If you haven’t fully realised how the internet has changed the way we buy used cars, then the chances are that you haven’t done it for a few years, or you’ve been living on another planet!

Steadily, the whole process of buying a car - and especially used cars - has undergone the biggest shift in memory, and the web has been the common factor through every stage.


Powering Consumer Choice

Buying a used car  was once a bewildering process and there were some within the motor industry who were happy to keep it that way.

Franchised dealers built up, or were assigned to, specific territories, and in return for the exclusive right to sell new vehicles from the manufacturers whom they represented, they were allocated a budget to operate their business. This encompassed everything from the building and running of their showrooms, to spending for local advertising and other promotional efforts.

At a separate level, new entrants to the market have emerged, their business models focused squarely on challenging the idea that we should always look to franchised operations for the brands they sell. 


A New Kind Of Retail Experience

These businesses are similar in lots of ways to the big supermarkets and it’s no accident that many have, in fact, embraced the description ‘car supermarket’ as an easy way to describe their general approach.

Like the leading retailers, car supermarkets are all about offering a broad choice of models in one place, as well as breaking down some of the formality surrounding the buying process, making it less daunting, and easier to understand through every stage.

Motor Range is proud to be one such business, and since we were established in 1997, we’ve gone on to prove that there’s a place in the market for operators which focus on offering a variety of vehicles from the top manufacturers, bringing in knowledge from elsewhere in the car market then applying this to the way we work.

So rather than taking an approach of ‘this is what we can offer you, take it or leave it’, we’re far more responsive to our customers. We gather lots of information about what they want when they’re on their car-buying journey, and we take this on board in our constant quest to find vehicles which will fit their needs and tastes.

Like you, Motor Range is free to buy cars from all kinds of sources inside and outside the trade, and we make full use of that freedom. It means we have to work hard all the time to track down the vehicles our customers say they’re looking for - but as we all love cars so much, it isn’t really that much of a hardship! And when we get great feedback from our customers, the effort which has gone into every piece of the jigsaw which has created that sale really feels worthwhile.


The Customer Is In The Driving Seat

The internet touches every part of the process when you’re buying a used car these days. If you doubt it, let’s take a trip through a typical car-buying ‘journey’ to see how wide its reach has really become:

1.You decide you need a new car, so you start to do some research on what’s out there

And of course, where can you get all the information you need about cars to help you narrow down your choice? Online! Just about every car made in the last 10 years has been thoroughly reviewed and evaluated by experienced motoring journalists, and, more recently, lots of publishers have added to this by inviting real-life owners to submit their own thoughts and experiences. This means we can build up a picture of what we can expect when we buy any used car - and use all this info to help us narrow down the options available to us.

2.You can find every make and model of car, and narrow down your search online for those that meet your needs

What’s important to you when you buy a car? Its fuel economy? The cost of insuring it? Plenty of space for passengers and luggage? The best features designed to keep everyone safe? All these factors will come into play to some degree, but when you search online for used cars in Liverpool and the Wirral, the best dealer websites will put all the information influencing these vital buying considerations where it’s easily found. At Motor Range, for example, every car we sell is listed on our site, along with its model year, current mileage, engine size, number of doors, and its official CO2 emissions figure. That makes it easy for you to compare all of our cars against these important benchmarks, and more.

3.The prices are clearly displayed, so you know exactly what you’ll be expected to pay

And this is where we at Motor Range benefit hugely from the internet. Not only do we have to be clear about our prices, so too do our competitors. We’re always looking out for what many other used car dealers are offering, and so we too use the additional information at our fingertips. And you’ll have heard the saying ‘knowledge is power’. Well, we use our knowledge of all our competitors to constantly tweak and improve the service we give. But underlying all this, we know that, unless our prices can compete with those of other garages - independent or franchised - we won’t get a look in.

4.It isn’t just in buying the car that you can save money

Now, think about it. Unless you’re lucky enough to be able to come into our lovely new premises at Dunnings Bridge Road and either bring a briefcase full of cash, or have a banker’s draft to let you buy the car you want there and then, you’re going to need to arrange a car finance package to pay for it. And again, this puts pressure on us in our quest to be as helpful as possible to our customers at every stage of buying a used car. We want to be able to make the car they really want affordable for them - but we’ve got some pretty big guns in our corner to help us in this respect: as a licensed credit broker, we’ve partnered with Black Horse Finance, which has specialised in helping people buy the car they really want for more than 50 years. It offers a range of hire purchase (HP) and personal contract plan (PCP) packages which are the results of that experience, and which reflect the latest developments in a fast-moving sector. So at Motor Range, the bottom line isn’t just the car, it’s also the motor finance we can find to allow you to drive the dream.

