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A test drive is one of the most important aspects of the buying process when you are searching for a used car.
Once you’ve found the car which you feel is right for you, it is essential to make sure you take it out for a test drive before you make the ultimate buying decision.
At Trusted Dealers we welcome test drives as part of our 10 points of difference promise, and we encourage all of our buyers to take a test drive before buying any of our wide selection of used cars. Even if you have driven a similar car before, driving it allows you to make sure that you are happy with the driving position, with the overall performance of the car and to make sure that it suits your driving skills.
Failure to take a car for a test drive could lead to problems later down the line, so it is well worth spending the time to do it properly and make absolutely sure that the drive is done on your terms.
Take your time
On a test drive we would recommend that you take the car for a good spin on a route identified by a Trusted Dealer and also have a go at parking it to make sure you are comfortable with the car. Whether you are buying from a dealer or a private seller, it is important to agree on a test drive of at least 30 minutes so you can gain a good feel for the car and what it is capable of.
Vary your drive
If you sense that the dealer or private seller is uneasy about you taking the car on a certain road type, you can be sure there is a reason why, so make sure you take the car out onto a mixture of terrain, which includes a variety of different roads such as main roads as well as city streets and country roads that will all offer a different challenge to the vehicle.
Take a friend
It is a good idea to take a friend when you go for a test drive. Whilst sitting in the back they will act as a second pair of eyes and ears and may notice something that you have missed. Avoid taking family members and instead opt for an objective friend or better still someone with extensive knowledge of cars.
Make your checks
Do not be afraid to check everything – think about how promptly the steering responds and whether there is any play in it. What does the brake pedal feel like? If its soft the braking might need some attention. You can test the brakes by finding a quiet road and hitting the brakes hard to see if the car stops promptly and in a straight line. Finally, check every button and switch in the car – not only is a broken window or bulb costly and time-consuming to fix, but it is also a good haggling point for getting some money knocked off the final price.