Buying a car Where should you buy a new car?
Buying a car from a local dealer may be the easiest option, but is it the best? We’ve weighed up the pros and cons of the other options open to you when buying a new car to find out.
Buying a car from franchised dealers
Customer service counts for a lot, and many people return to the main dealers they know if they've had good previous experiences.
- Face-to-face service; someone to answer questions
- Order the exact specification you want
- Wide choice of cars to look at and test-drive
- Easy to part exchange your old car
- Best comeback if things go wrong
- Expensive – but haggle hard and you can usually get a fair discount
- Selling your old car privately usually beats part-exchange values
Buying a car from brokers
Telephone- and can deliver a bargain to your door – if you can make do without the personal service you’ll get from a dealer.
- You can save thousands of pounds on main dealer prices
- Most now source cars from other UK dealers, so it’s easy to compare prices and specs
- You can usually order the specification you want
- One-stop shop for many different makes and models
- No test drives available and limited personal contact
- Delivery times and fees can vary – check up front
- Not many offer a part-exchange service
Buying a car from car supermarkets
Supermarkets are a growing threat to established car dealers. Their stock is mainly used, though many also sell factory-fresh and pre-registered cars (those already registered but with only delivery mileage).
- Very competitive prices – especially compared with main dealers
- Lots of makes and models on one site
- Test drives are available – though rarely offered
- Most offer finance packages
- Drive the car away the same day
- Choice depends on what’s in stock
- ‘No-frills’ approach to customer service in most cases
- New cars may be imports, so check for full UK specification
- Clock will already be running on pre-registered cars’ warranties
Buying a car from import agents
You can still save thousands on some cars by buying from dealers in other EU countries. An import agent should make the process easier.
- Can source big discounts from other EU countries
- Saves you hassle on paperwork, negotiation and collection
- Will usually deliver to your door
- Importing can be time-consuming and delivery times long
- Comparing prices is tricky due to currency fluctuations and equipment differences across countries
- Agent may want a large deposit before confirming delivery date