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5 Things to Focus on During a Used Car Test Drive

We all like buying a used car as you get a lot of car for your money. However, there is more risk involved with buying one of these cars. There are plenty of things to look out for when buying a used car. In this article, we are going to look at five things to focus on when testing a used car to avoid buying a car with potential issues.

1) Steering Wheel Feel

The steering wheel feel is one of the best ways to identify any faults with the car you are testing. There is a selection of vibrations, knocking and stiffness that will all be identifiable via the steering wheel. During your test drive ensure that you test the car at both motorway and parking speeds to feel for unwanted vibrations. Where possible turn the wheel each way at different speeds to test the full range of the wheel.

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When safe to do so release the steering wheel for a short period when the car is moving to ensure that the wheel stays true and doesn’t run off to either side.

2) Brakes

When testing out the car it is important to test the brakes work as expected. I would recommend when safe to do so brake both hard and soft at different speeds during the testing and listen out for unwanted noises or vibration in the brake pedal. One of the most common problems that you can have with car brakes is the disks warping over time. When braking you hard you can feel a pulsing sensation in the brake pedal. This will mean that the brake discs will likely have to be replaced.

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3) Suspension

Cars can have a hard life dealing with bumpy roads and second-hand cars could have taken some damage from either potholes or speed bumps over time. It is important to check the suspension springs and dampers on the car you are buying. It is always worth having a visual inspection of how the car is sitting on the springs. Put simply does the car look level when parked. I would also recommend that you have a look in each wheel arch and visually inspect the spring and dampers for any signs of damage.

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When driving the car it is important to check how the car feels over bumps, does the car settle quickly after going over a pothole or does it keep bouncing. These are all things you should ask your self.

4) Noises

Rattles, bangs or knocking can all be tell tale signs that the car needs some attention. When taking your test drive, leave the radio off and listen out for any abnormal noises in the car. Listen to the sound of the engine, gearbox and brakes while using the car.

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On the interior of the car, listen out for any rattles that might be coming from the car trim, this could indicate that the panels have had to be removed or replaced for whatever reason, you might want to investigate any issues further.

5) Gearbox

The engine of the car is of course extremely important, however, it won’t move anywhere without a gearbox. In the case of a manual gearbox feel how well the gear stick moves into each gear when both stationary and also when moving. Note that any gears at aren’t easy to select could be a difficult job to fix. For automatic gearboxes make sure during your test that you have allowed the car to go into all gears including reverse and listen out for any abnormal noises.

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Easier Ways To Test Drive Cars

If you don’t like the pressure of testing and buying a used car, there is an easier way of doing things. If you take a used car test drive by Hertz Rent2Buy you can take a 5-day test drive of the car to make sure that you are happy with it. Hertz will allow you to buy a used car from them, if you are interested in the car you can hire it for up to 5 days to test all the above in your own time. If you like the car and want to buy it you don’t have to return it and the paperwork will be completed and sent out to you (with the rental costs waived). If you don’t like the model you tested you can pay the rental fee and then test a different model taking what you learned from your last experience. This is one of the easiest ways to test a used car.

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