Free Collection & Delivery
14 Day Money Back Guarantee
Live Video Call

Car Buying Jargon Buster

23 Jun 2021
Buying a car is one of the largest purchases that we make after our homes, yet stepping into a show room can sometimes seem a daunting process, particularly if you don’t know all of the jargon. We’ve put together our jargon-busting guide to buying a car, but if there is anything else you’re not sure on, please ask! Our friendly experts are always willing to help with your queries.


The big one; your contract. There are three types of purchase: outright, Hire Purchase or Personal Contract Purchase. An outright purchase means that you pay the full price for your vehicle completely outright. You own 100% of the car and drive away not owing us any outstanding balance. If you have the funds available this is a great option as you will not pay any interest on the balance of your vehicle. With a Hire Purchase, you put down a deposit amount and then pay monthly toward the cost of your car. These monthly payments can vary depending on the length of the contract and the amount of the deposit. At the end of the contract you own 100% of the car, which you can keep or use as equity for your next deposit. A Personal Contract Purchase works in a similar way to a Hire Purchase, however the monthly payments do not cover the full price of the car. At the end of the contract you have three options: pay a balloon payment of the outstanding balance to own the car outright, hand the car back to the dealer with no additional payment or extend your contract on the vehicle. This option is a great one if you like to change your car regularly and having cutting edge technology is important to you. Our guide on how to pay for a new car may also come in handy.

New, Used or Ex-Demonstrator

A new car is a brand new vehicle and can be ordered from the factory to your exact specification. A used vehicle may have had one or two existing owners. However, this doesn't need to mean any less quality. When you buy an Approved Used Mercedes-Benz you are ensuring that your vehicle meets our exacting Mercedes-Benz brand promise, the best or nothing. Another option is to purchase an ex-demonstrator, these cars have extremely low mileage and are usually delivered to a very high specification as we use them to show off the best of our cars. Learn more about how purchasing an ex-demonstrator could save you money.

Technical Details:

Miles per Gallon – This standardised measure is equal to the number of miles your car will do on one gallon of fuel. It is a useful measure of how efficient your car will be, and could have a drastic impact on the running costs of your car. BHP – Brake horsepower. This is a unit measurement of the power of an engine. A good rule of thumb is: the higher a cars horse power, the faster its acceleration. A high horsepower is also a good indication of the top speed of your car. 4MATIC – This one is a Mercedes-Benz specific term and refers to our all-wheel drive technology. Historically the marque of the SUV, all-wheel drive automatically distributes power across the wheels to ensure a smooth drive across all surfaces. Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC technology features on our SUVs and now some crossover vehicles. Read more about Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC technology:

Taking care of your car

Service The process of buying your car will also include some decisions on how to care for it. Here’s some useful phrases to get your head around: Service Plans A service plan allows you to pay a monthly cost toward the maintenance of your car. This ensures the very best care for your car and, alongside other benefits, includes the parts and labour for each service. Choosing a Mercedes-Benz South West service plan also gives additional benefits, read more. StarGard StarGard is our recommended protection product for the interior and exterior of your Mercedes-Benz.  StarGard paint & interior products are guaranteed to maintain your new car’s appearance for 3 years. Learn more about StarGard. Warranty A warranty covers your vehicle for any faults or damage from the start of your ownership. New vehicles are covered for 3 years from their registration date, while Approved Used purchases are covered from 12 months from delivery. GAP Insurance Gap Insurance While traditional insurance policies will calculate the value of your vehicle when you have a crash, Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance will protects the purchase value of your vehicle

We hope that this glossary can help guide you in the search for your next vehicle. Contact your local dealership for more information or if there’s anything you’re not sure of.

[hubspot type=form portal=6656052 id=8b7591af-8cc4-4382-8ce0-ced8af9f563b]
© 2022 Mercedes-Benz South West | VAT Reg. No.: 945 6630 01. Registered in England. Co. Reg. No.: 4306194