Don't cut out the middle man

* The champions of new car discounts * Follow our guide to buying through one... * ...and it'll be safe, simple and save you 1000s...

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Will Nightingale
6 Jul 2011 09:33 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Online brokers are the champions of new car discounts. Follow our guide and buying through one will be simple, safe and save you s

Think that getting a great price on a new car requires lots of legwork, the gift of the gab and enough time to visit showrooms and haggle until you drop? Think again, because the rise of internet brokers means that the best deals are often just a few clicks of a mouse and a quick phone call away.

Surf around and youll soon find huge savings online. How about 2100 (11%) off the price of a new Volkswagen Golf? Or 4800 (13%) off a Jaguar XF?

Read on to find out just how online brokers operate and why using one can be just as safe as buying from your local dealer.

What is a broker?
Most of us will shop online for a new book, a DVD or even a TV, but a new car is a different proposition. No wonder: the sums involved are much larger, and the companies you deal with arent exactly household names.

So we werent surprised when a third of people who responded to a whatcar.com survey told us they wouldnt even contemplate using a broker. A further 41% admitted that although they might consider buying online, theyd be nervous about it.

That apprehension is understandable, but its borne out of a misunderstanding of how brokers work. You arent really buying online at all. The broker is just a middleman, negotiating a great price on your behalf and taking a small cut of the dealers profit. You still buy the car from a franchised UK dealer, so it will be brand new and come with the full manufacturers warranty.

The best news is that youll get savings that even a professional haggler would struggle to match. The average web discount available on our 2011 Car of the Year winners, for example, is 2762 (10%). By comparison , even our own Target Price shoppers who get discounts by bartering with dealers achieve an averageof just 1937 (7%).

How can brokers sell cars so cheaply? For starters, they are setting up deals for bulk sales and so have special relationships with dealers. They also dont have the overhead costs of a main dealer, such as an expensive showroom, car park and staff, and they dont have to invest hours of time in every customer, offering advice and going on test drives, for instance.