Tips for test driving and checking a new car
Tips for test driving and checking a new car
Choosing a new car, whether it is new or used, is exciting! However, before you launch into buying your dream car it is vital that you test it first. A test drive allows you to quickly find out if a car feels good to drive and if it will suit your driving needs, both practically and emotionally.
This information guide is designed to help you make the most out of your test drive and ultimately help you purchase the right car for you:
What to consider before you take a test drive
- Will the car meet your expectations? If you’re after a family car then your main focus will be on safety, space, practically and reliability. Alternatively, if you’re interested in buying a sports car then performance, handling and plain old good looks will be important.
- Make sure to test drive the right model. The engine and transmission are top of the priority list, as they will have a huge bearing on the way the car drives and the level of enjoyment you experience behind the wheel. This extends to internal functions such as the sat nav, air conditioning and in car entertainment for example.
- Allocate enough time for your test drive. Some car dealers allow customers to take the car home overnight which gives you space to really get a feel for the car, without the pressure of being watched by the salesman.
Checks you should perform when on the test drive
- Experience the car in a range of situations – driving through town to the local shops, cruising on the motorway or winding down country lanes. Try overtaking on the motorway to test the car's acceleration and see how well the car handles tight corners and steep hills - these can often be the most revealing.
- Is it comfortable? Try adjusting the steering wheel and seating positions. Look for storage areas and make sure there is enough space to accommodate the things that you need; be it golf clubs, musical instruments, or a handful of kids! A good way to gauge the general comfort of the ride is to take out a passenger - an honest opinion goes a long way!
- Test the safety of the vehicle. Apply the brakes hard to check the stopping distance. Check blind spots and general visibility. If available make sure you inspect and understand the automatic safety features such as self-parking systems or distance controls. Furthermore, if your situation allows it, also test the handbrake by performing a hill start.
- In summary, don’t be afraid to really put the car through its paces. One last trick is to mute any sounds that you have inside the vehicle and carefully listen out for knocks or rattles that could indicate a fault or damage. If you hear anything unusual make a mental note and be sure to quiz the car dealer on your return.
Things to consider after the test drive
- Think about the type of fuel that the car uses. Short journeys and city driving lend themselves better to hybrid or petrol engines whereas diesel is more suited for longer journeys. The Telegraph recently posted an online article stating the 10 most fuel efficient cars of 2016. To view the article, follow this link. (Link)
- Emissions should also be considered as changes to regulations could have a significant impact on future charges and resale value, especially within big cities.
- Finally we would always recommend test driving several similar models of car. This will give you a better understanding of the range of vehicles on the market and find the best car suited to you.
So after considering all of the above, does the car still meet your expectations? If so, probably time to head down to the local dealership and start negotiating! Car dealerships are often franchises therefore if you know the make and model of car you want make sure to do you do your homework and research the market for the best deals around. They are not called dealerships for nothing!
If you found this interesting, read our blog on petrol vs. diesel cars: https://www.wewantanycar.com/news/should-you-buy-a-petrol-or-diesel-car-in-2016/
Back to Guides
70 branches nationwide
Find your nearest branch
We have over 70 branches nationwide where you can sell your car to us.
Enter your postcode, town or city below to find your nearest branch.
We have over seventy locations across the UK, so you will never be more than a short drive from your local branch to sell your car today. Use our branch locator to find more information on how to contact us.