Buying a car through What Car?: frequently asked questions
Great discounts are achievable if you buy with our network of approved dealers through our New Car Buying service – here's how it works...
What Car? has been reviewing cars, highlighting the best cars in every class and revealing which models represent good value for money for more than 45 years.
We are now using this expertise to make buying a new car easier for everyone through our online New Car Buying service.
The service brings together What Car? approved dealers, all of which use our Target Price discounts as the basis for their deals, and who will compete for your custom. You can talk to the dealers through our secure messaging system, or by email or phone, from the comfort of your home.
Below are some frequently asked questions about the service.
Why should I buy a car through What Car?
At What Car? our aim is to make buying a car as straightforward as possible, so our New Car Buying service puts you in touch with approved franchised dealers who can offer you a great deal.
They use our Target Price discounts as the basis for the prices they offer, and this is set by a team of mystery shoppers who are constantly checking what discounts are available, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of haggling.
How does What Car?'s New Car Buying service work?
Simply use our drop-down menus to find the car you're interested in – or read our reviews – and then click the 'find deals' button to see our latest discounts. We'll alert dealers in your area so they can bid for your business, and you can chat with them through our site, or by email and phone. We'll ask for some basic details to help tailor any quote to your needs.
How do I compare offers?
You can request quotes on as many different cars as you like, and from as many different dealers as you like – swhether it's the one closest to you, or the one offering the best price.
Once you have signed up, your personalised ‘My deals’ page makes it easy to compare all of your offers in one place.
Am I legally bound to complete an offer I express an interest in?
No. Deals listed within our system are not legally binding until a sales agreement is signed with the dealer. You can therefore decline to proceed with a deal at any time up until the point when the final sale is completed.
What about optional extras?
You may want to offer optional extras as part of your deal that are not shown on our website. These could include additional accessories for your car, or service plans for ongoing maintenance.
To get a price on these, simply message the dealer regarding the car you want and list the options that you'd like to add.
What if I can't find my chosen model listed?
If you can't find the exact model you're looking for listed on our website, then put a request in for the nearest make or make and model of car that is listed, but add a message to the dealer in our secure messaging system, specifying what you are looking for. They will respond if they can help.
Can I get personalised finance quotes and part exchange offers?
In addition to our Target Price, we provide a Target PCP monthly finance price. This is based on set criteria (48 months, a 15% deposit and an 8000-mile annual mileage limit unless otherwise stated) so you can directly compare different models.
However, this can only be a guide as finance deals are specific to individual circumstances. To get a precise offer, message the dealer and request a personalised finance offer, or part exchange value, at the click of a button.
What is a PCP?
This form of finance is the most popular way of buying a new car. Unlike hire purchase agreements, which divide the total amount borrowed into equal payments, Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deals involve a deposit, smaller monthly bills, followed by a larger final payment if you want to keep the car. However, most people never pay this; instead they hand the car back and start a new PCP deal. Find out more here.
When do I pay for my car?
Your dealer will ask you to pay an up-front deposit when you confirm that you intend to purchase the car. This will reserve it and enable the dealer to send through the relevant production notes to the manufacturer. If you are purchasing your car using a finance plan, you’ll start paying your monthly payment upon delivery. If you are making a full cash payment up front for your car, the balance of payment will be made upon delivery.
Are there any additional costs?
Using the What Car? website is free and you will not be charged for using our New Car Buying service. You may be requested to pay additional delivery costs if you live beyond a certain distance from your chosen dealer.
Can the dealer change their offer price at the last moment?
All of our listed dealers have committed to our Dealer Charter which promotes best practice in the marketplace. This includes a commitment to provide you with your chosen vehicle to the exact specification ordered, at the price agreed. In the unlikely event that a dealer changes their offer price between you expressing an interest in the offer and you buying the car, please contact us before purchase, so we can investigate any issues regarding the original offer.
Do I receive a warranty with my purchase?
Yes. Our New Car Buying service puts you in touch with manufacturer-approved franchised dealers. This means that when a sale is completed, you will receive the same UK-wide warranty as if you had visited the dealer in the showroom.
How long will I need to wait for my car?
Many of our listed cars, like the majority of UK dealership sales, will be ordered directly from the factory, individually specified to your requirements – however, you can also ask dealers about what cars they have in stock, including nearly new and pre-reg cars.
Lead times for factory ordered cars can vary depending on the make and model purchased, where the car is being built, and whether there is a current production run of that vehicle already in progress (many factories operate a batch production process, so different models will be manufactured in batches on the same factory production line at different times).
Your dealer will confirm the likely waiting time before you complete your sales agreement.
Nearly new and pre-reg cars have far shorter waiting times, usually restricted only by the time it takes to complete the paperwork and get the car delivered.
What makes What Car?’s new car buying service unique?
We review more cars than anyone else
Our verdicts are reached by experienced, independent car testers
Our dealers base their deals on our unique Target Price
You will receive offers from dealers via our secure platform, email and by phone
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here
Best plug-in hybrid cars 2023
Plug-in hybrid cars can reduce fuel consumption to an absolute minimum, but which models are the best all-rounders and which ones should you avoid?
Volvo XC40 plug-in hybrid long-term test
What Car? Award-winning family SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, so is it the best choice for buyers seeking practical but economical motoring? We have four months to find out