27 December 2011 by Parkers Team

Drive the Deal reveals the secrets to its discounts and more.

1. Where do you source your cars?
All cars are supplied by franchised UK main dealers and supplied directly to the customer. The customer pays the dealer for the car directly, we do not handle any client money. Our role is simply to introduce a customer to the dealer which we think is cheapest in the UK. Because we do not handle client money, there is no risk to the client if we go out of business.
 

2. How are you able to offer such sizeable discounts?
We shop around the dealers and using our market knowledge built up over 15 years, and contacts, we negotiate the best deals we can. We also order so many cars that we have the ultimate negotiating position. Finally while customers know what the manufacturer’s published list price is, they do not know what the price is that the dealer pays the manufacturer for the car. We do know. So when a dealer tells us a customer that there is no more discount to give, they accept them at their word. We know to push further.

3. Can you specify options, and if you do, does that affect delivery time?
Our customers can order any specification of car, and we can ask a dealer to place an order at the factory to build it. Clearly, if a customer buys a more standard car then it is often possible to find a car from stock. 

4. What happens if a customer isn’t happy? Can they return the car and get their money back?
If a customer is unhappy with their new car then of course they are entitled to return it for a refund. If a customer buys at their local dealer, they can return a defective car under the Sale of Goods Act. If a customer orders through an online broker, they have the protection of the Sale Of Goods Act and they also have the Distance Selling Regulations which mean that the customer can request a refund on or shortly after delivery without even giving a reason.

5. Do you offer finance deals?
Yes, we offer PCP and can arrange Hire Purchase if required. We will also advise customers if there are preferential finance deals being offered by the manufacturers and will arrange for the supplying dealer to provide this finance if required. 

6. What range of discounts do you offer?
Discounts are typically 20% off the manufacturer’s list price, but we have in the past quoted as much as 50% off, so it always pays to check by taking a quote online. 

7. Do you have premises and can customers visit them?
We are office-based and there is no need for people to visit, but on rare occasions when customers ask if they can purchase in person we will always accommodate them. 

8. Can people view the car before they buy?
Because we only broker new car purchases, the car is always the same no matter which dealership supplies it. So viewing is unnecessary, but, about one third of our customers do opt to forgo the free delivery and collect the car in person from the dealership so that they can check it over prior to parting with their money. 

9 Do you offer part exchange?
No. If a dealer offers to buy a car unseen, they always allow enough profit to repair any unforeseen problems that the customer forgot to advise them about when they requested a valuation. This makes their offer uncompetitive. We always suggest selling privately to get the best price, but, if someone wants an easy sale, then we always suggest going to a local dealer for the brand of car they are selling, and getting a valuation in person because a valuation on an inspected car will always be higher than on an uninspected car. It never ceases to amaze us how many people think they will get a good deal when part exchanging a Vauxhall at a Ford dealership: selling your car to the right person always pays more! 

10. What’s the normal sequence of events when someone has seen a car they are interested in on your website?
When someone has taken a quote from our website and decided to progress, we will pass their order to a UK main dealer and that dealer will take over dealing with our customer. The dealer will take a customer deposit from their credit card (usually £500), then they will call the customer to introduce themselves. The dealer will liaise with the customer through to delivery and they will deliver the car anywhere in England free of charge (there will often be a small charge for delivery to Wales or Scotland). Then the customer will pay the dealer the day before delivery, or on collection, whichever they prefer. We do not charge any additional fees as our commission is paid by the dealer. The price we quote is the price a customer therefore pays with no hidden extras. 

Website address: www.drivethedeal.com

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.