How to buy a new car online

  • More car manufacturers are offering online buying
  • Here's what do if you're buying from the comfort of home
  • Parkers rounds up the car companies offerings

At Parkers, we're here to help you choose your next car

With online purchasing and delivery becoming the new normal in all walks of life, it's surprising to see that not everyone in the car market is offering the option to buy online. But given purchasing or leasing a new car is a much larger financial commitment than grabbing yourself a new BluRay player, it's easy to understand why online car buying is taking time to take off.

But despite that, there are a number of car companies now that can allow you to configure, finance and take delivery of your next car online. They can negotiate a new PCP deal contract, price up your trade-in, strike a deal and then deliver to you at a time and location that suits you.

Obviously right now, and in the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, buying a new car isn't at the top of your list of things to do. Keeping yourself, your neighbours and family safe come much higher up the list – but there are many key workers reliant on their cars to get to work, and use in their job – and having a new one might be necessary as you approach the end of your contract.

>> Choosing
>> Configuring
>> Making the deal
>> Delivery and collection
>> A-Z of who sells what online

So, here's the Parkers guide to buying your next car online:

1. Choose your car

This is probably the easiest – and also most difficult – part of the job. For many car buyers, deciding what car they want comes down to so many factors that it never comes down to a simple question of what's the biggest, fastest or most economical car for your money. So, we'd definitely recommend starting with the Parkers car chooser tool - which allows you to narrow down your choices of cars based on how you use them, and how highly we rate them.

Next, armed with your list of favorites, you can compare several choices by feeding them into our Car comparison tool, which will allow you to get a good handle on how they stack up against each other. If you then decide what's the best for you, it's time to take the next step...

2. Configure the car on the manufacturer's website

Volvo V60 Polestar engineered - configurator

If you’ve never configured a car before, this can be great fun. Basically, you're presented with the car in its most basic form, then you're able to choose the colour, engine spec, interior trim and options. Most tools are fully interactive and will allow you to see what the car looks like along each step of the way.

Of course, the price of the car can vary wildly depending on what spec you choose, but that's not so bad, as most configurators will keep track of the typical cash price or monthly payment as you go. This is obviously a great piece of functionality as nearly everyone shops online with a monthly budget in mind.

It's worth bearing in mind that many car manufacturers don't yet progress further than this stage, but that's covered in the links below.

3. Work out the deal

Here any equity (where the car is worth more than the remaining payments) left in your car is yours to put towards the deposit on a new finance scheme, cutting your future monthly payments. Be sure to value your car, and know what you're facing before you go into the deal. Be aware that the value of your car could also be less than expected depending on how used car values have changed during the contract.

4. Arranging delivery or collection

Car manufacturers like buyers to complete the deals in the comfort of their showrooms so you get to sign the contract, have a decent handover, and make a special occasion of your new purchase. But in light of the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this won't be an option, as dealers hibernate and contact is kept to a minimum for all but the most essential tasks.

But some are offering home delivery and collection – and we suspect this option will become widespread as car manufacturers adapt to a new way of working. We'll keep this list updated as new information comes in.

5. Where to buy a car online

We will endeavour to keep this list up to date as new information comes in

BMW

Yes, you can buy online

You've been able to buy a new BMW online since 2015. The process starts by configuring a car and then selecting the option to 'build' and then 'buy'. You can pick the details for your vehicle, as well as choose their preferred retailer, finance and payment terms. The car would be delivered to the selected dealership first where you can then liaise with their retailer to specify a collection or a delivery.

>> Configure and buy your BMW online

Citroen

Just configuration online so far

The current range of vehicles are available to configure online and it is possible to reserve a car online, once you have tailored a vehicle to your exact requirements. All Citroen dealers are able to offer a home delivery service.

>> Configure a Citroen online

Dacia

Yes, you can buy online

You can configure and buy a new Dacia online. It's possible to pick the details for your vehicle, as well as choose a preferred dealer, finance and payment terms. The car would be delivered to the selected dealership first where customers can then liaise with a retailer to specify a collection or a delivery.

>> Configure and buy your Dacia online

Ford

Just configuration online so far

Ford is working hard to embrace online car buying in the UK but isn't quite there yet. You can currently configure a new Ford car, van or pickup. Buying online is limited to the 'Send to dealer' button at the end of build and price for payment to be taken and order confirmed. Ford confirms that it will deliver to your home, dependent on the dealer. It intends to roll it on with the launch of the new Mustang Mach-E, which is online sale only. You can pre-order the new car here.

A Ford spokesperson confirmed that, 'from mid-2020, when full PCP, cash and lease packages are added, part exchange and home delivery options will also be available.'

>> Ford Mustang Mach-E online
>> Ford model range configurator

Honda

Just configuration online so far

You can only reserve the new Honda e online, and all other models are available on a configurator. Honda cannot arrange delivery, but a spokesperson concluded that, 'if a customer has already ordered their car, this would be something they would need to agree with their dealer.'

>> Configure a Honda online

Hyundai

Yes, you can buy online

Hyundai was a click to buy pioneer in the UK, and has been offering online sales here since 2018. In a statement, Hyundai has confirmed, 'our updated Click to Buy site will be up and running again by 1 April so customers will still be able to research, configure and buy a new car online should they wish. Deliveries will be delayed until non-essential movement is allowed.'

>> Configure and buy a new Hyundai online

Jaguar/Land Rover

Yes, you can buy online

You can purchase and configure cars online and get remote vehicle demonstrations from home, home delivery for new and used vehicles when the situation allows it, and well as collection and delivery service for vehicle servicing, repairs or MoT (again when conditions allow)

>> Configure and buy a new Jaguar
>> Configure and buy a new Land Rover

Mazda

Just configuration online so far

You can fully configure a Mazda online, but can't yet buy online. Home delivery is at the discretion of the dealer. Currently some dealers are running a collection and delivery service, particularly for the vulnerable, for service and MoT.

>> Configure a Mazda online

Mercedes-Benz

Yes, you can buy online

You can configure models online, select a model and click ‘build your car’. You can then can view any cars matching that configuration that are available to buy immediately. The online showroom features all of available new and used car stock online – each with a specific offer.

>> Configure a Mercedes-Benz online
>> Buy a new Mercedes-Benz online

Peugeot

Yes, you can buy online

You can fully configure a car on the Peugeot website, and it's possible to both order and buy online (both PCP and cash purchase) and have the car delivered to your home. 

>> Buy a Peugeot online

Skoda

Just configuration online so far

You can fully configure a car online, but currently cannot order a car online through the Skoda website. A Skoda spokesperson said: 'It would be worth pointing people to the Skoda Virtual Showroom, where instead of physically going into a retailer, a tour host will give them a live overview online of the car in the virtual car showroom.'

>> Configure a Skoda online
>> Visit the Skoda virtual showroom

Suzuki

Just information online so far

So far, it is possible to configure and check specification and pricing of a new car online. It is not possible to online purchase, deliver or trade-in online.

>> Suzuki model range details

Vauxhall

Just configuration online so far

You can fully configure a Vauxhall car or van online. Beyond that, a Vauxhall spokesperson confirmed that being able to buy online and have the car delivered are 'all coming soon.'

>> Configure a Vauxhall online

Volvo

Yes, you can buy online

Since 2019, you've been able to buy a new Volvo online as well as configure it. Interestingly, although Volvo offers you the chance to buy, it won't deliver, preferring dealer pick-up.

>> Volvo car configurator
>> Order a new Volvo online

            

Want to find out more about car finance? Take a look at the links below:

>> PCP finance: can I get out early? 
>> Payment holiday advice for car finance 
>> Payment holiday advice for car leasing