New/Used Vehicle Test Drive Checklist

Test driving a new/used vehicle is important to making an informed decision. What do you need to make sure you do on the drive? Here is a handy checklist.

New/Used Vehicle Test Drive Checklist

Taking a car for a test drive can be very exciting. Here is a checklist to make sure you don’t forget to do something.

Before you drive, check the following features…

  • Comfort – Is there enough space for you and your passengers? Before driving the vehicle, sit in all the seats to make sure there is enough space.
  • Storage – Is the trunk large enough? Are there storage compartments and cup holders? If you’re purchasing a truck, is the truck bed big enough?
  • Engine – Take a peek under the hood. Is it easy to locate important things such as oil and coolant?
  • Technology – Does the technology in the vehicle meet your standards? Can you easily connect your smartphone or iPod to the stereo? Are the power outlets easy to access?

Safety Check – Before you hit the road on a test drive, be sure to check all of your mirrors and buckle up!


As you’re driving, pay attention to…


  • Response – How does the vehicle respond when accelerating, braking and cornering? Does it meet your driving style?
  • Visibility – Is it easy to see out of the vehicle? Try driving the vehicle in reverse. Check the visibility. Many people forget to do this.
  • Power – Don’t be timid. Push the vehicle. See how much power it has on the highway. Drive on different types of roads to really test the vehicle’s power.
  • Heating & Cooling – How’s the heating and cooling system on the vehicle? Does it meet your needs?

Safety Check – Don’t forget to obey the traffic laws during a test drive.


After the test drive, be sure to find out about…


  • Repairs – If you’re buying a Camry for example, find out at what intervals you’ll have to replace important Camry parts.
  • Warranties – Ask the dealer what’s covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Safety – If the salesperson hasn’t already covered it with you, find out about the different vehicle safety features.

Following these tips will help you during your next test drive. What vehicles would you like to take on a test drive? Leave your comments below.

Written by Tom Blackman