new car/ dealer-v-supermarket -v-net - hootie
When I first came on this site, I imagined that everyone here would know all there is to know about cars and car buying.

After reading some of the threads giving details of past experiences, some of which have come to grief, the penny dropped, that we can all live and learn, and that there must be other people like me who come and look in here in order to do just that.

So, based on Natasha's Daddy's current thread 'Help Needed' and my own new car sourcing experience of the last week, thought some comments and advice might be a good idea?

Natasha's daddy has bought a new car from a 'car supermarket' which advertises quite heavily in the press.

I myself had found models of the car I was interested in, ranging variously in price and age. I had looked at this supplier, and tbh was put off by the comments I read, which pointed out a lack of care and assistance once the car has been delivered.

I became adept at questioning if the car was an import, or pre-registered, and if so, when this took place. Technically speaking these cars are new, as in not having miles on the clock, but the first owner on the log book will be the garage, and it could have been some months ago. Someone advised that this takes about £200 off the value for re-sale. A lot of the 'savings' advertised are against current new list price, and in my own case with the Toyota Yaris, this has been re-badged and very slightly modified recently - not that this affects the car as such, but you're not, strictly speaking, comparing 'like' with 'like'

A pre-reg Yaris at my local garage was offered to us, but I pointed out that by the time I had knocked off the £200 above, the fact that the warranty/roadside assistance was 4 months missing (dated from registration) the fact that brand new Toyotas carry a year's free insurance, 12, not 6 months tax, and that this particular model is not current (Colour Collection) - I didn't think it was actually any cheaper than ordering a brand new car of my choice!!! (the salesman didn't have an answer to that)

AND if I'm paying for NEW, then I expect to get NEW, not something that may have been sitting in a compound for who knows how long.

Looking around for insurance, a lot of sites specify that the car must not be an import - that's something else to bear in mind.

In the end we went to two dealers and got a deal we are very happy with financially, of absolutely our own specification, and it will be delivered directly to our home. The transaction was totally painless, even the haggling - my husband drives a very hard bargain and even he was surprised! If there's the slightest thing wrong, I *know where they live* and can turn up and wait until I get satisfaction - I don't have to make endless phone calls to a disinterested and faceless minion on a switchboard, who couldn't give a toss.

I only hope the new vehicle lives up to the purchasing process!

No doubt there are bargains out there, but for what we wanted and how we like to do business - this fitted our bill. I could not better the deal financially over the internet, and I am very pleased to be dealing with a 'real' human being.

Does anyone else have comments or advice for future purchasers?
new car/ dealer-v-supermarket -v-net - Dan J
> Does anyone else have comments or advice for future purchasers?

Excellent post hootie and yes I do. It kind of follows your own "findings".

When I purchased my Vectra at the end of 2001 I had two main options. I lived right by Fords of Winsford (big car supermarket) and also close to a Network Q Vauxhall dealer. Now I wasn't buying new but nearly new. I thought very carefully and although FoW could provide an identical Vectra for exactly one thousand pounds less than the Vauxhall dealer, I decided to go with the Vx dealer.


The Network Q warranty hasn't won prize after prize for nothing. Already the one thousand pounds wasn't looking such a great saving when you find your car only has a 30 day warranty and to upgrade via an insurance company costs hundreds.

Also, as hootie points out re her purchase - I know where they live! Places such as FoW don't really deal with post-sale issues. All done through faceless insurers at time and expense.

My Vectra was vastly problematic - so much so it had to be replaced. But on every occasion I had a dealer I could go and discuss with/shout at and invariablt had a courtesy car as well. The Network Q covered all kinds of problems (air con being one) that I would've been lucky to get repaired via one of these insurance companies and in a timely manner.

Now don't get me wrong - in no way is this a dig at FoW or any of the other supermarkets. My g/f at the time bought a Rover 214 from FoW and was delighted with the problem free car and price she got it for. For me it would've been a dreadful experience without being able to go back to the supplying dealer.

