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Top Tips for Test Driving

HPI urges buyers to put their dream car through its paces before they complete the deal

When it comes to buying a used car, taking it for a test drive is vital - not only will it help buyers make sure everything is in working order, it will help them appreciate if the car is suited to their day-to-day driving needs. HPI, the provider of the HPI Check®, is helping used car buyers make an informed decision and has created 10 test driving tips as a guide.

“A test drive is crucial as it will help you identify any driving performance issues with the car. However you also need to check out whether it’s practical for your lifestyle. Can you squeeze three kids, your elderly mother and supermarket shop in the back whilst simultaneously attaching the family’s bikes to the roof? Do you enjoy wild weekends in the wilderness taking your wagon cross country, driving through rutted country roads, or are you a city nipper? These questions should determine the kind of car you decide on,” explains Neil Hodson, Managing Director of HPI.

He continues, “Many buyers will be able to identify with that impatient feeling of wanting to take home a shiny new car, but it’s essential buyers don’t let their heart rule their head and take their time and put the car through its paces. Check out the essentials; the engine, clutch and being fit for purpose are probably the top most vital things to consider.”

10 Top Test Driving Tips from HPI:

1. Are You Covered?
If you’re buying from a private seller you can get ‘day’ insurance for a reasonable price and if you are planning on test driving a few cars on the same day, it’s well worth it. If you’re buying from a dealer they will have their own insurance policy for buyers to test drive.

2. Engineer The Drive To Suit You
Before you begin your test drive the engine should be cold. If it is warm, the seller may be trying to cover up a starting problem. If it is warm, wait until the engine has cooled down.

3. Sitting Comfortably
Once you get in the car make sure you adjust the steering wheel and the mirrors. Do they operate smoothly?

4. Check The Clutch
If the car doesn’t reach the biting point until the pedal has almost reached its highest point it may be worn which may be a warning of things to come!

5. Fit For Purpose?
If it’s a family car, make sure you take the kids along with you. Check how easy it is to fasten a child seat? Can you get the kids in along with their pushchairs and school bags? Is there enough room for the weekly food shop too? If the children aren’t comfortable this may not be the car for you.

6. Timing The Test
A 30 minute test drive is a good amount to time to get acquainted with the car. Drive on a variety of roads including country, dual carriages and motorway. How does the car handle?

7. Examine The Electrics
Make sure all the controls and electrics work properly, switch every electrical item on to make sure it’s functioning. Try heating the car to start with and then cool it down with the air con to see how effective it is.

8. Unusual Occurrences
As you’re driving, listen out for any strange noises. Look in your rear view mirror to see if there is any smoke escaping from the exhaust.

9. Seeing Clearly
Reverse park to check all round vision and your blind spots before you finish your test drive. Can you see through your mirrors clearly? Does it feel comfortable?

10. Emergency Stop
Test your brakes…

Neil concludes, “The chances are you’ll be driving your purchase for the next four years or more, so it’s important to make a well-informed decision. If you don’t feel confident about taking a test drive yourself, take someone with you who you trust to do this on your behalf. And of course make the most of the tools that are readily available to you such as investing in an independent vehicle inspection by a professional and a vehicle history check, which could uncover a hidden past that can’t be revealed by a test drive alone or by looking under the bonnet.”

The HPI Check, includes a mileage check against the National Mileage Register as standard, now with over 170 million mileage readings. HPI also confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen with the police, has outstanding finance against it or has been written off, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a fast profit. In addition, the HPI Check offers a £30,000 *Guarantee in the event of the information it provides being inaccurate, offering added financial peace of mind to used car buyers.
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Get Into Gear With Ten Top Tips For Test Driving

March 2015

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Notes to Editors:

Laura Welsh, Madeleine Roles, Hannah Talbot or Justine Hoadley
Tel: 0208 977 9132

About HPI:

Originally established in 1938, HPI Limited is a primary source of vehicle information for the UK motor industry and motoring consumer which, since December 2008, has been owned by Solera Holdings, Inc. Solera Holdings, Inc. is an integrated group of leading automotive claims solutions companies. Founded in January 2005 by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tony Aquila, Solera has expanded its geographic reach and now serves more than 55,000 business customers in over 50 countries across six continents.
HPI encompasses both the HPI database of all UK road registered vehicle descriptions and histories, and the National Mileage Register (NMR) which holds in excess of 170 million mileage readings.
Together, HPI and NMR represent one of the UK's largest vehicle information sources, combining and interpreting data from government agencies, industry bodies, private organisations, the police and the general public. Registering with HPI helps companies to protect their financial interests in motor vehicles and a wide range of other mobile assets. HPI Checks give purchasers instant confirmation of whether vehicles are correctly described, known to be subject to outstanding finance or serious accident damage, or recorded as stolen or "clocked".
'HPI' and the HPI logo are registered trademarks of HPI Limited.

(1) All prices include VAT and are correct as of 2nd January 2015
(2) Mileage Data is not covered by The HPI Guarantee
(3) *The HPI Guarantee is subject to terms and conditions

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