What Car?

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This article is about the magazine. For the single by Cliff Richard, see Something's Goin' On.
What Car?
What Car? magazine July 2001.jpg
What Car? magazine cover, April 2017
Editor Steve Huntingford
Former editors Jim Holder; Chas Hallett; Steve Fowler; Rob Aherne; Mark Payton; Richard Feast
Categories Car buyer's guide
Frequency Monthly
Circulation 70,218 (Jul–Dec 2012)[1]
Publisher Haymarket Consumer Media
First issue 1973 (1973)
Company Haymarket Media Group
Country United Kingdom
Based in Twickenham
Language English
Website www.whatcar.com
ISSN 0307-2991

What Car? is a long-running United Kingdom monthly automobile magazine and website, currently edited by Steve Huntingford and published by Haymarket Consumer Media.

First published in 1973, What Car? is intended primarily as a magazine for car buyers rather than dedicated enthusiasts. In addition to first drives and group tests of the latest models, it contains an extensive buyer's guide section to help consumers choose the right car for their needs and provides tips on how to get discounts on cars.

In 1978, the magazine held its first Car of the Year Awards, giving advice on the best models to buy, and this has since been an annual – and eagerly awaited – feature. In 1996, the website www.whatcar.com was launched. More recently, What Car? launched another print edition, published in India every two months, which subsequently became a monthly publication. The 8th anniversary edition was published in August 2014.

Car of the Year[edit]

Every year What Car? hosts an awards ceremony where it names the best cars in each sector of the car market, and an overall Car of the Year, with the Renault 20 receiving the inaugural award in 1978. In 1985, the Volkswagen Golf, in its second generation, became the first model to receive the award twice, having previously won it for the facelifted first generation car in 1981.

Volkswagen is currently the most successful brand in the history of the awards, having taken the top prize a total of six times. Volkswagen owned brands, such as Audi, SEAT and Škoda, have won it a further six times between them.

True MPG[edit]

In April 2012, What Car? launched a new service called 'True MPG', which it claims gives consumers an idea of what they can really expect from a car if they drive it gently and stick to speed limits, but don't resort to any unrealistically slow acceleration or special hypermiling techniques. These True MPG figures are published alongside the official government fuel economy data, that car manufacturers are legally obliged to include in brochures.[16]

What Car? Approved Used[edit]

In June 2012, What Car? launched an online car buying service called 'What Car Approved Used', which it claimed provides "peace of mind" to car buyers, by endorsing the "10 Points of Difference" promoted by the National Franchised Dealers Association.[17][18]

The agreement came to a close in July 2015, and What Car? began to carry listings from other sources, dropping the 'Approved Used' branding.

New Car Buyer Marketplace[edit]

In October 2016, What Car? launched a new online car buying service called 'New Car Buyer Marketplace'. Built into the existing whatcar.com website, it lets readers buy discounted cars from dealers in their area who have signed up to a What Car? code of content.

Users can add options, change trim and alter finance preferences to get a ‘live' price which dealers are committed to. What Car?'s 'Target Price' – a long-established recommendation of the most the magazine's mystery shoppers think someone should pay for a particular model – is displayed alongside the dealer price so users can check whether a deal represents good value.[19]


  1. ^ "Product Page - What Car?". ABC. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "BBC News: The Company File: Rover wins car of the year". BBC News. 23 February 1999. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "What Car? names Seat Ibiza Car of the Year 2003". The Telegraph. 16 January 2003. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "2006 COTY: BMW 3 Series". What Car?. 20 January 2006. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "2007 COTY: Vauxhall Corsa". What Car?. 19 January 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "2008 COTY: Jaguar XF". What Car?. 17 January 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "2009 COTY: Ford Fiesta". What Car?. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "2010 COTY: Peugeot 3008". What Car?. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "2011 COTY: Audi A1". What Car?. 14 January 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "2012 COTY: Volkswagen Up". What Car?. 11 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "2013 COTY: Audi A3". What Car?. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "2014 COTY: Nissan Qashqai". What Car?. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "2015 COTY: Skoda Fabia". What Car?. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "2016 COTY: Audi A4". What Car?. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "2017 COTY: BMW 5 Series". What Car?. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  16. ^ "What Car? launches True MPG service". Motor Trader. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "NFDA and trusted dealers to promote benefits of franchise aftersales". 17 June 2012. 
  18. ^ "What Car? Approved Used launched". What Car. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  19. ^ "What Car? launches online New Car Buyer Marketplace". AM Online. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 

External links[edit]