Planning Multiple Test Drives? Here Are Some Tips For Success

If you're in the market to buy a used car and find that you're intrigued by a variety of makes and models, you may find yourself planning to take several test drives. Doing so will give you an opportunity to thoroughly evaluate each of the vehicles that you're considering so that you can ideally narrow down your choices. The issue with multiple test drives, however, is that you may find the process a little overwhelming, and struggle with evaluating one vehicle against another. If multiple test drives are on your to-do list, here are some tips for success.

Schedule Them in a Block

A simple way for it to be easier to compare multiple vehicles is to schedule all your test drives in a given day. You can do so with some advance planning. Scout out the location of the dealerships you can plan to visit, decide which vehicles you wish to test drive, and then set up a schedule accordingly. When each of the vehicles is fresh in your mind, it's easier to evaluate which vehicles you like and which you do not. If you spread the test drives out over several days, you may have trouble remembering exactly what you think about a certain car.

Keep a Cheat Sheet

In advance of your day of test drives, make up a cheat sheet. Write down the names of each of the vehicles you'll be driving and come up with a series of criteria. Criteria can include visibility from the vehicle, responsiveness, storage, and other similar features. Then, after you test drive each vehicle, you can assign it a letter grade for each of your categories, as well as include any notes related to any of the categories. At the end of the day, you'll have a solid scouting report on each of the cars, which will help you rank them.

Recruit a Note Taker

If it feels daunting to take notes yourself, ask a family member or friend to tag along to handle this task. As you're driving, the person can ask you questions that correspond with your cheat sheet—for example, "How would you grade the comfort of this car?" The person can then note your answer, and keep each of your answers properly organized so that you can focus on driving and still have a solid amount of information by the end of the day that can help you decide which vehicles may suit you best.