It’s always a good idea to test drive a car before purchasing it. And a test drive is even more critical when the vehicle you’re considering is used. 


A used car can come with some underlying issues that can’t be detected just by looking at it. Below are some test driving tips for used cars to make sure you’re getting a good deal. 

Used Car Test Drive Checklist

Test out interior features

Unlike with a new car, you can’t just assume that everything in a used car is in good working order. Before you begin your test drive, check to see that the following interior features are performing as they should.

  • Headlights and high beams
  • Turn signals
  • Interior lighting 
  • Windshield wipers
  • Radio
  • Heater and air conditioner
  • Horn
  • Power seats
  • Emergency flashers


You should also test out any touchscreens, infotainment systems and driver assistance features.

Use your senses

While you’re driving, use all your senses. Keep the radio off so you can listen for any unusual noises. Pay especially close attention each time you accelerate, brake, or turn. 


Do you notice any unusual smells such as gas or oil? A moldy smell might indicate that the car has flood damage. 


How does the ride feel? Any bumps or grinding that you feel in the steering wheel can typically be traced to the front of the car while anything you feel in your seat is most often associated with the rear of the vehicle. Also pay attention to how the gas and brake pedals feel when you apply pressure. 

Look for dripping fluids

When you finish your test drive, check underneath the car to see if there are any dripping fluids. Oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid and power steering fluid are all some of the things that could make a small puddle under your vehicle and should all be more thoroughly checked out. 

Get it inspected by a mechanic

It’s not a bad idea to take the car to a mechanic for a more detailed inspection prior to making a commitment to purchase a used vehicle. A trained mechanic will be able to identify potential problems that may go undetected during a test drive. 

Test drive today at I-5 Motors

Begin your search for your next used car at I-5 Motors near Seattle, WA. We have a large inventory of used cars for sale that includes everything from Chevy and Ford to Porsche and Lamborghini. Every type of driver can find what they’re looking for on our lot. And be sure to check out our used car specials for deals that can’t be beat anywhere. 


Visit us today for a test drive and start your next journey right here at I-5 Motors.