Companies that buy cars – the ultimate 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.

    Here at Motorway, you can sell your car and get a great price. We’ll find your best offer from our nationwide network of 5,000+ verified dealers, but it’s not the only way.

    With the vast amount of choice out there, how can any non-car expert 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. So just who will buy your car?

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

    set of car keys
    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: 

    1. Car dealerships that buy cars 
    2. Online car buyers explained 
    3. Companies that buy cars for scrap 
    4. Car scrappage schemes 

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

    What about instant 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. You can find many other businesses that buy cars and there are various ways to sell too.

    Car manufacturers and their branches will often buy your car. Some even 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 provide 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’re 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’s hardly surprising that sellers often feel confused! If you want to sell your car, how can you know if you’re selling it to the right type of company?

    Let’s explore the options in more detail…

    Car dealerships that buy cars

    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 or chain dealerships.

    Motorway work with a nationwide network of 5,000+ verified dealers of all kinds to find your highest offer. You can sell to a dealer fast here.

    Illustration of a man standing outside a car dealership forecourt
    A reputable car dealer will often give you and good price, however one that will pay a fair price can be hard to find.

    Independent car dealerships   

    Local car dealerships have been a popular way of selling your car for decades. You’d simply take your car to your nearest small used car dealership and they’d buy it off you.

    Simple, right?

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

    One of the key issues with selling to any company is the fear you are getting ripped off. It’s an old cliche, but car dealers have a reputation for being untrustworthy.

    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 from the public aim to achieve a profit by purchasing cars that they think they can sell on for more.

    Their direct links to the car manufacturers mean they have a better reputation than their independent counterparts and can also offer you a 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’s little information given to the seller about how much they sell it on for.

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

    Online companies who buy cars

    Many of the fastest-growing companies that buy motors are online services, mostly car buying sites of various kinds. 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 and Best Car Buyer have joined the market.

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

    If you’re thinking of selling your car online, Motorway works directly with verified dealers to get the best deals for our customers.

    5,000+ verified car dealers compete to give you their best price, when you sell your car with Motorway

    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 quick and easy way of getting your car scrapped.

    Smashed up yellow car
    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. But this can take time, and not everyone has the months to spare.

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

    Car scrappage schemes

    Car scrappage schemes provide 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 as well as to get polluting cars off our roads.

    celebrating car being sold
    Scrappage gives you a tasty incentive to buy a new car.

    Fears about high levels of air pollution, resulted in diesel prices falling dramatically several years ago approaching the electric switchover announced for 2035

    With the UK government taking steps to reduce 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 trend, several car manufacturers launched or rushed through new scrappage schemes. These aimed to encourage drivers to trade 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.  

    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.

    Is it time to sell your car?

    Want to learn more about owning, maintaining, and selling your car? Check out more of our guides here, covering everything from finding buyers, to negotiating a good price, and completing payment safely.