AutoeBid is a new website for internet buyers. It offers two ways of purchasing the car: you can plump for one of the deals listed (as we did) or provide your specific requirements.

The latter triggers what’s called a reverse auction, where dealers e-mail you with offers as close to your target price as possible.

We spoke to several people who’ve used the service – some successful, others not – but all were impressed with it. They praised the easy-to-navigate site and even courtesy calls from AutoeBid staff.

A dealer who had recently sold a car via the site told us: “If someone had told me people would be willing to buy cars in this way a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it. Now I think it’s how most vehicles will be purchased in future.”

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