How to Test Drive a Used Car



Testing a used car is very much different from that of a new car, so it’s important it’s done with confidence. Not only is a used car different from a new car but it’s also different to the one you currently drive, so it’s crucial you get used to it quickly. The reasons for a test drive are simple: to ensure it meets your standards of quality and to see if it’s the right fit for your needs.

Test driving a car isn’t all about driving it around the neighbourhood, though, so ensure you take advantage of the following tips to make sure the test is a success.

Put Your Foot Down

While you’ll always need to stick to the speed limits, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of them to try and judge the power of the used vehicle you’re interested in. Take it down a long, straight road and put your foot down to see how well it handles.

Give Your Brakes a Firm Test

If the brakes are no good, you’ll need to look at alternatives or at least barter on price so you have money left over to invest in new brakes. Testing the brakes is a crucial factor and is mandatory in any test drive. Undertake a couple of hard stops to see how quickly the brakes react, but don’t go over the top in terms of skidding across the road.

Listen to What the Engine Is Saying

You can tell a lot about a car’s condition by simply listening to the engine. When you are at a stop and it’s safe to do so, leave the car while the engine is still on to see if you can hear any weird noises coming from under the hood. Whether you’re looking to buy a used Polo Vivo or a new Jaguar, the engine noise will give you a good chance to hear how it’s coping when idling.

Check Interior Warnings

You’ll only be able to see warning lights when the engine is on and, more often than not, warnings will only appear after the engine has warmed up. Take the car for a spin and if any warning lights appear, ask the owner if they’ve been on for a while or if it’s just happened now. Sometimes, warning lights appear because of a loose connection but, in severe cases, they appear because the engine has problems.

Use All the Features

You don’t want to mess around with the radio and the other in-car features while you’re driving, but when you have pulled over and the engine is idling, play about with all the features to ensure they’re working properly.

There’s a lot you can do when it comes to road testing a car and the above points are just a few of them. Be thorough and see how well the car works. Things like looking under the hood and the car chassis are also other things that can be done when the engine is on, so you can check for odd noises and any potential leaks.