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Sunday, 25 February, 2001, 17:25 GMT
Your say: buying cars online

The foray into the world of buying new cars through the internet revealed a whole host of different websites offering different deals.

Now, your experiences reveal that online car buying is somewhat of a lottery.

For every happy customer boasting of fast, efficient purchases and ample savings, there seemed to be a frustrated one bemoaning long delays and lost money.

Here are just a handful of your experiences:

Easy, efficient, fast, and most helpful staff

Richard Sharp
"I got a Diesel Discovery about a year ago from Holland and saved 36% on the UK prices. I think that says it all. The process was easy."
Edward Hasted

"Huge discounts are available against UK prices. I found the service excellent and worth the eight week wait."
Ian Chant

"Not only did my partner's car take six months to arrive, but when he went to find out why they hadn't contacted him to pick it up, he found that the company had gone bankrupt. He has no idea where his car is and has lost all of his money."
Katie McCreaddie

Needless to say I was unhappy

Graeme Stepney
"I ordered a car through wundercars on the net, they cancelled my order eight weeks after they confirmed it, held onto my 5,000 deposit for a further month, then eventually returned my deposit, saying they could not supply me a car eight weeks after confirming the car and delivery date. Needless to say I was unhappy that it had taken them so long to tell me."
Graeme Stepney

"I bought a Mazda MX5 through The service was great and the car is even better. I saved just over 4,000 and I got it within eight weeks of ordering. The process was clear and easy to follow."
Jeff Hunt

"I would not recommend Virgin Cars to anybody...I have now cancelled my order due to the list of problems. They had 1,800 from me for about three months and they still hadn't ordered the car from the main dealer.
Darren Evans

"The delivery was done after six months compared with 3-4 months from a UK dealer. Two months difference when I saved 4,500. If someone asks if it is worth the wait, then the answer is YES and I will do it again."
Theo Georgiou

Sadly, rip-off Britain still exists

Alan Lovejoy
"We have purchased two cars in the past two years with combined savings in excess of 6,000. Waiting time was approximately four months in both cases. These were obviously unnecessary delays created by deliberate motor manufacturer's policy to penalise UK motorists from purchasing in Europe. Sadly, rip-off Britain still exists"
Alan Lovejoy

"I paid Broadspeed to be introduced to a VW dealer in Denmark. Broadspeed took my money but referred me to an importer they knew there were problems with! There should be a professional body to regulate these firms."
Ken Dobbie

"Whilst I had tried a number of web sites offering numerous discounts, I decided that if you are going to import a car you might as well do it yourself. I located a dealer in Belgium via the internet, dealt with the seller directly and 8 weeks later had my car. Savings offered by the web sites ranged from 1,500 to 2,500, I managed to save near on 5000, purely by spending a little more time and effort.

"Now I am living and working in Switzerland, I can see first hand how much we are being ripped off in the UK."
Richard Brunt, Switzerland

"I have ordered and paid for a car via Virgincars. The process, started in October last year has been extremely frustrating.

"Virgin requested the full purchase price for my car in December, on the basis of delivery 'within fourteen days or so' and I still await a delivery date. I have requested return of my funds as they are not contractually entitled to the money, and they ignore my requests. "
C J Putland, UK

We have two cars on order, both full UK specification, delivered to our door. Each car will be over 3000 cheaper than the best prices we could get from any local dealers. The car from Virgin (a Nissan) is due on schedule 2 weeks from now, a total wait of 4 months.

The other, a Toyota from OneSwoop, is due in 3 months, a total wait of 6 months.

We are prepared to wait this long because of the big savings. It would seem that the high prices in this country are set by the manufacturers, leaving the dealers little scope for discounting.
Hamish West, UK

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23 Feb 01 | Business
Buying cars on the web
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