27 December 2011 by Parkers Team

All the facts on Carfile, from where the cars are sourced to the biggest deals.

1 Where do you source your cars? 
We use only UK franchise dealerships to supply all our customers directly with no fees or charges payable to ourselves. This means customers avoid any third party contract often associated with brokers. 

2. How are you able to offer such sizeable discounts?
We have relationships with dealers in some cases going back 28 years. These relationships have lasted because Carfile can generate a volume of orders year after year. Customers are usually only making a purchase of one car from their local dealer in contrast to Carfile linking up a few hundred customers per annum with one or two dealerships per brand and that volume forces the dealer to discount if they want to keep the Carfile account.  

3. Can you specify options, and if you do, does that affect delivery time?
As with any dealership supplied car lead times can vary. Most manufacturers have at least some cars in the system at all times which would mean an immediate delivery or up to three weeks' wait, but if a customer would like a factory order then that can mean 2-6 months dependant on the type of car. e.g. VW Golf is three months. 

4. What happens if a customer isn’t happy? Can they return the car and get their money back?
As the customer is buying directly from the franchise dealer network then they get full warranty entitlement from the manufacturer. If there is a problem dealerships are duty-bound under their franchise agreement to address any defect as soon as is possible. In the few cases that arise, most are resolved. If not, customers have legal rights. Under the 1979 Sale of Goods Act a car must be of satisfactory quality and there is a recognised procedure for dealer and customers to take to either repair the car to a satisfactory quality or if that is not possible, a refund.  

5. Do you offer finance deals? 
Not directly but all manufacturer finance deals are available through the franchise dealer. For example the VW Low rate Solutions PCP currently shows a typical APR of 4.9% on certain VW Golfs with a deposit allowance of £1,500. 

6. What range of discounts do you offer? (£400-£5,000 for example) 
£400-£12,000 (Mercedes GL- that’s the highest discount we can find at the moment) 

7. Do you have a premises people can visit? 
No, we do not have a showroom but all our nominated dealerships are very happy to meet our customers and help them in any way they need to. Customers typically use their local franchise showroom to collect brochures and view cars. 

8 Can people view the car and test it before they buy? 
Yes. If a customer is buying a demonstrator or nearly new car then they can view the exact car before they buy. If they are ordering a brand new car then they usually test out a demonstrator car at their nearest dealership and view their actual car when it is ready at our nominated dealership(or is delivered). They have chance to inspect the car in the normal way before they conclude the sale by paying for it. 

9. Do you offer part exchange? 
Yes, but again, not directly. In most cases the nominated franchise dealership will handle this for our customer directly.  

10. What’s the normal sequence of events when someone has seen a car they are interested in on your website? 
Well, we like customers to call us if at all possible! It's very important that they are made to feel welcome and have everything explained fully by professionals, when in some cases they can be spending anything up to £100,000. This is best achieved on the phone. However, we get equal amounts of phone calls/emails and enquiry forms through the website. If it is a phone call we confirm what the customer has seen and answer any questions they have. We reply quickly to emails and enquiry forms, usually within 24 hours (except weekends and bank holidays). If the customer is in a position to proceed we take their name,phone number,address and email and pass the provisional order through to the nominated dealership. Our contact there will then contact the customer directly and again confirm the deal and answer any other questions. Only at that point does the customer actually commit the order to the dealer and pay the dealership a deposit. The dealer will see the rest of the process through and we make it very clear to the customer that we are here to help if needed at any point in the process. The customer never pays us a penny whether they choose to buy a car through Carfile or not (We earn our commission from the dealerships once a customer order has been completed).

Website address: http://www.carfile.net

Parkers Top Tip:
If you're considering buying a new car from a broker, and want peace of mind, check out the Parkers guide to buying a car online.