It's the old adage - "you get what you pay for". The best of it all now is that a dealer will often either get close to or match supermarket prices - best of both worlds!
new car/ dealer-v-supermarket -v-net - hootie
Thanks for the appreciation Dan, I must say it's nice to have been well received on a site that deals with cars and not to have been made to feel as totally blonde as I look ;) The comments and advice have all been shared with daughter No 1 (hereby known as Princess) who has also learned a lot from our recent car buying experience.

(mind you sometimes, as you can imagine I use this to my advantage, although it never ceases to amaze me, how easily you can fool some people just by acting dumb!) LOL - sorry off topic.

Two things I should add that quote true circumstances -

1. the cheapest price I could find for close to what we were looking for, was at Motorhouse2000ltd on the net. (More of them later) which had a Toyota Yaris Silver Colour Collection (limited edition type spec. which is no longer newly available)
It was £451 cheaper than the brand new T3 we are buying. However, it was registered in April, and so has the warranty loss and the £200 loss that I talk about above (maybe you can't extend the warranty at the end of 3 years, I'm not sure though, possibly you could) is not a totally current spec., is not remote control central locking, don't think it comes with tax (12 months inc on ours) and we'd have to go quite a way to collect it.

The dealer supplied one has full warranty is brand spanking new (I already said this didn't I, sorry) and also comes with 12 months tax, £15 worth of fuel, and I looked at the salesman nicely and he's promised some mats ;) (I know they wont be brand new, but have every confidence he'll come up with something)

Overall, you can probably see why we're pleased, even though the net price seemed good when I found it.

2. Having said all of that - we did once buy two cars, second hand, from Motorhouse (we were starting up a new business) Got them for a good price, bought an insurance warranty, and although I can't remember without checking, what exactly needed doing, I can recall getting some work done under the warranty, that didn't prove to be any problem.

Seems it can be a bit of a lottery and varies completely from car to car. Some you win and some you lose, trouble is we like to win all the time :)

Think our purchase is down more to the individual main dealer's willingness to come to the table and shift a car at minimum profit rather than see you walk away (as we did from the first one, saving ourselves £600!!!
new car/ dealer-v-supermarket -v-net - natashas daddy
Having recently suffered at the hands of a well known supermarket i can add some issues to look out for,based purely on my own experiences:

-the age of manufacture may not be anywhere near the age of vehicle.If you buy "new"dont expect that new car feel and smell,more likely an awful wet carpet smell where they have valeted the car just before you buy (you pay for the valet!)

-mine had many missing parts and still no service,or radio guide.

-there is an absolute lack of interest once you have paid up. Unfortunately for me,derby is a long way from essex.

-they only pre register because it saves them time,they dont have to do it and you can be the first registered owner as confirmed by DVLC. In fact DVLC have advised that they are quite happy to re issue docs if a letter is sent by the supermarket i bought from,but they dont want to know.

- I didnt get the docs for over 2 months,despite the fact DVLC sent them back to the dealer within 2 weeks!

-If like me you buy over the phone be very careful,the guy i spoke to was helpful but lso a liar!

-Read the small print,not that they will tell you there is any until afterwards!

-check the car thoroughly before handing over the cash/bankers draft.Their system does`nt allow for this as you sign the docs upstairs before you even see the car. Yes i was naive,but as i was buying new,i didnt think there would be an issue!

personally i would never buy from a supermarket again. I am quite happy owning an import and indeed my wife drives a ford we bought from a ford dealer in belgium,excellent service from them,good price and a brand new car!
new car/ dealer-v-supermarket -v-net - teabelly
If you do pick up a car and they persuade you to sign before you have seen it then it could be worth writing 'unchecked' 'unseen' or 'not examined' on the paperwork and initialing it to show that you have not visually inspected the car.

Any small print that you have signed can't take away your statutory rights. If it says as soon as you leave the premises any faults are your problem it is not legally binding. In fact any clauses that try and remove your rights could be reported to the office of fair trading/trading standards if you want to make sure the trader doesn't do the same to others.

new car/ dealer-v-supermarket -v-net - hootie
Slightly confused now on this issue of pre-registered cars, as I understood it, this takes places when a main dealer needs to shift some vehicles in order to meet the sales target for new registrations, which is set by the manufacturer. It is more cost effective for the dealer to do this and end up with stock he has to reduce in price, so that he achieves the target and therefore the financial bonus that goes with it.

