The other day I was on the phone to a relative, and she was telling me how she needed to sell her car because she has a small hatchback at the moment, and she is looking to upgrade to a bigger vehicle (she’s just had a baby).
Not having lots of experience when it comes to buying and selling cars, she asked me whether she should just go and visit a local car dealership on the weekend to see if they had anything for sale which might be suitable for her requirements.
She told me she was after a “newish” car, something that was no more than 3 to 5 years old, so I suggested that she not bother going to see her local independent car dealership and instead, take a trip out to her nearest car supermarket.
What is a car supermarket?
If the term ‘car supermarket’ had you filled with mental images of people going around a warehouse dumping cars into a giant shopping trolley that was driven along by a forklift truck, you would be very much mistaken I’m afraid.
Car supermarkets are like a cross between an independent car dealership and a franchised main dealer. Unlike both types of car dealership, car supermarkets are usually located in a rather cavernous area such as a large warehouse or even a former aircraft hangar!
These enterprises typically have hundreds, sometimes thousands, of cars in stock which are ready for customers to buy and drive away in the same day.
Unlike traditional car dealerships where you have to wait a few days for cars to be ‘prepared’ for you (i.e. serviced and cleaned), a car supermarket will usually have taken care of all that stuff already, so you can just hop in and drive off!
What else do car supermarkets offer?
Firms such as http://www.sandles.co.uk typically offer additional services such as financing (most will normally be able to cater with people that have differing levels of creditworthiness), servicing and repairs, and many can even arrange for your new pride and joy to be delivered to you at home or work if you aren’t able to drive the car away the same day.
What are the advantages of car supermarkets?
For a start, there is a vast amount of choice. Smaller, independent car dealerships will usually only have around 20 or so cars in stock to choose from, whereas car supermarkets have the advantage of space and buying power so you will easily find a car that suits your requirements and budget.
There is also the question of price. One might be led to believe that car supermarkets have higher overheads and, as such, charge more for the cars that they sell but actually you will find that they usually sell cars cheaper than the competition!
They are also great for buying nearly-new cars, because they will often buy the cars in from franchised dealerships at heavily reduced prices, and this means they can pass the savings on to you, the consumer. As a by-product, you also avoid having to lose a lot of money because of depreciation.