Before you put the car in drive, take a close look at the vehicle.
Check the visibility you'll have from inside the car and look over both shoulders to learn about the vehicle’s blind spots.
“See how you fit in the car,” Montoya says. “Is your head touching the roof? Can you adjust the seat? If it’s a four-door, sit behind [the front seat] to get an idea of the room the passengers have.”
Kevin Cox, Atlanta regional vice president for CarMax, recommends adjusting the seats to make sure there’s enough head and leg room, and that you have good back support.
“You want to feel safe and secure in the car,” Cox says. “Make sure to ask questions about gas mileage ... Bluetooth technology and how to get it to work.”
Because cars today are loaded with technology, Montoya says you should think about how much is ideal for your personal taste.
“Does it have a touch screen that is easy to use?” he says. “[On the other hand] if there’s too much technology, it can be overwhelming.”
Finally, make sure the vehicle is the right size for your situation. One good idea if you have kids, Montoya says, is bringing their car seats to see if they fit.
“You’d be surprised, it may not fit as comfortable as you’d like,” he says.
Cox says you can even bring the kids on the test drive. They'll most certainly voice their opinions.