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Used Car Supermarkets - Everything But the Vegetables

Jun 12, 2008
This summers must have drink in my household is pear cider. It comfortably alleviates the fizz that accompanies a traditional brew and yet is still refreshing and tastes like pear drops. In fact I can think of no more pleasant an experience that sitting in the sunshine outside my local watering hole supping pear cider.

This then was the scene last Saturday when my idyllic afternoon turned into a heated debate where I feared for my cider. Throughout the afternoon a few of us had been putting the world to rights, ranging from politics to football to why pirates wear eye patches. Then the subject of buying a used car cropped up and I happened to mention that a used car supermarket is the place to go. Cue uproar and verbal jostling. The state of our economy or that Manchester United were going to win the Champions league paled in comparison to the used car supermarket debate.

It appears that a lot of people have a problem with supermarkets per se claiming they strangle local businesses and I guess there's some truth in the argument. Where for example do you buy your fruit and vegetables from? I know it's going to take twice as long to go the butchers and greengrocers than it is to walk down adjacent aisles and pick up my weekly 5-a-day supplies. In fact my life is bought from supermarkets - hence why they're 'super' presumably. Petrol, CDs, home wares and food all come from the same source, because it's not only convenient but a darn sight cheaper than going to a dedicated music shop or petrol station.

It'd be nice to use a local shop but time just doesn't allow. Buying a used car is also a time-consuming and expensive exercise, hence my declaration that a used car supermarket will do for your car buying what a regular supermarket does for your home. The first thing to consider is the price of your used car and how much more metal you can usually get at a used car supermarket.

A main dealer is always the most expensive option, with a warranty and nicely valeted selection of nearly-new cars awaiting you. A private sale is the cheapest option but you obviously have no warranty and the worry that the police will be knocking your door, advising not to buy a stolen car in future and then taking your 10,000 purchase away with no refund. There are mechanisms in place to reduce this risk, such as AA and HPI checks and a logbook, but the risk remains for some.

This is where the used car supermarket comes to the fore. Meeting your wallet and your buying concerns halfway, you get a years warranty and a wide selection of vehicles to choose from that are cheaper than at the individual dealer. The reason for the reduced cost is that cars are bought in bulk and are priced to sell with the supermarket generally having a 'no-haggling' policy. If you like what you see, that's the price you pay. It's no secret that with a sea of Ford Mondeos and Vauxhall Vectras in attendance, high mileage fleet cars abound in these supermarkets. Personally I don't have a problem with this as a modern day Ford or Vauxhall are not only well styled and good to drive, but reliable too. A few thousand commuter motorway miles are not testing to the suspension, engine or gearbox - just the commuter's sanity as they drive the same tarmac over and over and over...

Ok, so I've addressed the high mileage issue - although remember much like a cheap designer clothes shop, there's always a real diamond whilst looking through the less popular styles to be found. Another myth of visiting used car supermarkets is that customer service is poor and you face opposition if you want a test drive. Now I'm occasionally nave but wasn't born yesterday and realise that both the above could very well have happened to customers up and down the country, after all who hasn't experienced poor customer service in their lives? That said, from personal experience I haven't had a problem with either the service or wanting a test drive and suggest this doesn't put you off.

This was the argument put to my friends around the bench on that sunny afternoon and I think they're converted. I hope you will consider the used car supermarket option too.

As for the pirates and their eye patches, it wasn't always because they'd lost an eye. Google it...
About the Author
The car journalist Mark bright is living and working in Scunthorpe, Mark's current project is promoting Eddie Wright a Scunthorpe based used car supermarket. Eddie Wright stock a huge variety of used cars at very reasonable prices.
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