Buying a car can be a scary thought. Most times, a car is the second most expensive item a person will buy after joining the property ladder. Which is why at the time of purchase, a thorough test is needed to ensure you have the right car. You don’t want to do a sloppy check and be left with a car that puts deep holes in your pocket due to the countless mechanic bills.
Here are a few things to look out for when buying a car:
1. What are you looking for? It is important that the car that you are looking at ticks all the boxes for you. If you are buying a family car, size is very important. Ensure that the car not only suits you but is also suitable for the family. Sit at the back before your test drive and see if everything is in working order. Sometimes it may be a good idea to take some family members along with you just to get a feel for the car with people inside.
2. Engine health: Start the car and just have a walk around the car. Ensure that there is no excessive smoke whilst the car is idling. Give it time to warm up as certain faults tend to be exposed when the engine is warm. Listen out for any unusual noises as the engine should be fairly quiet.
3. Acceleration: Make sure that the engine produces sufficient power. Depending on the engine size, the power cars produce varies widely. If you notice the car does not respond properly to throttling, then it could be a sign of a range of issues with the vehicle.
4. Comfort: Ride comfort is all about suspension, tires and seats. These all depends on the type of car you are buying. If you are buying a sporty car then be prepared for a stiff ride. Sporty cars usually have low profile tires and stiffer suspension for better handling. Which will give a harsh ride overall. On the other hand, a family car should have a suspension and tire setup that would be a lot more forgiving. It should absorb the bumps on the road. If the suspension feels stiff or sounds creaky then it’s likely that it will need replacing.
5. Clutch and Gears: While on the test drive, it’s important to drive on both the quiet roads and the expressway. Driving through the quiter roads will let you test out the clutch. Make sure that the clutch is not slipping and the gear change is smooth. If the biting point seems higher than normal, there is a possibility that the clutch is on its way out. Driving on the express will give you a chance to go through every gear. Making sure that all the gear changes are smooth and struggle free.
6. Steering: Steering is easily overlooked but is one of the important things to look out for. When driving on the expressway, make sure the steering wheel does not vibrate at high speeds. If there is vibrations then this usually means that the wheels are slightly off balance and need rebalancing.
7. Brakes: Brakes can be easily tested within the first 5 minutes of the test drive. When braking, ensure that there is no excessive squeaking sound. Sometimes brake pads squeak when they are new and are still breaking into the discs. Usually squeaky brakes mean that the pads or discs are worn out and need replacing.
8. And of course don’t forget to go with your mechanic for a professional opinion. Once you are set then you can comfortably factor in an appropriate motor insurance plan for your new vehicle.