Can I Buy a Car Online in the UK?
With today's technology and the internet, you can easily buy a car online using your smartphone. These days you don't even need your laptop to visit a website - many car dealerships have apps. You only need to download the app and browse the many brand-new or second-hand cars available for sale.
Buying a car online in the UK is easy; they'll even potentially deliver it right to your door. However, if this is your first time buying a car online, you might be asking how do I buy a car online? Or you may wonder where you can buy one from. So, without further ado, here are some quick tips about online car buying you might want to know. 👍
Where Can I Buy a Car Online in the UK?
You can buy a car online directly from car manufacturers, new and used car dealerships, and third-party car shopping websites. Here's a rundown of each option available to you:
Directly from Car Manufacturers
When shopping for a car online, you can start by visiting the official websites of car manufacturers. Many of them already have their own sales platforms online. This means it's no longer necessary to visit their dealership because you can check what models they have, the specs of each of the models, and other options available to you as a car buyer. You can name all the big car manufacturers like Volvo, Peugeot, Hyundai, Renault, or Vauxhall, and you can bet they're selling cars online in the UK.
There's a catch to this option, though. Not all manufacturers offer the same kinds of car financing. One might only provide Personal Contract Purchase car finance deals, whilst another might only have Hire Purchase available. You might even find ones that offer part-exchange, and they may also have a calculator conveniently placed on their website where you can get an estimate of your car's part-exchange value.
It depends on the car manufacturer, so be sure to check out what kind of car finance they're offering buyers who want to buy a car online.
New and Used Car Dealerships
Besides car manufacturers, many new and second-hand car dealerships are now available online through their websites or apps. Before the COVID outbreak, some were already selling cars online, but during the pandemic, many had to close their brick-and-mortar showrooms.
Many UK car dealerships took inspiration from supermarkets and their click-and-collect services. Through this, customers can choose the car they want through the website or app, and purchase it online. After that, they can collect the vehicle or get it delivered to them, whichever is more convenient. Learn more about online car buying deliveries in our useful guide.
Third-party Car Shopping Websites
Finally, there are online car marketplaces. What's great about these third-party car shopping websites is they offer unbiased car reviews on their blogs. Also, they have so many vehicles to choose from, and they usually include most, if not all, of the brands and models available in the UK.
Don't be daunted by the thought that this will confuse you when shopping for a new car. On the contrary, it's more convenient because you don't have to jump from one website to the next. You can filter the options like brand, model, price, and others. Once you're done, the dealerships will present you with their best offers through your account with the third-party car marketplace.
You can check out the top 5 used car websites in our blog if you don't know where to start.
But what if you want to check the actual car before buying it? Is it possible to do that online, too? Actually, yes. A lot of car dealerships in the UK would be happy to have a video call with you so they can have a chance to show you the car you want.
Is It Safe to Buy a Car Online in the UK?
Buying a car in the UK through a website is generally safe, provided you look on a genuine website. You even have more protection as a consumer if you purchase online, rather than at an actual dealership. The UK law stipulates that buying a car remotely, either online or over the phone, means the Consumer Contracts Regulations cover you. But what does this mean exactly?
As a consumer who bought a product online, you have the right to cancel your purchase within 14 days of receiving it. No questions will be asked, and you will receive a full refund. You also have protection under the Distance Selling Regulations. This is not available for car buyers who purchased from a dealership in person.
However, note that this only works if the car-buying process is 100% remotely done. If you've visited the dealership to put down a deposit or even sign an agreement, it's no longer guaranteed that you'll get a full refund. You would be bound by the dealership's terms and conditions. It's important to emphasise how necessary and beneficial it is to read and understand the agreement before you sign it.
What Car Can I Buy Online?
You can buy almost any type of car online, new or second-hand, but it depends significantly on where you're buying it. In our blog, we cover some of the best cars you can buy to fit your budget, such as the best cars under £20,000. Here are some options to consider when looking to buy online:
These cars are brand new, and they've been built specifically to satisfy the set of features you want to see on the car. It will take longer than buying what's in stock, so manage your expectations when purchasing a built-to-order car.
With this type of car, you also get a brand-new vehicle, but you don't have to wait. They are available immediately since they're already in stock. If you don't need any extra features on the car, choosing a dealer stock vehicle is a great option.
Nearly new or Ex-demonstrator
If you want a car that's essentially brand new but much cheaper, it might be worth your while to buy an ex-demonstrator car or nearly-new vehicles. These cars were used very slightly but not as someone else's vehicle. They are often used for test drives, so they will have some miles on them, but usually not too many.
Should I buy a car online UK?
There is no reason not to buy a car online in the UK. Purchasing a vehicle online is convenient and lets you find the best deals. You can compare dealerships, research the available vehicles, and have your chosen car delivered straight to your door. Just ensure you check it over to see if the condition is as it should be.
So, can you buy a car online in the UK? Definitely! In fact, it's never been easier! You can start by doing an online search for the term "best online car dealership UK" or something similar, and you'll get at least a thousand results in a fraction of a second. From there, you can visit the website of car manufacturers and dealerships or third-party car marketplaces. You can do it all while lounging on your sofa.
You can even pay for your car with Carmoola car finance from your phone too! It's all in-app, you'll get a decision within 60 seconds, and all reputable online dealerships will accept our virtual payment card. Simple! 😃🚘
Wondering how the actual online car buying process works? Check out our blog that reveals how to buy a car online UK.