5.You build a relationship with a local dealer you can trust

Once you’ve had a good experience with buying a car, you’ll probably stash that away in your memory for the next time you go through the process again. Or you might hear that a friend or family member is shopping around for a car, and so you tell them about how easy it was when you went to Motor Range. At least, that’s what we’d like you to do.

We’re not a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ operator - our roots are in the Liverpool and Wirral communities we serve. We shop in the same places, drink in the same pubs, eat in the same restaurants and use the same doctors’ surgeries and hospitals as you. So we know it’s in our own and our customers’ interests to be transparent, truthful and trustworthy - and certainly not tricky. That starts from the first time you browse through our website, looking for used cars to put on your shortlist and, we hope, goes on for many years after that.


Big Changes In The Ways We Buy Cars


In line with the major changes in the car market itself, and the consequent greater choice this has brought about, a similar evolution has happened in the ways in which people’s purchases of cars have been funded.

This has partly happened as cars have become more expensive, and this has made it more difficult to offer a standard hire purchase agreement which is both affordable and lets people change their cars as often as they would like to.

There’s also the question of the greater rate of change and technical innovation in cars, which has meant that manufacturers update or replace their models far more often. And as many owners always aspire to drive the latest version of any particular car, this has meant that they have to trade up more regularly if they want to keep pace.

As a result, we have seen a massive surge in the popularity of newer financing models, such as personal contract plans (PCPs). Instead of meeting the full cost of buying the car through a loan, the driver instead pays the anticipated difference between its new price, and its value when they trade it in. So, in effect, their monthly payments are covering this depreciation, in return for being able to have full use of the car for the length of time stipulated in their PCP agreement.

Once their agreement has ended, they can choose to pay what’s usually called the guaranteed future value of the car and own it outright, or, provided they have kept to the terms of their PCP agreement regarding the mileage they have covered, and had the car serviced and maintained in line with the manufacturer’s schedule, return the car and start a fresh PCP, meaning they get to drive a completely new car again.


Much More Transparency

It’s great to think that you can get a long way down the road to buying a used car without even setting foot in a car showroom.

In finding out all about every car on your wish list, comparing official statistics and putting different cars up head-to-head against each other, you’ve got so much more power than even 10 years ago. It also means less time - and money - spent on travelling to and from various used car dealerships, another way in which you come out on top by buying a used car online.

If you know more about your preferred cars on the Motor Range stock list before you even see them, we’re not ashamed to admit that there can be benefits for our business - not least in making our sales team’s work somewhat easier. You’ll already know, for example, how their MPGs compare with other cars, and how much luggage they can carry, along with a host of the other basics which will help you decide their suitability.

With this essential information already known, you can then base your final decision on what the car’s really like. This is where you’ll benefit from coming down to see us and talking over your choice, having a close look at the cars you’ve shortlisted, and taking a test drive (or two, or more…).

All the groundwork you do online is likely to cut the time you need to spend on the nitty-gritty of making your final selection, so we need to be sure that you’re equally happy with all the other aspects of buying a used car from Motor Range.  We know the bottom line is more about us, and the impression we can make on you.

So even though there are still a few steps involved in the process, buying the right used car online not only saves you money, it also means less time spent in the process, and potentially finding a more complete match for all your needs.

Still don’t believe us? Try searching the Motor Range website for yourself - if you’ve never really looked at it you’ll be amazed at all the information that’s on there. It’s all designed to answer questions which you’d once have had to keep stored in your head until you could find the right people to ask.

But now that you’ve found our website, think of the time you’re saving by not having to start the car-buying process at square one. You’re off to a flying start, and perhaps even well on your way towards the finishing straight, with the winning post in sight and the prize of a cracking used car buy awaiting you..

Thanks to your groundwork and on-line scouting, you’ve done everything you can to clear any possible hurdles between you and that big prize, and managed to save yourself a tidy sum in the process.

Put like that, if you don’t get the massive power of the internet behind you, you’re potentially handicapping your chances of being a winner on all fronts when you buy your next used car.


Start the search for your next used car in Liverpool and the Wirral online, and you’ll soon see how making your choice will be so much easier and less time-consuming. Get off to a great start today at Motor Range and stay ahead of the field in the quest to find the right car for you.