The Do’s and Don'ts of Test Driving a Car

behind the wheels

Would you buy clothes without trying them on first, or buy a horse without first riding it? Of course not. Likewise, you don’t want to lease or purchase a new car without test driving it first. Here at Kidney Cars, we’ve come up with some simple tips of what to do and what not to do when test driving a new car.

If you are in the market for a newer vehicle, remember that you can donate old cars to charity through Kidney Cars and help someone affected by kidney disease.


1. Your Homework.

Before test driving the vehicle, look up which options come standard with it. Check if there have been any recalls or serious issues reported. Become familiar with the more vital specs like mileage and engine size.

2. Inspect the Interior.

Take the time to roll up and down all the windows, turn on and off the wipers, check the headlights, push the seats forward and back, and test the radio/CD player.

3. Try Various Roads.

Take the vehicle on a range of roads like the freeway, country roads, or windy roads so that you can test the car’s suspension, speed and handling.

4. Check the Gears.

Drive the car up the revs in all gears and make sure to change back down through the gears as well to make sure they are all working correctly.

5. Test the Breaks.

On a suitable length of road, speed up a little and then test the brakes to ensure they are working properly. Breaking should pull the car up straight without sounds of grinding or squealing and/or pulling to one side.


1. Rush Your Test Drive

Be sure to give yourself the appropriate amount of time for the test drive. Each test drive is a sales opportunity for the salesman. If you are rushed, he may use that to his advantage.

2. Bring the Family Along

It is most likely that your family will be too distracting. However, do bring your partner or spouse who is part of the decision-making process.

3. Let the Salesman Dictate the Route

Try and have an idea beforehand as to where you would like to go so that you can test the car appropriately. Make a plan using an online map beforehand.

4. Let the Salesman Distract You

If you find that a salesman is disturbing your test-drive experience with his sales pitch, make sure to tell him politely, but firmly, that you need to focus on the drive.

5. Forget to Ask Questions

Make a list of questions to ask the salesman before going on the test drive. For example, if it is a used car, find out when the timing belt was last replaced or how many previous owners the car has had.


By following these simple tips, you can have less stress during your test drives and find the vehicle that is best suited for you needs. And when you ask yourself, Where can I donate my old car?”, we hope that you will consider Kidney Cars.


  • Help improve lives and donate your vehicle today.

  • We accept vehicles even if they no longer are running, as long as they have a title.

  • There is no cost to you, simply call us at 800.488.CARS (2277) or complete our online form.

  • Then schedule a pick up time that fits your schedule. You can make a difference in the lives of millions with kidney disease.