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, July 2001
Editor Jim Holder[1]
Categories Car buyer's guide
Frequency Monthly
Circulation Decrease 70,218 (Jul–Dec 2012)[2]
Publisher Haymarket Consumer Media
First issue 1973 (1973)
Company Haymarket Media Group
Country United Kingdom
Based in Teddington
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 John McIlroy and published by Haymarket Motoring. First published in 1973, it is intended primarily as a magazine for consumers rather than dedicated automobile enthusiasts. It contains an extensive buyers' guide section to help consumers to buy the right car and provides tips on how to get discounts on cars and car accessories.

In 1978, the magazine launched its first Car of the Year award winners, giving car buyers 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. What Car? have also launched another edition, published in India every two months, which subsequently has become a monthly publication. The 8th anniversary edition was published in August 2014.

Car of the Year[edit]

The first receiver of the award was the Renault 20, when it received the inaugural award in 1978. However, it had been on sale since 1975. The Volkswagen Golf was launched in May 1974, but the facelifted version collected the 1981 award. The 1982 receiver, the Mercedes-Benz 200T, was an addition to the W123 range, which had been on sale since 1976. The basic version of British Leyland's Metro had been on sale since October 1980, but the MG equivalent did not arrive until two years later, receiving the 1983 award soon after its launch.

The Volkswagen Golf, in its second generation, became the first model to receive the award twice, being launched on the continent in September 1983, but not reaching British showrooms until March 1984, receiving the award within a year of its launch. The BMW 7 Series (E32), launched in July 1986, received the 1988 award. However, it had been on sale for around 1½ years.

Nevertheless, the next winner, Ford Fiesta, had only just gone on sale at the time of receiving this accolade. The Ford Mondeo & Peugeot 306 both went on sale in March 1993, with the Mondeo winning the award that year, and the 306 winning the award the following year.

True MPG[edit]

In April 2012, What Car? launched a new service called 'True MPG', which it claims provides more realistic fuel consumption figures, as an additional source of consumer information. This is alongside the official government fuel economy data, that car manufacturers are legally obliged to publish.[16]

What Car? Approved Used[edit]

In June 2012, What Car? launched a new 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.


  1. ^ "Editors of Haymarket titles What Car? and Autocar swap jobs, again". Press Gazette. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Product Page - What Car?". ABC. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "BBC News: The Company File: Rover wins car of the year". BBC News. 23 February 1999. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "What Car? names Seat Ibiza Car of the Year 2003". The Telegraph. 16 January 2003. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "2006 COTY: BMW 3 Series". What Car?. 20 January 2006. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "2007 COTY: Vauxhall Corsa". What Car?. 19 January 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "2008 COTY: Jaguar XF". What Car?. 17 January 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "2009 COTY: Ford Fiesta". What Car?. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "2010 COTY: Peugeot 3008". What Car?. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "2011 COTY: Audi A1". What Car?. 14 January 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "2012 COTY: Volkswagen Up". What Car?. 11 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "2013 COTY: Audi A3". What Car?. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "2014 COTY: Nissan Qashqai". What Car?. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "2015 COTY: Skoda Fabia". What Car?. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "2016 COTY: Audi A4". What Car?. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  16. ^ "What Car? launches True MPG service". Motor Trader. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "What Car? Approved Used launched". What Car. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 

External links[edit]