buying a car - the choices

what choices are ther for buying a car?

buying a car - the choices

Where should you go when buying or changing your car?

These days the choices open to a prospective car buyer are far better than they used to be. Gone are the days when the only options were your local second hand car dealership or the manufacturer's franchise outlets for new cars.

For new cars, the main franchise dealerships are still a force in the market but with the introduction of the block exemptions rules from Europe, they have had to up their game some what in order to remain competitive. New cars are now available from a variety of sources such as large car supermarkets, independent traders, specialist firms and even the Internet. Manufacturers have been quick to recognise the changing markets and marques such as Vauxhall also offer their new cars direct to the public for a discount through their website. The overall effect of this increased competition has worked in the car-buyer's favour as prices have tended to fall across the board.

This revolution in the car trade started slowly as buyers, frustrated with high prices in the UK started to look to the continent to source their vehicles. Many entrepreneurs saw an opportunity and set themselves up as agents to handle the negotiations and paper work for clients. As prices remained high in the UK, the practise of importing new cars flourished. The inevitable consequence was that the manufacturers and dealerships had to react and by reducing prices they have largely eliminated this method of new car purchase. For some specialist models however, a 'grey import' as they are termed, is still an economic method of buying a new car.

New car supermarkets have sprung up all over the country supplying popular models that are ready to drive away. The disadvantage is that you have to accept the specification of the cars on offer but the prices are low and they are immediately available. The cars come with the usually three-year manufacturer's warranty and they can be serviced at any Approved Service centre for the appropriate make, which theses days does not have to be a franchised dealership.

For used cars, the choices available to buyers has always been greater than for new cars but even these have increased and been more readily available over recent years. The traditional local used car dealer now has to contend with large supermarket outlets that make their stock available to customers over the internet.

Auctions, once the preserve of the used car dealers, now welcome the public who can bid along side their professional counterparts for the cars on offer. Obviously, although the prices will be lower than those you would pay at your local dealership, the risks of buying a 'Lemon' are that much greater for the unwary buyer.

As with the new car franchise dealers, the local used car businesses have also had to adapt to the changing times in the motor industry. The result is that many are now offering to source new cars as part of their services along side their used stock. It is all good news for the car buyer as this increased competition has brought lower prices, more choice and generally improved service all round.