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What To Check When Test Driving a Used Car

Test driving a car is vital to ensuring that your future investment is in solid shape and can serve you for years to come. Determining whether said car can be your trusty companion is up to how aware you are of what's going on, and that takes place during its test drive.

In this article:


When you first start the car, pay attention to how smoothly it starts up. A healthy car should start promptly without any hesitation or struggle. Take note of any warning lights that remain illuminated after startup, as they could indicate underlying issues that need further investigation. Additionally, adjust the driver's seat to ensure it's comfortable and offers good visibility of the road ahead.

Initial Test Drive

Put the car into gear. The car shouldn’t clunk or jerk when this is done. Once in motion, drive in a normal manner and check that the suspension is in good shape.

If possible, test the suspension by driving on different road surfaces, including smooth pavement, rough roads, and speed bumps. A well-maintained suspension will absorb bumps and dips without excessive bouncing or squeaking noises.

Engine and Brakes

After warming up the engine, find a safe and open space to test its performance under hard acceleration. A responsive engine should deliver power smoothly without any hesitation or sluggishness. During this acceleration phase, also pay attention to how the car shifts gears—if it's an automatic transmission, shifts should be smooth and timely. After acceleration, perform a firm stop to test the brakes. The brakes should bring the car to a stop quickly and without pulling to one side or making unusual noises, such as squeaking or grinding.

Everyday Conditions

Take the car on a mix of roads that mimic your daily driving routine. This includes city streets, highways, and possibly rougher terrain if relevant to your typical routes. Pay attention to how the car handles traffic, its comfort levels during longer drives, and any specific features that enhance or detract from the everyday driving experience.

Air Conditioning

One of the most important features as a driver in the UAE is the air conditioner, and you’ll want to make sure it is in working order. Test the air conditioning system by turning it on and observing how quickly it cools the cabin. The AC should blow cold air within a few moments of activation. While the AC is running, monitor the engine's behaviour—ideally, it should maintain a steady idle without straining or showing signs of stalling. Your test drive should be decently long to expose someone trying to hide a leak in the system by adding extra gas.


By following these detailed steps during your test drive, you can gather comprehensive information about the car's performance, comfort, and features. Remember that a test drive is your opportunity to ensure that the car aligns with your needs and preferences before making a purchase. Doing this for multiple cars will be important but also very time and effort-consuming.

To streamline this whole process, you can contact BeSoji to thoroughly inspect any car you may be interested in. This includes a test drive by a qualified professional, a 420-point inspection, a VIN and History Check and much more. Take the stress out of buying a used car with us by contacting us today.

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