With that tax return headed towards your checking account, you might be considering buying a new car. Whether the jalopy in your driveway just won’t make it another year or you have a new driver that is dying to get behind the wheel, here are a couple of tips on your quest for new transportation and how to get the most of your test drive.

Drive It Like You Mean It

car test drive checklist

When you show up to test drive a car, it is often an uncomfortable ride around the block with your salesperson in the back. Instead of a stuffy cruise, take one of your familiar routes. Ask the salesperson if you can take a longer drive of your own or even ask if you can take it over night. Then, try it out on your route to work or to drop off the kids at school. See how the car seat straps in or if your teen driver is comfortable driving it. Make sure it fits in your garage and practice parking it in public. Ask the salesperson about all of the towing capabilities if you happen to have a boat or trailer. You want a car that meets your needs and the only way you will know it is if you actually test it during your routine driving.

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Live In It

car test drive checklist

Really get to know the interior. Does it have enough cup holders, do they fit your favorite coffee mug? Is there a spot for your purse? Do you like the infotainment system? Is it easy to sync your phone? Does the sunroof work? Do the seats look durable and easily cleaned? Do you have enough storage for all your gear and all of your kids’ gear? Check out everything on the inside, and see if it works for you and what your family needs. Also be sure to try out all of the electronics in the car to make sure there is nothing that needs repairs.  

Scour The Outside

Look over everything on the car from the tires to any dents or scratches. Ask for maintenance records, and if you happen to have a trusted mechanic, run the car over to have a quick look just to see if there are any glaring problems that could cost you a lot of money in the near future.   

Schedule To Buy At The End Of The Month

If you plan your purchase around the end of the month or better yet, at the end of the quarter, you will be more likely to get a good deal. Employees are doing all they can to meet monthly quotas and get those very last deals closed which means they are going to be more willing to offer a deal just to close a sale. Holidays are also a great time to try and buy. All those bargain prices they feature on commercials are pretty straightforward. Don’t get so excited about buying a new car that you get impatient and get the first one you test drive. Take your time and really think everything through before you sign those papers.

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Do Your Research

car test drive checklist

If you have a particular model in mind, research multiple brands and see how they compare to each other. Test drive multiple cars and have an absolute maximum that you won’t go beyond. It is easy to fall in love with a luxury car so if you know it is out of your price range, don’t even get in.

It’s a good idea to also check out Autotrader for great tips on car buying and what you need to know before you hand over your hard earned money. They recently released a list of the 12 Must Test Drive Vehicles in 2017, and our favorite car company just so happened to make the list. The 2017 Kia Sportage landed on the list of must test drive cars this year, and it is no surprise. When equipped with the optional front crash prevention, the Sportage is an IIHS Top Safety Pick. Its improvements in steering and suspension along with advanced driver assistance technologies make the Sportage a refined and sporty vehicle perfect for a variety of drivers and their copilots. Consider it when you go test driving for your own new set of wheels.  

I am a #KiaMom. Opinions still remain my own.

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