sure it runs smoothly. Once you are in the vehicle, you want to make sure you know all the features in the vehicle. I don't advise you to turn on the radio other than to check and make sure that the radio does work, but during the test drive we want to turn it off or turn it all the way down.

Tips During Test Drive

As you know, we always want to fasten our seat belt. When driving the vehicle, we want to make sure there are no odd or unusual sounds coming from the engine or transmission. Another good thing to do, only when it is safe to do so, is to take your hands off and make sure that the steering wheel does not turn or that the vehicle does not veer left or right. This could be poorly worn tires or it could be a mechanical problem. After your test drive and returning to the lot, make note of any irregularities that the vehicle may have and make sure that the dealer inspects the vehicle before your purchase.

And that is how you test drive a car. Thanks for watching. To learn more, please visit us at About.com.

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