Car technology to check when buying a used car

words Alexa Wang

Most modern cars now include a plethora of technology features. From conventional technology such as heating and lights, to the latest sat-nav developments, if you’re looking at buying any used car produced in the past decade you’ll need to ensure these are all in good working order.

When taking a second-hand car on a test drive there are various technology elements you need to check to make sure that there’s nothing wrong with them and that you’re not being sold a dodgy vehicle.


Bright Lights

Test driving a car in the dark can instantly show you whether the lights are in fully working order or not. Otherwise it’s worth turning them all on and off at different stages, getting out and checking. When it’s simply a bulb that is out this could be used as a price negotiation point but also a warning sign that there may be other problems with the car, so be extra vigilant with other checks. On the other hand, replacing a bulb is cheap and easy.

Air-con and Heating

Especially if you’re buying a fresh car in summer or winter, you’ll want to know that the heating or air-con works. Test both out, whatever the weather, by turning each on full blast for a few minutes. If you notice no or little temperature difference, then ask the seller why it doesn’t work or if you’ve not turned them on properly.

A Working Radio

It won’t affect the car’s performance but having a play around with the radio and any other entertainment options is advisable on a test drive. Check that what’s included matches the description if you’ve browsed a range of vehicles online at Unbeatablecar first. Flick between stations, dial up the volume and see if it still plays CDs, as you don’t want to be bored on those long drives.

The Dashboard

Modern cars can be more complex, so if the dashboard is full of buttons it can be off-putting. Where possible, ask the seller as many questions. Some dealerships will have a tech expert who can run you through all the controls. Ask if you can test drive the car overnight (more likely when buying new, expensive models) to really get a sense of whether you can get to grips with its tech or not.

Device Connectivity

Connecting smartphones to a car’s system either to stream music, charge the device or use as a sat-nav is now more important than ever for many drivers. Technology in cars today moves fast. Try this out before setting off on a test drive, to ensure that your phone and the vehicle are compatible.

It’s important to keep up with the latest technology in automobile industry. Once you’ve ticked all these technology features off your checklist and are happy with the car’s performance, you should have hopefully found your next vehicle.


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