September 08, 2020 at 8:42 AM

How To Make The Most of Your Test Drive

You should always inspect a used car before you buy it. If you can we would always recommend test driving a car before buying as it is your chance to make sure you are comfortable behind the wheel and that the car is perfect for all of your needs. Leeway Motor Company wants to give you our tips and tricks to make sure a car is perfect for you before it leaves the showroom. 

It can be very easy to get distracted by the excitement of buying a new car and your heart can sometimes overrule your head, especially if you have a particular attachment to a car before the test drive. It is so important that you take the car out for a test drive with a completely unbiased head on your shoulders, otherwise, you could leave with a car that in a few years you may not want. 

Try to keep in mind exactly what it is you want from a new car and whether the car you’re test driving delivers on all of those points. Try not to judge a car on what others have to say about a cars design or how it drives, because ultimately only you can decide if it’s right for you and test driving it will allow you to form your own opinions. Leeway Motor Company has put together some tips which will help you make the most of the test driving your potential new car. If you are looking for a used car in Newport please get in touch with a member of the team today on 01633 271 555

Engine & Suspension


Watch out for any excessive smoke and make sure to listen out for any unusual sounds. Before you start up the car checks underneath the engine oil cap for a thick white substance as this could indicate a problem with the head gasket or a damaged engine. Make sure to check the engine oil dipstick to check the car is at its maximum oil level - If it is not it is likely that the car is due a service (Which could act as a potential bargaining point). After the test drive makes sure to check for leaks in the engine bay and underneath the car. 

In regard to the suspension always make sure the ride is smooth and the car absorbs all of the bumps in the road. The vehicle should not feel bouncy or judder. 



Is your steering aligned properly? Often if your wheel is wobbly it will only be apparent at higher speeds and can usually indicate a problem with the wheels, tyres, suspension or steering. The usual fix for this would be to have the wheels rebalanced, but is something to consider when buying a used car. Whilst the car is stationary you can still check the powered steering - turn the steering wheel as far as you can until it locks, the power steering pump will probably make a little more noise as you go to full lock but shouldn’t make a huge racket. 



If the car has been sitting in the showroom for a while, then it is likely that the brakes will need an application or two to clear any surface rust and perform properly. If the brakes feel weak, spongy or that they are not doing their job anymore it is important to point this out to the seller immediately. 

To test your breaks all you have to do is whilst driving on a straight road, make sure no one is behind you, warn your passengers if you have any, hold on to your wheel lightly, press firmly on the brake pedal. If the brake pulls to one side then something is potentially wrong and this should also be pointed out.  

Clutch & Gears


Make sure that you try out all of the gears including reverse and there’s no crunching noise or feeling. You should also check the clutch’s biting point, if it is near the top this might indicate that the car might need a new clutch soon. 

With an automatic car, make sure all the gear changes are smooth, immediate and silent. You should also check that if you put your foot down on the accelerator, the gearbox is forced to change gear. If these things do not happen it could indicate a problem. 



Probably one of the most important checks is visibility. Be sure that you are able to see in all directions, in particular your back window. Some cars are made with wide trim around the window, which can make it difficult to see. 

Family Friendly 


If you are buying a family car you may want to take your children with you to see if they all fit comfortably in the car and also bring a child’s car seat to see if everything fits as it should. 

Environmentally Friendly 


For electric cars, you will need to check the interior, exterior, steering, breaks and any gears are all functioning properly. You should also check battery life if at all possible. The batteries in electric cars can be expensive to replace so it is important to make sure that they are intact before purchase. 

Leeway Motor Company 

Leeway Motor Company offers test drives on all used cars! Due to COVID 19 all test drives are now alone to help stick to social distancing guidelines. This does have some perks - You have no pressure and can inspect the car completely on the road and off the road. If you would like to pull in and inspect the car further we are more than happy for you to do so. If you are interested in a used car available in Newport or you want to take one of our used cars for a test drive please give us a call today on 01633 271 555 today.