Online is the latest way to buy a new car
The convenience of online shopping is coming to the world of new car sales, and Volvo is the latest car maker to offer a completely online service to buyers...
As consumers get used to buying more goods online, it isn't surprising that a growing number of UK car companies are enabling them to buy a new car without setting foot in a showroom.
All you need to do is create an online account, choose the dealership you'd like to supply the car, pick the car either from their stock or by configuring your preferred car to be ordered from the factory and get a valuation for your part-exchange, then choose the finance method (personal contract purchase, personal contract hire, hire purchase and cash purchase are all available) and set up the finance.
Once you've set up an account, you can save quotes and return at a later date when you're ready to go ahead with the purchase. Although all Volvo models can be bought online, initially, only the XC40 can be configured via Volvo Online, but the other models will be available from 3 May.
Which other car makers have an online buying service?
You can buy selected Hyundai models online at discounted prices, removing the need for potentially stressful showroom haggling with sales staff.
Hyundai’s Click To Buy website enables buyers to get a trade-in valuation for their part-exchange car, choose and spec up a new car, pay a refundable deposit, sort out finance and specify when and where the new car will be delivered.
Cash buyers can complete the entire transaction online; only those taking out finance need to visit a dealership to sign the paperwork.
Five Hyundai models are on offer initially: the i10, i20, i30, Kona and Tucson. Although prices are fixed and there’s no ability to haggle, they have a discount built in. For example, an i10 with a recommended retail price of £10,000 is offered for £8995 on Click To Buy.
Peugeot's Order Online service, which has been built into the peugeot.co.uk website, lets you complete the entire buying process for any car in its range in as little as 30 minutes. Customers who want to get their car quickly can be less picky about spec, opting for an engine and trim level with a short delivery time, while those who want to can create a bespoke vehicle.
Peugeot's site gives you a guaranteed price for your part-exchange vehicle and provides a 'concierge', who keeps buyers up to date on their order until it is delivered. Although no special discounts are applied to cars sold via Order Online, they are eligible for all finance offers and manufacturer-backed deposit contributions on PCP finance deals.
Nissan has committed to selling cars online, too. It opened up its first City Hub store in Paris in February and plans to open similar outlets in the UK.
Skoda has introduced the Skoda Virtual Showroom, in which you can have a live tour of a car you're interested in buying from a 'product host' via a live internet video link. Customers can access the online showroom via skoda.co.uk from computers, tablets and smartphones and get shown all around the car and find out how a range of features work. They can then arrange a test drive or configure the car they want.
Smart also offers a streamlined online buying process, and although it isn’t offering a discount on the cars, it’s providing a £1000-plus manufacturer deposit contribution. That equates to £1152 off a £12,815 Smart Fortwo on a PCP deal. At first, only one specially pre-configured Fortwo and one Forfour are available, both based on Prime trim.
You can also buy a wide range of new cars at a discount via What Car?’s New Car Buying service. Enter the details of the car you’re after and our car buying marketplace lets dealers around the UK offer you their best price for it.
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