The Comprehensive Guide To Buying a Car: Part Three

Test driving the car is a vital part of buying the car. What should you look out for before buying the car?
Sherryn de Vos
2017-03-22
When buying a car, it is important to test drive it to make sure that the car is fully functioning. There are a few vital aspects to look out for when taking the car out onto the road. Make sure you take it for at least twenty minutes to get a good feel for the car. You will need a valid driver’s license with you to be allowed to take the car on the road. It will also be beneficial if you bring someone with you. The dealership will probably request you to leave your current car keys or something valuable with them, or have the salesman drive with you.
CLICK BELOW to read the previous article in this series regarding what to look for when viewing a car.

What To Look For When Taking a Car For a Test Drive

Listen For Rattles And Strange Noises

Make sure you listen for any banging, sudden, or high-pitched noises. Check that nothing is rattling in the car. Listen out for the noise the tyres are making, as well as any subtle thuds. This could be a problem with the shocks, and you want to avoid that as much as possible.

Check Acceleration

How does the car accelerate? Does it pull off easily and does it have power? If the car seems a bit hesitant or lacklustre, there could be some underlying causes.  If you can, try and do a hill start. This is a good indicator of the car's roadworthiness.

Gear Changes

Take note of the gearbox, the clutch, and how the gears shift. A dodgy gearbox is a very big reason for people selling their cars, as it is massively expensive. Make sure you test all gears, including the reverse. If the gears make any noises, whether it be a grating or a clunking, there could be something faulty with them.

Sit In The Back Of The Car

This is not advisable while driving, obviously. Ask the other person to drive the car for you and see what it feels like in the back seat. Is there any amount of bouncing, or does the car feel stable? This is a good test to see how the back shocks are.

Steering

This will allow you to see how responsive the steering is. Make sure you test to see whether the car pulls to one side if you are driving and lighten your control of the steering wheel. Can you feel the road through the steering wheel? Also, check whether the steering wheel grates or makes a noise when turning. Finally, try and do a sudden and harsh turn to see how the car handles corners. Make sure that you are safe doing it, but you will need to do this for real life circumstances.

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Brakes

Test out the pedals to brake and make sure that the brakes work well. It could be really important to do an emergency stop. If you are put into the situation in real life, you will need to know that the brakes work. Brake suddenly and harshly to see whether the ABS kicks in or not. Up Next: Financing Your Car.