Friday, August 11, 2017

Test ride before the purchase

As a professional car dealer I may tell you one thing. Every car may look as a new one. The bonnet and the whole body can be varnished and polished so no marks of rust or crushes were found. The loose parts may be replaced or strengthened so that the impression of the car was much better than its actual conditions.The rims may be placed in the wheels to make them present impressively. The tires can be washed, painted or even replaced, especially with so many good offers on the market. The interior may be washed, dried and even ozonation may be carried out in order to get rid of all bad smells and mold from the air con. But the visual appearance of the car is nothing. It does not matter how good it looks. It is not the aspect which is the most important. The gear box, the brakes, the clutch or suspension is something that needs to be checked and don’t let yourself be misled by the great looks. So how to check all of that when you want to buy a car? Especially a used one?
Whenever you buy one, no matter if it is new or second hand, there is one thing that everyone does and one thing that sometimes has the crucial meaning when making the decision about the purchase or leaving it. You know what I mean? It is the test ride. The first drive may be the turning point of any transaction or its lack. I do not have to tell you why. You may simply fall in love with the car or discover failures that have been hidden well until this point. This is the moment when the car shows its face to the potential buyer. As a car dealer I would like to share some secrets with you and draw your attention to few aspects which are often neglected.

First of all perform the ride yourself. That’s right. If you think that this is a ridiculous statement, I must tell you that you would be surprised by the number of people who agree to have the test ride in the passengers seat. I do not understand how come it is possible that some people allow this to happen and are happy to buy a car that was driven by someone else. Especially when that other person is the guy who is selling it. Remember that the test drive lets you realize that even if the car looks attractive it may not necessarily be the best choice when it comes to its actual technical value. Besides you need to remember that every car behaves differently. It has individual clutch work, steering wheel which is easier or harder to drive, individual suspension and break sensitivity. How are you going to judge all this aspects and car’s functionality from the passengers seat? Remember that if this is a used car and you buy from an individual seller this person will know all failures of the vehicle. They will know how to touch the steering wheel so that it looked smooth, they will know how to hide any clutch malfunctions and when to start braking. You don’t, so if you sit behind the wheel you will be capable of judging if everything is in good working order.

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Second of all perform few simple checks that will tell you a lot about the car. Of course you need to check how the car behaves with the handbrake on. Try to move from the second break (with manual transmission cars only) if the engine stops, it needs to be checked by a professional mechanic. You need to make sure that all controls are working, so drive for a while to check the temperature, oil level and even the fuel level indicators. Also when you drive check the steering. Let the wheel go loose when speeding up and breaking and see if the car turns. If it does it means that some parts may need replacement and might have been damaged in a crush before. Have it checked.

Third of all make sure all formal aspects of the deal are taken care of
Third of all make sure all formal aspects of the deal are taken care of. I know how it sounds but based on my own experience this is something that can not be forgotten about. Before you jump behind the wheel make sure that the car is registered and insured. Some dishonest people may want to trick you in this matter. Once you already drive don’t let the dealer talk you over. This is common practice and it may be dangerous for you if the other guy is a real chatter box. When you get involved in a conversation about everything and nothing it is easy to forget about the real purpose of the ride and you get a fantastic PR impression but neglect the most important thing – your car. And this is what you should pay the most attention to. Otherwise you stop the car and can’t remember anything about the test ride and the guy is already handing in the contract. Be careful with such people. They will talk the same way with anyone else don’t let them make you feel special. They don’t know you and all they think about is how to sell this particular vehicle on this occasion. Besides, when the guy talks for the whole time you cannot hear the engine properly so make sure they remain silent whenever you have doubts about engine’s work.
Oh, and by the way. If you are the person who sells the car, make sure the one who comes for the test ride has valid driving license on them. It seems obvious but in case of any police check you want to avoid any potential trouble. Also be prepared for any potential damage this person may cause and ask them for their details before the ride.
Next time I will tell you about my test ride with this fantastic Lincoln MKC I have just had. What a car it is!

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