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If you’ve ever bought or sold a car, then you know what a pain the process can be. Carwow takes all of the costs, haggling, and irritation out of getting a great deal, connecting you with their pool of over 3,000 dealers to ensure you get the best price possible.
Helping you buy a new or used car or sell your old one, this free service takes the guesswork out of what can be an expensive, lengthy process and saves you thousands of dollars.
Naturally, such a handy service has received much praise, and you’ll find the name in The Telegraph, The Guardian, and The Independent. It even has 1.1 million followers on Instagram, and to date, has sold £1 billion worth of cars.
Sound too good to be true? In my Carwow review, I’ll guide you through details on the service, feedback, FAQ, and more to help you find out.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our mission is to help you make better, more informed purchase decisions. Our team spends hours researching, consulting with medical experts, gathering insight from expert professionals, reviewing customer feedback, and analyzing products to provide you with the information you need.
Overview of Carwow
Ever since Carwow was launched in 2009, the folks behind it have been on a mission to create “the ultimate online car buying and selling experience.” Founded by James Hind and David Santoro, the London-based service has attracted 12 million users who trust it to get them the best deal on their cars.
What’s the secret to its success? It’s a mix of the service’s engaging and educational platform which informs users about car manufacturers and models through a high-energy YouTube channel with 7.5 million subscribers.
When you use the service, Carwow helps you compare offers from dealers and makes sure you feel comfortable with your selling price. The whole process is incredibly user-friendly and puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to negotiating and selecting a car or dealer that makes sense for you.
Backed by the same investors behind Facebook, Carwow launched the process of buying and selling a car (which was in much need of an upgrade) into the 21st century. Ready to learn more? The highlights are up next in my Carwow review.
- 3,000 reputable dealers
- Carries a wide range of makes & models
- New & used cars
- All dealers are rated & reviewed
- Dealers approved directly by manufacturers
- Average savings of $3,185–$3,953
- Manage your offers easily
- Available in the UK only
I’ve just started to rev the engine in my Carwow review. Coming up, I’ll give you an in-depth look at the service, the kinds of cars it offers, and how much it costs.
Carwow Car Dealership Review
Using Carwow is simple, free, and fast, with many users reporting sales of their vehicles in under 24 hours. There’s none of the stuff you’ve grown to hate about selling your car (like ridiculous lowball offers and potential buyers who waste your time), and when it comes to buying, you’ll have a ton of variety.
Carwow gives you access to more than 3,000 trusted partners with who you can sell your car or buy a new one, and each of them has reviews and ratings to help you get an idea of what they’re like to work with.
Helping you to buy or sell your car in a matter of a few clicks, Carwow easily organizes your offers by location, dealer rating, and price so you know exactly what to expect.
Carwow: Explore Cars
Looking to buy a car? Carwow lets you browse by car type and they have pretty much every category you can think of. From SUVs and hatchbacks to sports cars and convertibles, no matter what you’re looking for (aside from maybe Monster trucks), they have a dealer that carries it.
If you already know what make of car you’d like, browse by car manufacturer instead. With automobiles from family-friendly makers like Toyota, Honda, and Ford, you’ll also find luxury names like BMW, Audi, and Aston Martin. No matter which one you pick, Carwow’s average savings per vehicle is $3,185–$3,953.
How Does Carwow Work?
Carwow is an online service, so to get started, you’ll need to head to carwow.co.uk. If you’d prefer to watch their reviews of cars to get an idea of what you’d like, they also have an app called Carwow Reviews on Google Play.
Ready to sell your car? Hop online and answer a few questions about what kind of car you have. They’ll send your details to their dealers and they’ll give you an offer. There’s a chance you’ll get more than one offer, so you can choose the one that’s right for you. Then all you have to do is confirm an offer and arrange a collection date.
If you’re buying, after you enter what you’re looking for, you’ll be matched with dealers that suit your criteria. Once you’ve settled on an option, you can get in touch to talk about payments, financing, and test drives.
Your activity on Carwow is up to you, but the service does have staff members that can help you along the way. For a breakdown of exactly how the service works if you’re looking to buy, I’ve included a step-by-step guide:
- Browse for cars within your price range, preferred make, model, and dealer location.
