Where to buy - Buying a Car
Where you buy your car will affect the type of car you buy, and the level of service that you receive. Think about what you're looking for, and the best place to find it.
• Main dealers' sticker prices – those you see on the windscreen – might be the most expensive, but you should be getting the best service. You’ll be quoted the highest prices but you can haggle a good discount. Remember, the What Car? Target Price is the most you should pay for a new car. Check out the What Car? Price Guide or wharcar.com for used car prices.
• Brokers put you in touch with dealers offering competitive new car prices but you might have to travel to pick up the car.
• Internet companies allow you to quickly search and find the best prices on a wide range of cars. However, just because they’ve advertised a car, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be able to supply one quickly. Sometimes they sell used cars as well.
• Independent car supermarkets offer a huge number of cars covering the popular brands but, if you're looking for something unusual, you may be disappointed. These are sometimes a good place to pick up a nearly new car.
• Importers can often supply cars at lower prices than anyone else, depending on exchange rates. It might also be a route to securing a car with a waiting list in the UK - but make sure you’re buying a car with the correct specification.
• Smaller independents usually stock a wide range of used cars but might not have the largest choice in terms of specification and colour. They tend to sell the cars that are too old for franchised dealers but they are more expensive than buying privately.
• Online auctions like eBay are becoming more popular. You could find a bargain through the internet like this, but there's lots to bear in mind so take a look at our dedicated advice page.