So, you’re finally ready to head to your local Houston Toyota dealership to for a test drive before deciding on which Certified Used Toyota to bring home. You’ve done your research online, narrowed down your list and are ready to get behind the wheel.

All that excitement can really make for a fun-filled day checking out some awesome used Toyota cars but if you aren’t careful, too much excitement can leave you spinning with indecision or leave you with a bad buy. So to make sure your trip to the dealership is successful, experts recommend following a few easy test drive tips to make sure you drive away from the dealership in the Certified Used Toyota of your dreams.

Test Drive Tips for Test Driving Toyota Cars

Be Open-Minded

After doing your research, it’s easy to get your heart set on a particular Toyota model. Even if you showed up to the lot with your mind set on purchasing a 4Runner, you may just find that the Camry is better suited for your needs. So be open to suggestions and don’t be afraid to take a few different models out for a spin before making your final decision.

Look Under the Hood

Before you get behind the wheel of a Certified Used Toyota, be sure to perform a pre-test drive inspection under the hood. Start by looking out for signs of poor maintenance, including any strange smells. Next, be sure to look at the transmission and oil fluid levels to get an idea of how the engine performs. It’s also a good idea to look for wear on the hoses and to look under the car to spot any leaks.

Follow a Checklist

Because it can be hard to remember all of the attributes you’re looking for when you finally make it out to the lot, create a list to stay on track. Cover important areas like the ride, noise, seat comfort, interior wear, tires, brakes and sound system. Rate each area from 1 to 5 and make any notes that you’ll want to remember later.

Hit the Road

Driving used Toyota cars once around the block is no way to get a feel for how they really handle. Be sure to get in at least 10 to 15 miles along different types of terrain if possible. If you can take the car out on the highway, as well as through a bit of traffic, you’ll have a better idea of how it performs in a variety of situations. Bonus points if you can drive along a dirt road to check the shock absorbers as well!

Drive Normally

While it may be true that Toyota pushes each model to the extreme when making their initial safety tests, your test drive won’t benefit from pushing a car to the limit. To really see if one of the Certified Used Toyotas on your test drive list is a perfect match, drive it how you normally would on your daily commute. Turn the radio off, get comfortable and try to relax as you look out for signs that this may be the perfect car for you.

Get a Second Opinion

Our final test drive tip is to always get a second opinion before you buy. Once you’ve found the right car at an affordable price, ask for help from someone you trust. It is not uncommon for used car shoppers to reach out to a trusted mechanic or certified test driver to get their input before making a purchase.