How to Assess a Used Car During a Test Drive

How to Assess a Used Car During a Test Drive

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Purchasing a used car over a new one can be a great money-saver, but it can also be more than a little nerve-wracking. Without the peace of mind of knowing exactly what you’re getting, it is essential that you proceed with caution and inspect the vehicle fully before agreeing to a purchase. One of the best ways that you can get a sense of the condition of the vehicle is, of course, by taking it for a test drive. What some buyers don’t understand, however, is exactly what they should be looking out for on a test drive. Here are some of the key aspects to consider when taking a used car for a spin.

First of All, Insurance

Before taking a used car out on the road, you must check that you are insured to do so. The rules on this vary, so you will need to check them for your specific area. It may be that your own insurance is adequate to cover you, or if you are buying from a registered dealer, then they may have the appropriate insurance already in place.

Ups and Downs

In order to really get a feel for how a vehicle handles, it is important to test it on more than just flat, straight road. Try taking a route that has bumps and hills, and maybe even rough terrain. This will allow you to see if the car is able to handle a variety of roads.

The Suspension

The most common complaints with used cars tend to be suspension issues. In order to test this, you should listen out for whether the suspension makes any noise when you are going over bumps in the road, as this may indicate that it is struggling. If you are looking for used cars for sale in Canberra, there are professional registered dealers who you can buy from with greater peace of mind than an individual seller, as they will have gone through thorough tests and checks beforehand.

The Pull

Another key thing you need to look out for is whether the car drives straight. To test this, you should go along a flat, straight piece of road and loosely let go of the steering wheel. If the car pulls to one side, it may be in need of repairs or adjustments. You must also check if there is any pull when breaking – pull the car up with the breaks and pay attention to whether they veer the car to one side or cause any judder through the steering wheel, as these could be warning signs.

The Gears

If you are purchasing a manual car, then you will also need to pay close attention to the way the gears function. Ensure that they can be changed smoothly and noiselessly. The clutch should also operate smoothly and not make any noise. Both of these aspects can be some of the most expensive to repair, so it is essential that you ensure they are working properly before purchasing your used car.

With the right checks, you can be confident that you are getting a good deal on a vehicle that will stand the test of time.

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