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How we test products

  • Our team of product experts spend hours testing as many products as they can get their hands on
  • Learn all about our testing methodologies, score meanings and more here
  • Why you can trust our testing,

Written by Parkers Published: 2 July 2024 Updated: 2 July 2024

Here in the ownership section of Parkers, we understand firsthand that purchases don’t stop once you buy a car. From the essentials of washer fluid and headlight bulbs to dash cams, cleaning products and security devices, our team of experts are the best people available to find the right products for you.

To find the best example of any automotive product available, we take first-hand experience very seriously. With so many miles driven by our team each week, we’re able to incorporate the vast majority of products we test into our everyday lives and really learn what they’re like to live with.

With so much testing under our belt, we can be sure that any product we recommend will be worth your hard-earned money.

Our scoring explained

Ryan Gilmore tests a vacuum cleaner on a car mat
Ryan Gilmore tests a vacuum cleaner on a car mat

Everything we test gets a score out of five, whether it’s featured in a stand-alone review or included in one of our expertly written product buying guides. We do our best to break down product-specific testing criteria in our articles, all in the name of helping you make the most informed decision possible., Here’s a handy guide to what each score means:

One star – Reserved for the worst-performing products. If it scores this low, we’d have no qualms telling you to avoid it like the plague. We will, however, ensure due diligence is undertaken before awarding this score, as it’s not awarded without good reason.

Two stars A product with this score will be sub-par in most areas. These products aren’t as offensively bad as the above products, but we still wouldn’t recommend spending your hard-earned money on them.

Three stars – Perfectly average in every way. It fits the brief for what it is but doesn’t stand out in any way.

Four stars – Above and beyond the baseline for a category, anything with this rating will be better than average in a couple of areas. We would consider using our own money to buy these.

Five stars – Above and beyond, the class-leading products that sit right in the white heat of innovation, quality and effectiveness. Not handed out lightly, these products are worth every penny.

How do we test products?

Luke Wilkinson applies a spray to a car ready for a photoshoot
Luke Wilkinson applies a spray to a car ready for a photoshoot

Every product we receive is tested in real-world situations to give us a full picture of its performance.

Often assembling a collection of products for direct comparison tests, we test every product on a number of cars, including our own, press cars and even the cars belonging to other members of Bauer Media. This means we can test both versatility and overall performance in the real world.

How we source products

Our product experts often request the products we source following thorough desk-based research. Most of the time, we contact manufacturers for samples, but on occasion, we are sent new releases to test.

Every product we test will receive a fair and balanced review. We never let relationships with manufacturers cloud our judgement and brush over shortcomings. We believe that nothing is perfect, and faults, however small, will always crop up in our testing. If a wheel cleaner leaves us feeling dizzy or a dash cam continuously bongs like a rave track, we will report it. We also ensure that more than one person tries the product to ensure our judgment is as authoritative as possible.

Who tests the products?

Aaron Hussain cleans a brown car to test a car shampoo
Aaron Hussain cleans a brown car to test a car shampoo

Here at Parkers, we have a team of dedicated product testers who’ll test the majority of the items we receive. That being said, the Parkers team has lent their expertise on everything from handheld vacuum cleaners and tyres to impact wrenches and RC cars.

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Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections – read why you should trust us