Test drive tips

Test drive tips

Getting behind the wheel and taking a car for a test drive is undoubtedly the best way to work out if it is the right one for you.

Once on the road, you might discover that your dream car is uncomfortable to drive, difficult to park or lacks the power you desire. And that’s not what you want to realise AFTER you’ve paid for it!

Here are some pointers to help you find the perfect set of wheels…

Getting the most out of your test drive

When trying out a new car, it is a good idea to take it on a variety of different roads: Motorways, country lanes and busy, town centre roads if possible.

Things to think about:

  • Is the car easy to get in and out of?
  • Is the driver’s seat comfortable and adjustable to your needs?
  • Is the ride smooth and quiet?
  • Will it suit your lifestyle – i.e. is it nippy enough for inner city driving or powerful enough for frequent motorway journeys
  • How are the brakes?

You should also try reverse parking the vehicle and getting it in and out of a tight parking space. After all, you need a car that you can park quickly and easily – both at home and while out and about.

Things to think about:

  • Is the car easy to park?
  • How is the all-round visibility (at T-junctions and when overtaking as well as reversing)?
  • Will it fit in your drive/garage?

Then check that there is enough space in the back and the boot.
If, for example, you have a little one who requires a child seat, take it along and make sure it fits

When buying a used car, you should also try out equipment such as the air conditioning and sound system to ensure it is all in working order.

Things to think about:

  • Is there enough room in the back?
  • Is the boot space adequate for your needs?
  • Are there any warning lights flashing up on the dashboard?
  • What safety features (e.g. airbags) are there and do they work?

Top tip!

You need a vehicle that fits your day-to-day budget, as well as the amount you have to spend on a new car.

Even if you love the test drive, it’s very important to check out running costs such as insurance, tax and fuel before you buy.

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