The used car salesman’s worst nightmare has finally come true – Tesco has started selling cars. The supermarket giant got into the business earlier this week, but do you want to buy a car from Tesco?
After announcing the launch of tescocars.com, it wasn’t long until Tesco followed it up with its car servicing arm, tescoautocentres.com. So now you can buy, run, insure and finance your car through Tesco, as well as keeping it ship shape with new tyres (from tesco-tyres.com). But is Tesco’s motoring march a good thing?
Worth the Clubcard points?
Significantly, both new ventures are online-only and run in co-operation with partners already in the trade – Carsite and the National Service Network group.
So if you want your motor fixed, Tesco will pick it up and take it to the nearest garage. But if you’re buying a car, Tesco won’t let you test drive it. Instead you’ll have to be content with watching a video of it online. Why? Tesco says that by doing away with showrooms and salesmen, it can make prices cheaper than its competitors.
And since you’re buying online, don’t forget that you’ll have more rights than when buying off a forecourt – under the Distance Selling Regulations you have a cooling-off period of seven-working days when buying off the net, meaning you can return your Tesco-bought car and get your money back, no questions asked.
On top of that, one of the main benefits being sold to customers is the lure of thousands of Clubcard points – something that might prove tempting to potential buyers.
Used car trade needs a wake-up call
Tesco’s actually taking quite a risk by getting into the used motor trade. It’s the UK’s most complained-about industry – in fact, Tesco’s launch came just days after the Office of Fair Trading rapped the knuckles of webuyanycar.com for misleading customers.
However, with the used car trade struggling to shrug off its image as unreliable and untrustworthy, a big name like Tesco could be what’s needed to get others to raise their game.
Still, would you buy a car off the net without being able to take it for a test drive? And would you even consider buying a motor from a supermarket giant like Tesco?