Authorised dealerships are widely agreed to be your safest route when deciding to buy. You enjoy substantial legal cover under the Sale of Goods Act and consumer protection legislation, and the dealer will be officially representing the manufacturer.
Buying privately or at a car auction gives you less protection by law as a consumer. Under a private sale contract, the vehicle must be roadworthy as described and the seller must have the legal right to make the sale – that's all. The obligation is on you to inspect the vehicle and make sure it's in a satisfactory condition for your needs before you buy. At auction, terms and conditions may vary: the Sale of Goods Act doesn't always apply here.
When purchasing a car online, you have the same rights as if you'd visited the same supplier face-to-face. Dealers will still continue to offer a far more legally-regulated service, and private auctions should be entered with 'buyer beware' firmly in mind.
In every case, you should never hand over payment or sign documents until you are completely happy with the vehicle and the transaction. You can trust that the Lookers team will never pressure you to make a hasty decision, and that we'll provide all of the information and advice you need.
Whenever you're considering choosing your next car, get in touch with your closest Lookers dealership.