New car drivers: here’s how to really test drive a car

New car driversNew car drivers
New car driversNew car drivers


New car drivers: here’s how to really test drive a car

As a new driver, buying your first car is a thrilling experience. You will finally have the independence you have been craving, and you will be able to go on your own adventures. But there is the small issue of choosing a car to suit your needs, which can be tricky.

You can look at the auction cars available in Gauteng to find something that suits your needs, but be sure you that you bring along a mechanic-savvy friend to suss out the car. One of the most important aspects of looking for a new car is taking it out for a test drive. Not sure how to have a successful one? Read on below for top tips on how to really test drive a car.


Start with the right version

It is important to test drive the right version of the car you intend on purchasing. This will allow you to get the right feel for the car as well as understand all of the quirks. While vehicle auctions in Gauteng do not allow bidders to test drive the vehicle, you can go to a local dealership and ask to take the same model for a test drive to see how it feels.

Some models might have a more powerful engine and others might have better tyres or better mechanical components. And while it might be fun to drive an updated car, it will not give you the same experience as driving the right model would. A “sportier” version of the car you like might be faster and handle better in traffic, while the model you prefer is not as speedy or powerful. The interiors will also differ, which could affect the comfort of the ride as well.


Go at the right time

An important aspect of testing a car is to go at the right time of day, and the best time for a test drive is early in the morning. This will ensure that the car’s engine is cold and that you will be able to detect any problems when you start it up.

This is especially true of pre-owned cars and a car you might have won at  one of the many car auctions in Gauteng. Test drives in the early morning are also better because you will miss the peak heat hours of the day, making for a cooler and less stressful drive. If there is no test drive available in the morning, ask your dealer to book one for the next day. Try to avoid going directly after someone, as this will mean that the engine is already warm and you might not detect any problems.


Insist on a visual inspection

The auction cars in Gauteng or surrounds that you are interested in will be allowed to be visually inspected, as will cars at all dealerships. But it is important to do a visual inspection before you test drive the car in order to see if there is any damage to the exterior or the engine.

Be sure to look at small aspects that you might miss. For example, do the car doors open easily if your hands are full? Does the remote work well even from a far distance? You should also look at the interior and make a note if everything is made with good quality materials. The most important item to check is the engine, and for that, you should bring along a mechanically-minded friend or family to help with the inspection.


What to look out for when driving

After the visual inspection, you can start the test drive. But you might be wondering what you should be looking for when testing the car. Below are some of the aspects you should be looking out for when test driving the car of your dreams.

  • Ride comfort: The best way to test ride comfort is to take the car along an uneven road. Does it feel as though your teeth are being rattled and your spine is being moved around in your body? This means that the ride comfort level is not very good or that there is a problem with the suspension which could cause future issues.


  • The acceleration: Test the acceleration by driving when there is a lot of traffic. This will allow you to see how fast the car pulls off when it is a stop-and-start flow of traffic. If the engine feels sluggish, there might be underlying issues. Another effective way to test the engine is to go along the highway and try to reach the correct speeds. If the car battles, it might be best to look at another more powerful model.


  • The brakes: The brakes are arguably the most important aspect to test. You need them for safety and if there are issues, it is best to find out before you buy the car. Make a note of how responsive the brakes are to both gentle and aggressive use. If the brakes are too sensitive, the ride will feel jerky and uncomfortable. But if they are not responsive enough, you might get into an accident or have a stressful test drive.


Pay careful attention to these three aspects when going for a test drive and soon enough you will be riding off into the sunset in a new set of wheels.

New car drivers