When looking to buy a new car, there are many options available to you. You could visit a car showroom or car dealership, which remains a good way for many people to buy a vehicle.
Alternately, you could instead visit a large car ‘supermarket’ with a large range of car makes and models, or you could use a car broker. There are also online car-buying services where dealers can compete for your business by offering you their best prices. We will take a closer look at the options to help you decide where to find the best car deals in the UK.
The benefit of visiting a dealer is face-to-face customer service, especially where large, franchised dealers are concerned. You benefit from have someone to answer questions and if you are buying a new car, you can order the exact specification you want. The cars are there to look at in person and there is often the option to test drive. You also have a place to come back to if anything goes wrong. However, buying from a franchised dealer can be expensive and often you need to haggle to get a good price. The range can also be limited, sometimes to one single manufacturer and dealers may push unnecessary add-ons or insurance.
If you tell a car broker what you want, they will buy a car for you. This means you can avoid haggling at a dealership and a good broker could save you thousands on the car you want. Some brokers can only be found online, though you can also find many that will let you call up and speak to them. With a car broker, it’s easy to compare prices and specifications and you can typically order the specification you want. However, the drawbacks of going through a car broker are that you cannot test drive a car and delivery fees can also vary, so it’s wise to check beforehand. You also want to be sure to make sure you are using a reputable broker.
You can also buy a car entirely online which is a very convenient option. With sites such as Buyacar, Carwow and Autoebid you can select and order the exact car you want, and they will even help you get a good price. However, the process does vary with each service. The advantages of an online car buying service include fair prices with no haggling required and you can also order the exact specification you want. The cars are sourced either from a reputable dealer or directly from the manufacturer. However, this service is usually only available for new cars, and you cannot test drive the car beforehand. Another drawback is that you will likely have limited contact or information on the progress, and you may still end up having to deal with the car dealer to arrange delivery or to clarify the options you want.
Car supermarkets stock mainly used vehicles, though some also sell fresh from the factory and pre-registered cars with low mileage. The prices are very competitive especially compared with main dealers and most offer finance packages. You also benefit from seeing a lot of different makes and models in one place. The option to test drive is usually available and you can also drive the car home on the same day. Though in most cases the customer service is limited, and the choice of cars depends entirely on what they have in stock. You usually can’t order a new car with precise specifications.
Traditional classified websites, like Autotrader, have a huge volume of cars on offer. Autotrader, for example, often has over 400,000 used cars listed. This means there is plenty of choices which can also be very useful for those after rarer models. Caution is advised with classified sites and if you buy from a private seller and the car turns out to be faulty you will have a limited legal comeback. Some websites have classified adverts for cars only from selected sources, offering greater peace of mind to buyers. The biggest of these are AA Cars, Trusted Dealers and RAC Cars.