Buying a car isn’t a fun task for all of us, sure if you’re a petrolhead and really like to dig into the detail and know your stuff, it’s fine. But for a lot of us it can be a headache. Whether it’s on Autotrader, eBay, car buying sites like heycar, CarSite, Desperate Seller, or AutoVillage, on the car makers websites, or local dealership websites, online is a good place to start, to see what’s out there for your budget, and refine what makes and models you like. Then it’d usually be a trip to a few dealerships, car supermarkets, or to people’s homes that are selling a car privately. All a bit of an effort, and not even doable recently during coronavirus lockdown measures.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic pushed more of us into making online purchases. In May 2020 with dealerships closed across the UK, there was still almost 13,000 new cars sold, the majority of them were online sales. Though even before the impact of coronavirus, we were increasingly turning to buying a car online. Not just browsing, but going through the whole process online.
Buying a car online might seem a bit daunting, but it’s is easier than it ever has been. More and more car dealers in the UK now let you configure a new car, or browse thousands of used models online.
The cars that are sold online through car dealers should have had all the usual checks as they do for cars being sold on a forecourt, so you can relax knowing that they’re tested and are in the condition described.
You can often find better deals online and you can apply for finance online. Cars that are sold online through dealerships come with a warranty and usually an MOT. You can arrange click and collect, and some companies even deliver to you. All you need to do is sort the tax and insurance.
So you know it’s easy and there’s deals to be had, but you may still be worried about whether buying a car online is safe.
It is, you have the same buying rights even if you don’t actually go to the showroom, distance selling regulations apply. So you can cancel your order within 14 days of it being delivered – and you don’t even have to give a reason. Plus, the 2015 Consumer Rights Act guarantees that you can reject the car within 30 days of purchase if a fault is found.
You can still safely test drive the car too, dealers have changed the way they do test drives due to coronavirus, you’re more likely to test drive the car on your own than with a salesperson. Many car makers also offer extended test drives, meaning you can take the car home for a day or two, giving you more time to decide if the car is the one for you.
You can buy a car online with heycar, who recently celebrated their one year anniversary of selling cars online in the UK. They have more than 150,000 cars listed on their site (1.2 million listed over the year!), from 3700 dealers – so plenty to choose from!
“Other online listings businesses are just digital versions of newspaper ads. That’s not heycar. We have features and products that improve the experience whether you’re a dealer or a consumer, the latest of which includes our worry-free money back guarantee, and our new Concierge service which helps car buyers take the stress and inconvenience out of car ownership. We’re excited to continue this into next year.”
– CEO Mat Moakes