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Tesco enters used car online market

Tesco Cars launches following Carsite acquisition

Tesco Cars homepage

Tesco has entered the online used car market with Tesco Cars

Confirming ongoing rumours in the motoring industry, Tesco has become the first general retailer to launch a used car buying site.

The supermarket giant, which already takes one in seven pounds spent by the British shopper, launched the site yesterday, offering an internet-only service for buyers of second-hand cars.

The anticipated move into the £24bn motor market broke on Friday when Carsite removed all the cars from its website after Tesco bought a significant minority stake in the online dealership.

Read our guide to Buying cheap cars online or let us know if you’d buy a car from Tesco

No test drives

Tesco Tyres homepage

Tesco also launched Tesco Tyres in January

Tesco, which also launched tescotyres.com in January, may be going head-to-head with some established used car dealers, but it claims to offer low prices by keeping costs down. 

The site will have detailed pictures of each vehicle for sale, including any shots of scrapes, dents and damage. Each car advertised will have a history report and fuel usage details, too.

However, Tesco Cars will not give consumers the chance to test drive vehicles, instead presenting potential buyers with a video of the car being tested.

Tesco Cars says it will carry out strict vetting processes, including a 167-point mechanical inspection by the RAC, and each car will come with a one month RAC warranty.

Tesco says it will advertise up to 3,000 cars a week, sourced from hire and lease fleets, so expect detailed service histories and a majority of one-registered-keeper stock.

As part of the Tesco service, consumers will be rewarded with 2,000 Tesco Clubcard points with any vehicle they buy. The retailer will offer a seven-day money back guarantee for buyers who are unhappy with their purchase. But there will ne no negotiations on the price listed on the site, so what you see is what you get.

Follow the Which? Car Buying a used car guide or read our guide to used car warranties

No middle man, expensive showrooms or salesmen

Andrew Higginson, chief executive of retailing services at Tesco, said: ‘By supplying directly to customers, there is no middle man, no expensive showroom and no salespeople on commission.

‘There’s no pressure, no hard sell. You can select and buy your car from the comfort of you own home and, just like your weekly shop, we will even deliver it to your front door.’

Sir Trevor Chinn, chairman of Carsite and Tesco Cars, added: ‘Consumers want to know they can trust the information supplied about a used car, that they are getting value for money and good customer service.

‘Importantly they also want to be able to take their time to make the right purchase for them. We are delivering a positive new experience for today’s car buyer.’

Tesco Cars is the latest automotive acquisition for the nation’s leading retailer, alongside Tesco Tyres, Tesco Car Insurance and Tesco Breakdown Cover.

Read all our Buying a car advice

Get more from Which? Car

Get more from Which? Car

Magazine: Which? Car magazine is the UK’s only independent car guide (we don’t take ads, so our reviews are totally impartial). The Winter 2011 issue is the first of the new look Which? Car, packed with more new and used car reviews than ever before. We’ve dedicated more pages to in-depth reviews of all the major cars on sale today, helping you to make the most educated decision about buying a new or used car. It’s on sale now, priced at £4.99, available from Sainsbury’s, Tesco, WH Smith, Martin McColl and good independent newsagents.

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