Cookies are small text files that are stored on your computer. When you visit a website, that website can store limited amounts of information about your visit into those cookies. When you re-visit that website, those cookies are sent back to the website so the data it stored can be read back.
Cookies often get a bad press due to their associations with intrusive advertising and the 'nasty side' of the internet. While this can be a concern, they are actually an essential requirement for most websites to function at all.
The internet works over HTTP. This is the protocol/method of communication which handles you making a request to a website to view a page or do something, and that website being able to send you back a response, such as a page showing a product on a shopping site.
The problem is that HTTP is what is called 'stateless'. This means that every time you ask to view a page, it does not know who you are, it does not know that you are in the process of trying to add items to your basket and it does not know that you have an account which you want to remain signed in to.
This is where cookies can come in.
The websites you visit (such as ours) store information into cookies that allow them to know that it is you coming back and making another request to view or do something, and not an entirely different person.
For example, when you sign in to your account on our website, we store a unique random identifier (lots of letters and symbols) into a cookie. We then use this to know it's you coming back to us, so you can stay signed in. Or when you add an item to your basket, cookies allow us to keep it there for you while you continue shopping around.
See, not all bad.
Another common use for cookies is analytics and a limited amount of tracking. This isn't really as bad as it can sound and virtually every website out there does it.
These cookies are often used to gain statistics about what pages are being visited, how people navigate their way around the website, what pages are popular and generally how people interact with the website.
This information can be invaluable to gaining an understanding of how your visitors use your website and gain knowledge of what you can do to make things better, or how you should look to work in the future.
Most of these analytics are semi-anonymous and are not used to 'spy' on what a particular individual does, but to gain a general overview of how everyone interacts with the website.
To allow you to sign in to your account and add items to your basket and checkout
To analyze how our website is doing; where people come from in the world, what pages/products they are interested in, how any advertisements we have in place are doing, etc
To store some preferences about your use of our website, such as how you want to view prices or only showing you a notice once rather than every time you visit a page
Amongst our own cookies that we create to allow us to function as an e-commerce website, we also utilise the following 3rd parties:
Google - analytics and statistics about how our website is viewed, used and interacted with
Facebook - analytics and statistics about how our website is viewed, used and interacted with, primarily to allow us to know how people are interacting with our Facebook social media content
MailChimp - to provide a prompt to sign-up to our Newsletter and Mailing List and know when we have already asked you, so as not to keep bugging you all the time
We believe that all the cookies we use on the AutoLeisure website are required for our business. We don't make any of them optional.
You can however decide for yourself not to enable cookies in your web browser or periodically delete your cookies and internet history at your own personal discretion.
Please be aware that disabling cookies when you visit the AutoLeisure website will prevent you being able to browse properly, add items to your basket, make a purchase or use an account, amongst other features.
From time to time we may review our cookie policies and usage. Please refer back to this page for the latest information.