• Published: 18 December 2019

Buying a car is up there with one of the most important purchase decisions we make. So it’s critical that we end up with a vehicle on which we can depend. The test drive is a critical part of the car-buying process, so read on to discover three essential points to keep in mind. That way, you’ll be sure to drive off with a winning vehicle!

1. Inside and out

If you’re already interested in a car, chances are you’ll have given the exterior a good checking over. But the test drive offers a great opportunity to investigate the interior of the car. Check all the seats and trim to see if there’s any significant wear or tear, have a look at the pedal rubbers to make sure they’re in good condition and check out all the electrical features to ensure they’re in good working order.

2. Check the engine

When you test drive a used car, make sure you insist on starting it from cold. If the dealer won’t let you test drive the car from cold, chances are they could be trying to hide a problem. Place the palm of your hand on the bonnet to make sure the engine is totally cold before you jump in.

3. Steering and brakes

The test drive is a great time to make sure the steering is even and the brakes are in good condition. When driving, make sure the car doesn’t edge over to one side when you’re navigating a level road. With the brakes, make sure you can’t feel any vibrations or hear any rubbing noises when you use them. And with the handbrake, see if you can locate a section of road with an incline so you can test its hill start capabilities.

In truth, there are loads of things you should be looking for when you test drive a used car, but the above is a good starting place for making sure you end up with a trustworthy car that’ll keep you safely on the road for years to come.

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Transport For London

Cars need to meet minimum emission standards when travelling in the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) or the daily charge must be paid.

Minimum emission standards

Petrol: Euro 4
Diesel: Euro 6

The ULEZ will be enforced based on the declared emissions of the vehicle rather than the age. However:

Information from Transport For London

Check this car on the TFL website before purchasing: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/check-your-vehicle/

Spencers Car Sales

At Spencers Car Sales we charge an admin fee of £50 when you purchase a used vehicle from us. The admin fee pays towards the preparation of your new car, to make sure it’s safe and immaculate when you drive it away.

Admin fee is charged as listed below:

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