- Check for reviews and guides, and settle on a dealer you feel comfortable with.
- Compare offers from local and national dealers and choose one that makes sense for your budget and needs.
- Accept an offer and ask your dealer any additional questions about the car and if they offer home delivery.
The process for selling a car is similar, but you’ll set your price and provide details, compare offers from dealers, and accept the offer with the price that feels right. Carwow only works with dealers that are approved by manufacturers and many of them have showrooms that you can visit before buying.
They say the best things in life are free, and there are no costs associated with buying or selling your car through this service. Does that mean it’s the best fit for you? Keep reading to find out.
Who Is Carwow For?
Perhaps the most important thing I should mention is that Carwow is for UK residents only. The service buys and sells a wide range of new and used vehicles through dealers who are vetted by the manufacturers themselves.
Some dealers have showrooms and offer test drives while others don’t, so this service is great for those who prefer to do things virtually and those who like to try before they buy.
Carwow Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
So far, this service sounds like it’s invaluable, but you know as well as we do that a real understanding of any company comes from reading its reviews. I scoped out the brand’s online presence to see what it’s all about.
While the service itself posts tons of reviews of its cars from its approved dealers, there isn’t a ton of direct feedback from customers. In fact, the only place I really saw a decent amount of feedback was on Trustpilot.
On Trustpilot, over 31.6k users have written about the company and awarded it an average of 4.7/5 stars. That’s certainly enough feedback to get an accurate view of the brand, so let’s check out the rating’s snapshot before diving into some comments.
- Excellent: 88%
- Great: 8%
- Average: 1%
- Poor: <1%
- Bad: 2%
96% of users said they received either excellent or great service with Carwow which is a crazy high number. What do they like about it so much? The following Carwow review explains:
“Smooth, easy, and quick process from start to finish. Carwow offered more for the car than any other and the car sold literally 5 mins after going live online! Helpful staff members answered my queries. Highly recommended.”
Because Trustpilot is the only fair source of feedback I was able to dig up for this section of my Carwow review, I wanted to look at a few more comments to double-check the information. The last comment mentioned the company’s helpful staff, which is important because we want to make sure that who you’re doing business with lives up to the brand’s claim of excellent service.
As I read through comments on Trustpilot, it became very clear to me that one of the most common points of feedback was about the helpful staff. Here’s another Carwow review that mentioned it: “Very useful platform to sell your car. Staff [was] very responsive to questions and help. Have vehicle documents to hand and follow [the] photograph guide.”
It sounds like as long as you follow their procedures, it’s relatively easy to buy or sell a car. Other reviews mention quick sale times (some in as little as 10 minutes after their listing went live), but also include handy tips for using the service like this one:
“Recommended – just have [an] idea in mind of the value of your vehicle as the initial suggested sales price at the listing stage was way below what I would have accepted.”
Low valuations of cars are common points across feedback from sellers, so tips like this one are important to remember that you have the final say in what your car sells for. The service often prices cars so that they sell fast, but that may not be important to you.
For a little variety, I was able to track down a few trustworthy reviews from Facebook. There, Carwow averages 3.9/5 stars after 100 comments. Here’s one that confirms what we’ve learned so far:
“I used Carwow for the first time, they valued my car at the right price and then I had the opportunity of setting my own price, very polite and helpful staff. My car sold the same day.”
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in the feedback online, but it’s a very small percentage of folks who reported issues with the service. Still, I think it’s important to be aware, so I’ll go into more depth about common complaints next.
Is Carwow Legit?
You’re likely reading my Carwow review because you want the full scoop on the service. To do just that, I combed through reviews to look for red flags and to see if customers faced any repeated issues.
I’ll start by saying that if you’re looking to buy a car on this service, you likely won’t run into many issues since the majority of complaints come from those who are selling. While I did see some folks mention dealers securing deposits and switching up details, it looks like they issue refunds pretty quickly if you decide not to buy from them.
If you’re looking to sell, it sounds like the most likely issue you could face is underpricing. With that said, you have control over the final price. If they value your car at a price you’re uncomfortable with, change it. That’s not for them to decide, it’s just a suggestion.
