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Getting the most from a Test Drive

So, the car looks great, you can picture yourself in it .. and now, the most ... part - it is time for a test drive. Don’t dismiss the test drive as just part of the sales process, taking a test

So, the car looks great, you can picture yourself in it .. and now, the most important part - it is time for a test drive.

Don’t dismiss the test drive as just part of the sales process, taking a test drive is the most important part of buying a car. Yet so many people dismiss it as formality!

And if you don’t believe me, I (embarrassingly!) write from experience! The car that I’d lusted over, that ‘dream’ car that I’d so avidly researched, I sat in it in the car dealers, fell in love and signed up on the dotted line (without taking a test drive – I didn’t feel I needed to)!

Sadly, my ‘dream’ car, that I used for a 60 mile round trip twice a day for the next three years had a blind spot! The day I part exchanged that car, I test drove every possible replacement for my ‘dream-turned-nightmare’ car!

So, how do you get the most from your test drive?

First of, if you are refused a drive, don’t buy the car. Do you want to be stuck with a car that you are not comfortable in; one where the seat is too low and gives you backache? One that has a blind spot?!

The ideal road test should ideally be at least five miles to give you a chance to experience different speeds and road types and for the mechanics to warm up properly.

What to check
When test driving from a car dealership, most do have their own insurance – but do double check!

If buying privately, check on your own policy that you are insured and check that the car you are looking to buy has an MOT and up-to-date road tax.

Check the condition of the car – look for any dinks, dents, scratches. Look at the condition of the tyres and look under the bonnet. (It is always best - wherever you are buying a car from – to have someone who knows a bit about them to come with you and give you a second opinion).

First of all, watch the current owner drive the car – this will give you a feel for how the car is treated. For example, someone who ‘rides’ the clutch means that if you do buy the car, you may have to fork out for a new clutch soon.

Listen for unusual noises and knocking and then, it’s your turn! When driving ….
• Gears - a very high biting point suggests a worn clutch
• Check the steering – for a slack response and that the wheel doesn’t ‘kick’ in your hands.
• For car with power steering, gently turn the steering from lock to lock and listen to see if the pump audibly complains
• When braking, the car should pull up in a straight line and without any judders
• Listen for mechanical noises, any clunks, unusual sounds that you may not have picked up when you were a passenger. eg. The engine shouldn’t sound rough
• Look around the interior – look for dirty or torn seats; cracked speaker covers, check the boot etc

You want the car…what next?

You’ve test driven the car, you want it … so how do you make sure you get a bargain?

How much you can save by negotiating on a car varies and, ultimately, depends on how much the seller is willing to accept for it at that moment in time.

Being a cash buyer always gives you the edge on a sale and if you appear confident and knowledgeableArticle Submission, this will help your case!

You’ve got a great deal on a great car!

The next step is to get a good deal on your insurance. Shopping around is always the best way to find the most competitive premium and the easiest and quickest way to do this is use the internet. Something like the Motorcarloans Insurance finder – which visits over 50 different insurers and brokers to find you the best deal in a matter of minutes – means you get the compare cover and premiums all from the click of a mouse!

Source: Free Articles from


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