What to look for when test driving preowned vehicles
Preowned vehicles have become hot commodities in recent years, reflecting a change in what drivers are looking for when it’s time to get a new ride.
According to the market and consumer data experts at Statista, preowned vehicle sales increased every year between 2014 and 2019 and more than doubled the number of new cars sold each year during that period. For example, in 2019 United States car buyers purchased 40.8 million preowned vehicles and right around 17 million new vehicles.
There are many reasons why more car buyers are increasingly looking to the preowned vehicle market when replacing their existing vehicles. Certified preowned vehicles have increased consumer confidence in used cars and trucks and extended warranties have helped ease concerns buyers may have about such vehicles.
As reliable as preowned vehicles can be, prospective buyers must remain diligent when considering a used car and truck. Potential mechanical issues can be discussed with a mechanic of buyers’ choosing, but it’s up to drivers to gauge other factors that can affect how enjoyable it may or may not be to drive a given vehicle. Test drives remain a great way to get a feel for preowned vehicles and prospective buyers can consider various factors to determine if a given car or truck is for them.
• Comfort: Comfort is a big consideration when purchasing new vehicles, and there’s no reason to downplay the importance of comfort when shopping for preowned vehicles. Consider the available headroom and legroom when test driving a vehicle, but also take note of comfort-based accessories that the vehicle may or may not have. For example, if you’ve grown accustomed to heated seats on your existing vehicle, then a preowned vehicle without such seats, or one without functioning heated seats, will likely bother you in the years to come.
• Visibility: Sight lines vary from vehicle to vehicle, so make sure your test drive is long enough to give you an accurate idea of a vehicle’s visibility. Blind spots may not differ much in new versus older models or even in vehicles made by the same manufacturer, but they can differ considerably between manufacturers (i.e., Toyota versus Nissan). Get a feel for blind spots during the test drive to determine if you’ll be comfortable driving a given vehicle.
• Connectivity: Modern vehicles are designed to connect with our devices, and drivers have quickly grown to prioritize connectivity. Compatibility with devices can make it easier to use GPS and stream music while driving, so don’t hesitate to connect your phone when test driving a vehicle. If the car and phone are incompatible, that can affect how much you enjoy driving the car.
Preowned vehicles are incredibly popular.