A British car showroom has become the first in the world to let customers buy their vehicle using a self-service system.

Similar to the scanners available in supermarkets, customers of Imperial Car Supermarket in Northampton, can now process payments for vehicles worth up to £50,000 at an "unsupervised" terminal.

The prototype, christened The Fast Lane, aims to and make buying cars as normal as the "weekly big shop".

Operations director, Neil Smith, said: "We're always looking for new ways to make the experience of buying a car with us as convenient and enjoyable as possible.

"Self-service checkouts have been around at supermarkets for years, so now we're all comfortable using them – minus the odd 'unexpected-item-in-bagging-area' fiasco."

Once the customer has picked the car they want to buy from the showroom and filled out the necessary legal forms, they are handed the keys.

The soon-to-be owners can then literally drive the car through the whole payment process, from start to finish.

The checkout works by scanning a code underneath of the car, which then prompts the customer to pay by card from behind the wheel.

Once the payment has gone through, the customer is then given the green light to drive straight out of the showroom under a five-day insurance policy.

Unfortunately, the self-service checkout option is only open to cash buyers up to £50,000 currently, and not those paying by a finance option.