EMAIL THE SHOW               The Best Car Show on Television .........               with Jason Dawe & Penny Mallory TOP TIPS
   TOP TIPS Section - Web links, Jargon buster and relevant articles. Click here to go back to Top Tips menu.

Test Drive

The test drive can be the most important step in buying a car, get it right and you can spot faults, save money and avoid buying a whole heap of trouble. Here are some of the golden rules…..

  • Before you drive off check all the electrics – you don’t want to find the horn or wipers don’t work whilst you are driving - Windows, mirrors, sunroof, stereo, electric ariel and air con/heater (turn from hot and cold to see if the system works properly)

  • Check the all lights (even dash board lights), indicators, wipers and horn – these are all essential safety items that you don’t want to discover do not work just when you need them!

  • Seat adjustment - forward /back, up/down and the lumbar support if fitted (these often break and are expensive to repair) and make sure you are comfortable before starting the car

  • Make sure the stereo and fan are turned off so when you start the engine you can hear for any nasty mechanical noises which often only occur when the engine is cold

  • Now move off, slowly

  • Get used to the car before you start testing any of the following items or the seller will wander what you are doing!

  • Steering – resting your hands very, very lightly on the steering wheel see if the car wanders to the left or the right, often a sign of incorrectly aligned tracking or suspension damage – but it might just be incorrect tyre pressures

  • Brakes – again with the hands resting very, very gently on the steering wheel apply the brakes to see if the car pulls left or right

  • Once you are stopped test the clutch – try pulling away in 3rd or 4th gear with a good dose of revs – the car should stall, if it doesn’t then the clutch is worn

  • Listen for noises all the time, brakes grinding when stopping, suspension knocks over pot holes or through corners, steering groan when parking (different from the usual PAS sound)

  • Take the car on a mixture of roads and surfaces that are typical of your driving

  • Always drive more than one example of a particular car before deciding what to buy

  • Remember - Never drive the car irresponsibly, it could be some ones pride and joy and you certainly don’t want to have an accident


Next article Rules of Warranty