Home Cars The Main Things You Should Test in a Car Before Buying

The Main Things You Should Test in a Car Before Buying

by Dave Dobson

Buying a new car can be a very exciting time. There are so many different makes, models and colours you can choose from and although very fun, it can be slightly overwhelming too, especially if you have recently passed your driving test and this is your first car. However, you haven’t just gone through hours of driving lessons in Stockport and rigorous testing to end up buying a car that may fault you, you need to pay attention to the finer details and ensure you buy a car that’s fit for purpose.

Research shows that a significant percentage of people do not conduct a thorough test drive before buying a car. 55% of the people purchasing cars only conduct one test drive and make a purchasing decision. Today’s vehicles have a lot of new features and great technology fixed in them. This is one of the factors that makes me conduct a thorough test on a car before buying it. It is also the case when it comes to Classic Car Sales. It doesn’t matter if you are buying a brand new one or a vintage car, you should always make sure of certain things. Here are some of the main things to test in a car before buying.

Brake Lights and Turn Signals

Brake lights and turn signals are very important to other drivers on the road. These lights notify other drivers when a vehicle ahead of them is slowing down or stopping. This enables drivers to be able to operate effectively with a reduced risk of accidents. Vehicles without brake lights are prone to accidents as no driver can predict their next move. I also try the signal lights since they help us communicate our next move to the drivers behind and in front of us. There is a higher chance of a vehicle getting into an accident and the owner needing to hire an auto accident attorney las vegas based or similar if its signal lights are not functioning correctly.

Brakes and Handbrake

Faulty brakes have led to many accidents throughout the history of driving. In recent years, some car models have received widespread complaints about faulty brake systems. I always make sure to test a vehicle’s brakes when on a road test. I test the vehicle on sudden stops and slow stops to see how the brakes will respond. Any grinding sound that will emerge from the wheels will be a suggestion of a problem with the brakes. The handbrake is another important item in a vehicle that should be checked in a test.

When looking at brakes and the overall braking system, it is also important to consider the airbag system. Factors such as when the airbag inflates; whether the airbag light will come on to indicate potential issues; the strength of seat belts and emergency stopping systems; these are some things you have to keep in mind to determine your safety when using the vehicle.

Acceleration and Speed

This is the area where I usually place my greatest focus. I like vehicles that can get to their top speed as fast as possible. This kind of test should be conducted on a highway or any clear and smooth road. Some people like fast vehicles but do not test cars to pick the fastest. I always test a car’s acceleration and speed before I can decide to buy it. When testing speed, the highest speed is not the only area of focus. It is important to gauge the stability of the car at different speeds.

Gearbox and Clutch

The clutch helps a driver to shift gears easily, more so in manual vehicles. The transition of gears in a vehicle determines whether a vehicle can move fast or slowly. Smooth transition of gears indicates that the gearbox and the clutch are functioning properly. Difficulty in changing gears indicates an issue in either the gearbox or clutch. Such a vehicle does not have enough power to manoeuvre hilly terrain. I always test vehicles in open places which gives me a chance to try out all gears at both slow and fast speeds. I also press the clutch immediately after boarding to feel whether it is soft or hard. A very soft or excessively hard clutch means there is a problem.


This can be done by driving a vehicle on a rough road. Drive slowly on these roads and watch how the steering moves. Listen carefully for any knocks or rattles that might suggest a problem with the steering. I always test cars through 90 degrees bends to see whether the car can navigate such bends smoothly. Resistance on such occasions is a sign of suspension problems or power steering.


Gauges help drivers to know the level of fuel, heat, and speed in a car. A faulty gauge can mislead a driver into, say, over speeding. I always check the gauges of a car immediately after I turn it on. I have had an experience of a failed fuel gauge which made me get stranded on the road since I did not have fuel. Since then, I always ensure that all gauges of any car are working properly before picking it.


Having failed wipers means that a vehicle cannot travel in rainy conditions. This also limits the driver’s ability to wipe the windscreen in case of dust. I always ensure that the wipers of a car wipe the windscreen smoothly without causing any damage to the screen. Wipers should not produce any screeching sound during the wiping process.

Overall, there are many things you should look for when buying a new car. If you’re ever in doubt or have a concern, ask for a second opinion, especially if you’re buying the car second hand. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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