There’s never been a better time to buy a car online. Lockdown restrictions and fears over public health mean consumers are happier to shop online when searching for a new car. In some cases, it might be the only way to buy one.
According to a recent survey, around a third of consumers are comfortable buying a car online. This has led to the emergence of online sellers such as Cazoo and Cinch. The entire purchase is completed online, before the car is delivered to your home.
It represents a major shift in the way we buy and sell new cars. In the future, buying a car online is likely to be as normal as ordering a pizza via a smartphone app, or grocery shopping on a supermarket website. Traditional car dealers will still exist – but walking into a showroom will no longer be the only way to buy a car.
While the likes of Cazoo, Cinch and BuyaCar focus on used cars, many manufacturers are using the online space to sell new cars. As Vincent Tourette, managing director of Group Renault UK, commented: “We are seeing more customers wanting to complete more of their purchase online.
“Alongside our virtual showroom, we are supporting the traditional physical customer journey with the ability to do everything digitally from the comfort of your own home. We believe that this will become an increasingly useful tool, not only in the future but at present given the current nationwide restrictions.”
Here’s a rundown of the online car buying services, where you can browse a virtual showroom, sort the finance and arrange to click and collect the car of your choice. In some cases, you can even arrange home delivery.
BMW New Car Locator Tool
It’s not possible to complete the purchase of a BMW online, but a £500 payment will reserve a vehicle of your choice. The full BMW range is available, along with the facility to set a monthly or overall budget and find your nearest BMW dealer. Following further filters, you have a choice of reserving a car or sending an enquiry to a BMW dealer.
The French company revealed its Citroen Store in September 2020, following the launch of a virtual showroom. The entire buying process can be completed in less than 30 minutes and the UK is the first market to allow Citroen customers to complete a purchase without visiting a dealer. Once the order is placed, a customer can ask a dealer for home delivery, where available, or to collect from their local showroom.
Dacia Select & Collect and Buy Online
Dacia sells Britain’s cheapest new cars, with prices starting from £7,995. That’s based on an entry-level Dacia Sandero. Alternatively, you can buy a Sandero Stepway for £10,145, or a Duster for £12,995. Using Select & Collect reserves a new Dacia at a selected dealer – it does not commit you to a purchase. For that, you need to use the Dacia Buy Online service.
It’s possible to personalise your car, select a finance deal, then decide whether to have the car delivered or collected at your nearest dealer. The price for home delivery is £250. A part-exchange facility is available.
Hyundai Click to Buy
Hyundai says there are six steps to securing a new car via its Click to Buy service. You start by entering your car’s registration for part-exchange purposes. Alternatively, you can skip this part. Then it’s a case of choosing your preferred method of payment and selecting the Hyundai of your choice. You’ll need to create an account before making a purchase. An initial payment of £250 and the balance of your deposit is required. Finance customers will need to collect their new car from their nearest Hyundai dealer, but cash customers can arrange home delivery.
There are two ways to buy a new Jaguar online. One is to build and order the car online, which should take no more than 30 minutes. Once complete, you choose a date for contactless collection of the car. Alternatively, you can select from an existing stock of new cars, which takes no more than 15 minutes. In both cases, a fully refundable £249 deposit secures the vehicle.
The process for buying a Land Rover works in the same way as buying a Jaguar. In both cases, the contactless vehicle collection is arranged in accordance with the latest government guidelines.
Mercedes-Benz Online Showroom
By visiting the Online Showroom, you can browse the range of new and used Mercedes-Benz cars. A ‘buy from home’ label will show you which cars are available for home delivery. A £500 deposit will reserve the car. The Mercedes-Benz dealer will call you to arrange payment and sort the necessary paperwork ahead of delivery. You’ll be sent a short video on the important details about your new car, but it’s possible to arrange a physical handover once lockdown restrictions have been lifted.
Cars sold via Nissan’s websites in China, Europe and North America accounted for 11 percent of the company’s overall sales in these markets in the first half of 2020. That’s up from 4-5 percent in the same period last year. The Shop@Home facility enables you to build a Nissan using the configurator, request a finance quote and share your desired model with a Nissan dealer. The necessary documents can be signed online, while the click and collect facility allows you to receive your car from a local dealer.
Mitsubishi Buy Online
It’s possible to configure a new Mitsubishi online, then choose to collect it from your local dealer or get it delivered to your home for free until 29 December 2020. You can choose to pay monthly or in cash, while business users can spread payments over two to five years. The entire Mitsubishi range is available to buy online, from the Mirage to the L200.
With Peugeot Checkout, you can browse an online showroom, create your ideal car and select the appropriate finance deal. A part-exchange facility is available, and it’s possible to have the new car delivered to your home or nearest Peugeot dealer. Home delivery is free and in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines.
Renault Buy Online
Using Renault’s aptly-named Buy Online service, customers can order a new Clio, Zoe, Captur, Kadjar and Megane. Customisation options are available, along with an ability to pay cash or arrange finance. Home delivery costs £250, or you can arrange to click and collect your new Renault from the nearest dealer. All cars come with a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty. A part-exchange facility is available.
Smart Online Showroom
To buy a Smart online, you will be directed to the Mercedes-Benz website. It works in the same way, so that while it’s not possible to complete a purchase online, you can arrange to click and collect your new Smart.
Tesla is the odd one out on this list, because the company only sells online. Although it’s possible to browse and chat to a Tesla representative at one of its stores (once lockdown restrictions have been lifted), all orders are placed online. This can be done in a Tesla Store or at home via the Tesla website. A delivery date will be provided for every custom order, but it’s also possible to select from an inventory for accelerated delivery.
Toyota Buy Online
At the time of writing, anyone buying a new Aygo via the Toyota Buy Online facility will benefit from a free two-year service plan on vehicles ordered and purchased until 15 December 2020. Other Toyota vehicles are available online, but they’re not covered by this offer. It’s a simple process: you choose the Toyota you want, customise the car, value your existing car, then decide whether to buy outright or arrange a finance deal. The new car will be available to collect at a Toyota dealer of your choice.
Vauxhall Online Store
The first 100 customers who order a new car online using the Vauxhall Online Store will get their first year’s insurance for free. The facility only offers the ability to calculate a PCP finance deal – you will need to contact your local Vauxhall dealer for alternative options. A part-exchange option isn’t available. Although it’s possible to sign the relevant documents online, the Vauxhall Online Store is for click and collect purchases. If you want the car delivered to your home address, you’re advised to contact your local Vauxhall dealer.
Volvo launched its online new car buying service in 2019. All forms of purchase are possible, including PCP, a structured payment plan and cash, along with the opportunity to part-exchange your existing vehicle. Although it’s possible to browse online, you must create a Volvo ID to see exact retailer prices and save your configurations. Once ordered, the selected dealer will be in touch to arrange collection.
We’ll update this page when other manufacturers launch an online buying service. In the meantime, check out our guide to third party online car buying websites.