From humble beginnings in a Hampshire workshop to conquering the US, Wheeler Dealers has become one of the world’s most popular car television shows.
The show follows car deal aficionado Mike Brewer as he acquires neglected vehicles with the aim of selling them on for profit. Marc ‘Elvis’ Priestley, the show’s current mechanic, takes the cars under his wing – boosting their value with repairs and improvements.
A key component of the show is the buying and selling process, which is portrayed to be real. As with any modern tv show, there’s sure to be some exaggeration and over-dramatisation. That’s what makes it entertaining to the masses.
But is Wheeler Dealers actually fake? Are the cars really sold to legitimate buyers like you and me? We’ve done some digging, and we’re here to explain.
Is Wheeler Dealers fake?
No – according to Mike, Wheeler Dealers is 100% real. Ofcom, the UK’s media regulator, says that all cars shown on screen must be sold to real buyers.
In an episode of the Car Throttle podcast, Mike claims that they have never used actors to purchase a Wheeler Dealers car, dubbing it a ‘conspiracy theory’. According to Mike, all sales have to be legitimate to comply with Ofcom.
If a show repeatedly breaks the rules set by Ofcom, the broadcaster can be sanctioned. Possible sanctions include hefty fines, restrictions or even a total ban on the broadcaster or channel from showing content in the UK.
As a result, it’s vitally important that Wheeler Dealers sells its vehicles legitimately. If it didn’t, it could risk being cancelled.
Where Wheeler Dealers cars are sold
Cars from the show are sold on online marketplaces (eBay, Auto Trader), via social media, in owner’s clubs, at auctions and at in-person automotive events.
Mike and the team do not usually advertise that a car for sale is a Wheeler Dealers car. This is because certain fans of the show will enquire with no intention of actually buying the vehicle. They just want to chat with Mike and Elvis!
If Mike is struggling to sell a vehicle, he will often advertise it on his Twitter profile. You can keep up to date with Mike’s antics here: https://twitter.com/mikebrewer.
In any other case, you will have to be lucky to score a Wheeler Dealers car. Keep browsing on eBay, Car and Classic, Auto Trader etc. – you never know, you might just stumble across one.
For a more detailed look at this topic, check out our guide on how to buy a Wheeler Dealers car.
Car shows and authenticity
It’s a fact of life that most car shows on television are scripted. Episodes tend to follow a simple framework. It starts with a wholesome introduction. Then, a risky purchase is made. Cue the inevitable problems before eventually arriving at a happy solution.
Without clever editing and some scripting, car shows could be considered quite boring. Let’s face it – if everything went to plan all of the time, would it even be worth watching?
This is no different with Wheeler Dealers. Audiences have come to expect a certain level of storytelling and entertainment from Mike and the team. After all, there’s a reason why it’s the most popular automotive television show in the world.
Of course, you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the screen. The guy who miraculously stumbles across Mike at an owners club event is probably following a script. But as long as the car gets sold to a real person, does it really matter?
It’s important to note that some shows will be more fabricated than others. Take Pimp my Ride, for example, which was recently revealed to be completely fake. Ten-year-old me would have been devastated…
So, is Wheeler Dealers fake? Mike Brewer says no, it isn’t, and we’re inclined to agree with him.
For broadcasters in the UK, Ofcom is a pretty big deal. After all, if they don’t comply with Ofcom’s regulations, they could lose their license to broadcast.
According to Mike, he still lists and writes the descriptions for the cars sold. You can tell that he genuinely enjoys dealing cars: after all, he has been doing it for as long as he can remember.
Are you enjoying the most recent series of Wheeler Dealers? Let us know below!