In addition, Carwow is a free service, and they don’t hold your car hostage. You are free to post it elsewhere online and if you get a better deal from another service or private advertisement, you can take it.
Is Carwow Worth It?
Because Carwow is a free service, the question of whether or not it’s worthwhile to use becomes one of weighing its pros and cons. There are a lot of benefits of using Carwow, and from what I can see, the process of buying and selling a car is rather painless for many.
There is the possibility of choosing a dealer that isn’t a joy to work with, but I appreciate that Carwow allows for ratings and reviews of its dealers so that you feel comfortable with one before you buy from them. Also, Carwow has a team of 30 people that ensures dealers are providing a high standard of service.
From what I’ve read online, Carwow has helped thousands of people find and sell a car and takes away the hassle you’d normally go through tracking down dealers or buyers. Because the service is free to use, it’s definitely worth checking out, but I recommend doing some research into the dealers before settling on one.
Carwow Promotions & Discounts
If you’ve made it this far in my Carwow review, by now you know that this service is free. That means it costs nothing to use, and yet, using it means you’ll likely save thousands of dollars if you’re looking to buy.
While I pride myself on giving you the latest deals and discounts for top brands, in Carwow’s case, zero costs mean there’s nothing to discount which is a gift in itself.
Where to Buy Carwow
Carwow is a completely virtual service. To buy or sell a call, head to carwow.co.uk.
Who owns Carwow?
James Hind, Alexandra Margolis, and David Santoro own Carwow. They founded the service in 2009 to help people seeking to buy and sell a car do it for less.
How does Carwow select dealers to work with?
Carwow partners with official UK dealers that represent manufacturers. They’re all vetted and approved by the manufacturer itself before they can become a dealer, so that fact alone should tell you that they’re the real deal.
But there’s more. Carwow actually employs a team of more than 30 people who ensure that dealers are the real deal and that they will provide customers with the caliber of service the brand holds standard. Those that have repeated poor service are removed from the site.
Many Carwow dealers have showrooms you can visit and even test drive the car you’re interested in. Some dealers don’t have showrooms and conduct business strictly online.
These kinds may require a bit more trust, but they are still reputable and have to be approved by the manufacturer. Instead of test-driving a car, you can ask them as many questions as you like, including more photos of the car you’re interested in or if they offer home delivery.
If you do opt for one of their cars, you will be buying directly from the dealer. All dealers are rated and reviewed, so you can sort through comments to ensure you feel comfortable with one before you buy.
How does Carwow make money?
If Carwow costs nothing to use, how does it stay up and running? Instead of charging the customers, Carwow charges the dealer a fee that’s based on the number of people interested in their cars.
When you use Carwow, they will collect certain information necessary to use their services. For example, your email, name, and postcode will be required, along with your phone number, what you search for on their website, and your IP address.
Basically, anything you input to their site, the service will remember, such as how you would like the dealers to contact you, your records of interactions with the service in general, and recordings of telephone calls placed with the dealers. That’s all basic information, but if you choose to sell your car with one of the dealerships, here’s what they will require:
- Car service history
- Driving license
- Bank details
Carwow uses general information to better help you navigate their website, but also to learn from your browsing habits. All of this information is required to use their services, and though you can withdraw it at any time, doing so will mean you can no longer use Carwow.
What is Carwow’s Refund Policy?
The only case in which you can get a refund from Carwow is if it develops an issue or fault within 30 days of ownership. If it does, you can return the car to the dealer and get a full refund. If you still would like to own the car, ask if the dealership can resolve the issues under its warranty. If they cannot, ask for a refund.
Even after those 30 days, while you may not be automatically granted a refund, you can still ask the dealer to repair or replace your car if it starts to have issues within the first 6 months of ownership. If they will not, you can either ask for a refund or a price reduction.
Past the 6-month mark, you still have a right to ask for repairs or a replacement if you can prove that the car was sold as faulty. Manufacturers’ warranties may cover this regardless, so be sure to ask exactly how long your car is warranted.
How to Contact Carwow
If you need any more information after reading my Carwow review, you can get in touch with the brand Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. Here’s how:
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