Companies that buy cars: the complete guide

There are many companies that buy cars. So many in fact, that when selling your car, you are faced with a huge amount of options. It can be extremely hard to pick the right buyer. Compare car buying companies and sell your car here.

With the vast amount of choice out there, how can any non-car experts possibly know how to find the best company? Even for car-experts, finding the right business to buy a car can be an enormous challenge.

In this guide we take a look at the different kinds of companies who purchase vehicles…       

There are many companies that buy cars.
With so many companies that buy cars, it can be difficult to know who to hand your keys over to.

Different kinds of companies that buy cars explained: 

Can you achieve the best deal by selling your car to a local or franchised dealer?

What about online car buyers? They offer both speed and convenience, buying your car quickly and without much of the hassle associated with selling your car.

However the options don’t end there. There are many other businesses that buy cars and many ways to sell.

Car manufacturers and their branches will often buy your car. They have scrappage schemes for older cars, offering a discount on one of their new models.  

With recent concerns over air pollution and diesel cars, along with a slump in new car sales, these schemes have been heavily promoted by car manufacturers. Scrappage routes provided yet another option for those looking to sell their car.

There are also companies that buy cars for scrap. If your car is nearly worthless, and you are looking to gain some cash quickly, these might provide the perfect solution for you.

So as you see, with so many different buyers out there, it is hardly surprising that sellers often feel confused! If you want to sell your car, how can you know if you are selling it to the right type of company?

Let’s explore the options in more detail… 

Car dealerships that buy cars

Trustworthiness has always been an issue with car dealers.
A reputable car dealer will often give you and good price, however one that will pay a fair price can be hard to find.

Car dealerships have been the automatic go-to option for decades. In this section there are two different kinds of companies that buy cars. One being independent and local car dealerships, the other being franchised dealerships.

Independent car dealerships   

Local car dealerships have been a popular way of selling your car for a decades. You would simply drop off your car at the one closest to you, and they’ll buy it off you.

Simple, right?

Well, no. There are several issues to consider when selling to your local dealership.

One of the key issues with selling to dealerships, is the fear you are getting ripped off. Famously, independent, local dealerships have a reputation for untrustworthiness.

There are always worries that the dealer will buy your car for nowhere near its true market value, only to sell it on as soon as possible for a much higher price.

There’s a lack of transparency, as they seemingly possess all the information about your car, whereas you don’t know anything about the service they’re offering.    

Franchised car dealerships

Unlike their independent counterparts, franchised car dealerships will often have more financial power.

These companies that buy off the public aim to achieve a profit by buying cars they think they can sell on for more.

Their direct links to the car manufacturers mean they have a better reputation of trustworthiness than their independent counterparts and can also offer you financial incentive to buy a new car as a part exchange.

However, just as with independent dealerships, they do have a reputational problem with transparency and trustworthiness.

Once they have bought your car there is little information given to the seller about how much they sell it on for.

Just like the independent dealerships, there are therefore numerous things to consider before selling your car to a franchised dealership.

Online companies who buy cars

Compare companies that buy cars
Motorway allows you to compare online companies that buy cars.

Many of the fastest growing companies that buy motors are online services. These companies have made a significant impact on the used car market.

WeBuyAnyCar* was the first nationwide online car buyer, launching in 2006. 

Since then lots of other online car buyers such as WeWantAnyCar, The Car Buying Group, Best Car Buyer and others have joined the market.

All these buyers offer a quick, and relatively hassle-free service. If you want cash for your car quickly, they can help.

If you are thinking of selling your car to an online car buying company, but are confused with the amount of choice, then Motorway is a good solution for you that compares many online car buyers.  Note: – we don’t compare WeBuyAnyCar’s offers, so you’ll need to visit their website directly to get a valuation from them.

And remember to check out our guide to the top online car buying companies for completeness.

Companies that buy cars for scrap

Is your car nearly worthless on the second hand car market? Does it have significant damage that would cost more than it’s worth to repair? Or maybe it’s been labelled a Category D write off by your insurance company?

If any of the above questions ring true, then companies that buy cars for scrap may be your best solution.

They offer a way to get a quick and easy way of getting your car scrapped.

scrap cars for cash
Scrap buyers are perfect if your car is nearly “worthless” in the second hand market.

It may not be the most profitable, and you may be able to get more if you broke up your car and sold it as parts. However, this is a process that can drag on for ages. As a result, not everyone has the time to do so.

Companies who buy cars for scrap, like Motorway’s partner CarTakeBack, offer an easy solution.

They will take your car, offering a reasonable and quick offer for your scrap car.

If you want to find out more about selling your car for scrap, check out our complete guide to getting cash for scrap here.

Car scrappage schemes

Car scrappage schemes provide another provided another way for people looking to upgrade their cars.

These schemes are often initiated by either governments or car manufacturers.

There have been numerous reasons for launching these schemes over the years, including attempts to fight falling sales figures.

Scrappage schemes are another way to get rid of an old car
Mercedes offered £1,000 off a new Smart car with their scrappage scheme.

In recent years, the slump of sales of new cars and fears of pollution from older vehicles has resulted in the creation of a number of car scrappage schemes.  

In 2017, as Motorway revealed, fears about high levels of air pollution, resulted in diesel prices falling dramatically, though diesel sales have recently been bouncing back

With the UK government taking steps to  reduce the of NO2 pollution and improve air quality, many diesel drivers were unsure over what to do with their vehicles.

Diesel drivers were now faced with the prospect that the value of their cars had been reduced significantly.

As a response to the market trends, several car manufacturers launched or rushed through new scrappage schemes. These aimed to encourage drivers to turn in their old cars, and get money off a new one.

For those worried about the declining value of their cars, these offer a possible solution.  

In exchange for turning in their old, often high polluting car, they could receive a discount off a brand new model.

Some of these schemes have now come to an end. However, there are still several schemes available. As mentioned at the start of the article, you can check out our full guide to scrappage schemes here.

Looking to compare companies who buy cars quickly?

Motorway allows you to compare offers from many different online car buyers. Simply value your car at and choose your best offer from our comparison table! It takes seconds to get started with selling.

Still confused? Need more great car selling advice? Check out more of our popular guides and selling pages below:

Note: WeBuyAnyCar is not a commercial partner of Motorway. We do not compare prices from and they have not endorsed this content.