How to buy a car online: home delivery, 14-day return policy

Avoid car dealers, dealerships, and rubbish coffee with our guide on how to buy a car online

BuyaCar team
Jan 21, 2019

New car sales have been declining for two years but business is booming for online retailers, where orders are almost doubling each year.

Whether you're time-poor, looking to avoid pushy sales staff or simply can't face trudging round a dealership, the online buying process ensures that you can find your ideal car from the comfort of your own sofa.

That's reason enough to buy online but there are substantial other benefits too. You can compare savings from across the country with fixed prices so there's no awkward haggling. It's quick too: you can find and order your car, then apply for finance in just 30 minutes.

For more information, you can speak to a real person in BuyaCar's London call centre. And while you might not get to see the car before it arrives on your doorstep, this arrangement does mean that it's classed as distance selling so you have a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you decide that you don't want the car, you're entitled to a full refund - fair-use restrictions apply.

 

How to buy a car online: money back guarantee

The 14-day money-back guarantee that applies to distance selling is a huge safety net for online buyers. If you decide that you don’t want the car within this period, you can have your money back, without having to provide a reason.

This is long enough to give the car a thorough going over: checking that the kids can get comfortable; that the dog fits in the back; and that you can load your shopping without breaking any eggs.

The Consumer Contracts Regulation (2013) will allow you to drive a reasonable distance within this time period to try out the car, and still receive a refund if you send the car back. Fair use policies do apply and if you go beyond a reasonable distance then the option to return the car may no longer be available. BuyaCar's cancellation and returns policy sets the distance at 30 miles, beyond which the option to return expires.

 

Check the specification of a car online

When choosing a car it’s important to check that it has all of the bells and whistles you want from it. Car manufacturers are always changing trim levels, and the amount of equipment fitted as standard to each trim level.

This isn’t so much of a problem when you’re ordering a new car, but ensuring that your car has everything you want can seem like an enormous effort when buying used, especially if you can't see the car.

Every vehicle sold online should include a description and list of standard equipment and you can always ask a retailer to double-check that a specific feature is included.

Applying for finance online

Although you can complete the purchase of your car in the time it takes to drink a cup of tea, buying online means that you can take it at your pace. So there's plenty of opportunity to look at prices and compare finance quotes before committing to anything.

If you do decide to apply for finance with BuyaCar, we'll work with our panel of lenders to find you a competitive quote and confirm the offer quickly, so there's no delay in securing your car.

How to buy a car online: arrange tax and insurance

Arranging your insurance is easy, and little different than to buying a car from a dealership. As always, it makes sense to get a quote before ordering your car to ensure that you have a good estimate of cost.

Once you’ve placed your order you’ll be given the precise details needed to compare quotes and order insurance to begin on your car's delivery date

When this is done and your car arrives, you’ll be able to tax your car. Your V5C logbook, which will be delivered with the car, has all the information you need to tax it. The process can be done within minutes online or on the phone.

 

How to buy a car online: delivery

Getting your new car delivered straight to your front door certainly beats travelling across the country on a series of trains and then driving it back to your home.

BuyaCar deliveries are made from Monday to Friday and you’ll usually be able to choose the day of your delivery. You’ll be given an estimated time of arrival and you should expect a courtesy call from your delivery driver when they are about an hour away.

The cheapest way to get your car delivered is to have it driven to your address. There is also the option to have it brought to you on a transporter, but this is more expensive.

If you’re buying via finance, your car will need to be delivered to the home address on the finance paperwork. Cash buyers can choose to have the car delivered elsewhere, to a workplace, for example. 

If you’re part-exchanging your current car, it’s normally picked up from your home address, and when possible, at the same time as when your new car is delivered.

 

The differences between buying new and used car online

BuyaCar sells four distinct types of vehicles (in terms of age).

Brand new cars

You can own a car that's built entirely to your specification by ordering it from the factory. BuyaCar offers this service for most manufacturers and you'll also benefit from manufacturer-backed finance. This process is the slowest (as you have to wait for the car to be built) and can take several weeks to get a car to you.

New cars in stock

BuyaCar also has new cars that are in stock. This type of car has already been built, and is already in Britain. These may be unregistered, or registered to a dealer. They typically have under 100 miles under their belts and are ready for delivery.

Nearly-new cars

Nearly-new cars are typically less than a year old and have already had one owner. Many won’t have been driven far. These are also ready for delivery.

Used cars

Then there are used cars. These are typically at the most five-years old, and often offer the best value for money, as most cars will have done most of their depreciating by this age.

For more information on how the BuyaCar process works, see our guide to buying a used car with BuyaCar.
 

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