Fleet News

Which? warns companies selling cars online could end up costing more

Which? has found several online car buying firms asking sellers to agree to a legally binding contract prior to inspection, or to pay a fee if the sale doesn’t go ahead.

Which? took a closer look at the biggest online car buying firm, Webuyanycar.com. While it doesn’t ask sellers to commit upfront to contracts or fees, selling cars on this site, rather than trading them in at a dealership, could leave sellers more than £1,500 out of pocket.

One Which? researcher offered to sell her Renault Modus to Webuyanycar.com expecting an offer of around £4,000 - she was surprised by the site’s £3,320 valuation, which was reduced yet further to £2,550 when she took her car to the Webuyanycar.com depot.

Although a £640 deduction for bodywork repairs was eventually waived, taking the price back up to £3,190, the researcher felt the Webuyanycar.com employee’s tactics were so pushy that she felt in danger of leaving the depot without her car. Three out of the five Which? Car researchers felt they were offered very low prices and had experienced pressure buying tactics at Webuyanycar.com depots.

The consumer watchdog advises that people use this company only as a last resort. Part-exchanging your old car, or even selling it at auction (usually the least cost-effective method of selling) will probably be more profitable.

Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive, Which?, says:
“Next time you get Webuyanycar.com’s repetitive jingle stuck in your head, remember: just because they buy any car doesn’t mean they’re the best people to sell to. Think carefully before selling to an online car buying firm or you could be left seriously out of pocket.”

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


  • webuyanycar.com - 22/10/2010 14:06

    Hello My name is Katie and I work at webuyanycar.com as their social media manager. I just wanted to leave a comment regarding the above article. Webuyanycar.com offers our customers the opportunity to sell their car conveniently and our website and branches are in place to make the experience hassle free. The Which? Car study indicates that if you trade your car in with a dealer you will get more money for your vehicle. However, if you went to the same dealer and asked them what they would offer you to buy your car for cash, the offer is very unlikely to be as generous. Going to the same dealer with cash (as opposed to a car to trade in) will often get you a better deal on the car you are buying, which may result in a better deal for you. Webuyanycar.com is founded on the principles of offering a hassle free way to sell your car and our team members work exceptionally hard to make every step of the process as easy as possible. We understand that the researcher has claimed to have had a poor experience with Webuyanycar.com and we are working with Which? Car to investigate the circumstances surrounding the situation so that we can take steps to improve our processes and the experience we offer. Many thanks Katie

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee