Having money in hand for a previously-owned car can be a great feeling. You may be excited to test drive a variety of cars and make a decision about which you're going to end up with. You don't want to hand over all your money only to discover there are a lot of problems with the car you bought. For that reason, you've got to focus on factors like these when you're trying the vehicles out:
Go to Work
As part of your drive, you should talk with the current owner or dealer about taking the car on your regular commute. This will provide the opportunity to truly get a feel for how the vehicle is going to handle every day when you use it. If you're unable to drive the car on that exact route, do some homework before the test drive to determine which nearby roads will offer you the most similar experience. For example, if you already expect to be commuting in a mountainous area with lots of inclines and turns, riding around flat roads near the dealership may not help.
A costly repair situation for any car owner is transmission failure. Older cars can be at higher risk for transmission problems for a variety of reasons, so you want to do everything possible to ensure that you don't pick up a new-to-you car only to realize it's got transmission issues. You may not be able to immediately notice leaks during your test drive, but there are still some things which can be done.
For example, at some point during your drive, shift gears so the car is in neutral. The car should be silent; if you hear loud banging or knocking, that could be a transmission problem. If as you're driving, the gears start slipping, transmission could be the culprit there too.
Investigate Door Jambs
As you enter and exit the vehicle, you'll have to open the driver door. As you do so, cast your eyes back toward the door jamb; is it the identical color as the exterior? If not, you'll need to ask questions. Was the car repainted recently? Why? Was the prior owner looking for something new, or was the car in a terrible collision and needed to be repainted? Further information will be needed before you can feel fully confident about the car.
Test drives are more productive when you operate with these considerations in your mind. Work with an auto dealer with a good reputation so that you're sure to finally get a car you're satisfied with.
Contact a car broker that has plenty of cars for sale for more information and assistance.