I had thought that some of these are then sold off through car supermarkets at seemingly bargain prices as against new list?

Like I said in my example though, in the case of the car we were buying, this kind of offer from the main dealer just didn't make good sense to us. When I pointed out that unless he made the pre-registered car more financially attractive (he wouldn't) depending on the demand in September, he could find his stock increasing and increasing.

Does anyone know when the dealer pays the manufacturer for the stock? Because they could end up with £££££££'s of stock just piling up.

In the end we have paid just £55 more for a car registered 5 months later, 5 months' extra warranty and road side assistance, with an extra 6 months' tax, and a slightly better spec. Even if the DVLA would re-issue the documents, on this deal, the road tax alone makes new a better buy!
new car/ dealer-v-supermarket -v-net - wemyss
Regarding whether cars can stand in fields for months when new reminded me that this should never happen with a Toyota.
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of a guided tour around the Burnaston Toyota assembly plant near Derby.
Before the tour along the assembly lines a presentation was given on the ethos of Toyota regarding quality, attention to detail, and the JIT (just in time) method of parts arriving, and only 8 hours of components on site at any one time.
We were told that Toyota only build cars to order.. To quote the presenter you won?t find new Toyotas sitting in a field waiting to be sold. Very impressive this considering that a Toyota vehicle comes off the assembly line worldwide every four seconds.
Alongside the assembly lines is a pull cable (andon cord), which halts the track. Every employee from the MD down has a duty to use this for the slightest problem and that nothing must be allowed to through that isn?t correct. When this occurs a tone is emitted from loudspeakers which varies according to the section of the track enabling the supervisor/foreman to be there immediately.
Fascinating to watch a body shell moving along the track and components being installed as specified on the order card, which travels with the car until finally at the end the engine is started and the car drives away. One out so many is driven straight to the test track on site and put to the test.
Very impressive state of the art factory. Don?t know what Red Robbo would make of it.

new car/ dealer-v-supermarket -v-net - JamesH
We were told that Toyota only build cars to order.. To
quote the presenter you won’t find new Toyotas sitting in a
field waiting to be sold.

I would believe this with Toyota. However, on two separate tours of the Dagenham Ford factory (in 96 and 99) we were told that the Fiestas were only built to order. I didn't believe this but then I suppose a request to build 1,000 cars to sit in a field would count as an order. Ford count the car as sold and a profit earned as soon as it leaves the production line so stockpiling can help boost their accounts.

I think much depends on the individual dealer / supermarket / website. Being only 23 but looking 18 I didn't find any dealers that would give any serious attention to me, except one who tried hard to push me towards used instead of new.

I was happy buying from an internet/phone seller (Virgin) as I knew what I wanted and anywhere else didn't have the car I wanted or were more expensive. Apart from the fact I'm still waiting for the service & warranty books after four months, the sale went smoothly. There's less scope for ageism over the phone.


new car/ dealer-v-supermarket -v-net - hootie
Good point James - it must be galling for you now, but your youthful looks will stand you in good stead in the long run.

Reminds me of a time when Mr H and I weren't getting such great service collecting a small piece of furniture - boy did their attitude change when they had to load it into the boot of a Rolls Royce. LOL
(was his Dad's but we didn't let on - as a parent trying to insure a car for a young driver, I can't now imagine why my F-i-L put Mr H on the insurance for it, and lent it to us regularly?????? funny how we never thought about it at the time)

As a woman looking at cars with my daughter I found that I got better service by doing the following.

Salesman approaches and asks with a smile if he can help, and I say nicely "possibly in a minute, I just want to have a look at the build quality before we go any further - can we have the bonnet up please?" I swear one guy's jaw dropped - I don't think he imagined women know that bonnets open up at all!
When you quote comparative NCAP results and the like, they at least know you've been doing some homework, and don't merely head straight for the colour charts.

On the question of how long cars are built before they're sold as new etc. - having just got all the blurb on Toyota, I can see that they give a 12 year anti perforation warranty with new cars.


Value my car