Which manufacturers will sell you a car without having to visit the showroom?
Dealerships have gone to great lengths to seem more attractive than they used to. There are plants, soft music, and many salesmen manage to hide their scaly tails behind new workstations. But for many customers it can still seem a daunting prospect, particularly if they’ve had an unfortunate incident haggling for a rug in a Moroccan souk. Manufacturers know this and are taking steps to offer alternatives.
With so much shopping moving online – why not buy your car the same way? So which brands currently have an online shop where you go and browse freely, without the worry of that slithering sound behind you?
The UK was BMW’s first market for a full line-up of vehicles sold online. You can buy online including via cash or a finance package, but this only applies to BMW as the service has not yet rolled out to sister brand Mini.
Hyundai not only offers its range online, it also offers discounts for buying online. If you’re paying cash you can do it all through the website but finance deals mean a trip to the local dealer. Some cars can be delivered within seven days.
Jaguar Land Rover
This is more a retail experience, as befits the price tags on some of the vehicles. It’s more like visiting a virtual shopping centre, and there are experts available to explain features and options. You are under no pressure to buy at any given point, but can return at your leisure.
You can buy any vehicle in the Mitsubishi range through its website. Whether you’re buying with cash, hire purchase or PCP, you can do it all through the site and the car can then be delivered to your door or picked up from the local dealer.
Peugeot’s online service, Order Online, is coming up a year old already, and it allows you to spec the car to exactly how you want it, rather than buying dealer stock. Once you’ve ordered you can follow the progress of your order, through to delivery.
You can buy your Smart online, but only to preset configurations, unlike Peugeot. However, Smart focus on speed, with many cars ready to be picked up in just 12 days, with several finance options on offer from a lower PCP deposit to lower monthly payments.