Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed almost every part of life as we know it. And with social distancing in place, we’re being advised to only leave the house when absolutely necessary.
Many of us still rely on our cars – including driving to and from work if you’re a key worker. But what if you need to buy a new car?
Do I really need to buy a new car right now?
First, think about whether now’s really the right time. If you’re a key worker, or you’re looking after someone who’s elderly or vulnerable and a car is an absolute necessity, then it’s sensible to consider buying a new car if your old car isn’t reliable.
But if the journeys you have in mind aren’t essential, it’s worth holding off. If you do see a car that you like, then dealers are taking deposits and can deliver a car as soon as restrictions lift.
It’s exciting to search for a new car and browse the vehicles on offer, and it’s something that you can do easily and safely from your home. You’ll find thousands of potential vehicles on car-buying websites, including our own marketplace.
Remember, research is just as important as ever. Check out guides and reviews to make sure a new vehicle is right for you.
Choose a car
So you’ve done your research, checked the facts and everything adds up – it’s time to pick the car for you. Again, this can all be done remotely, and it’s always worth picking up the phone to speak to a dealer if you have any questions.
As non-essential shops, dealerships are largely closed, but that doesn’t mean they’re not operating. Dealers will still be manning the phones to answer questions, so try calling if you need any information.
Can I view a car before I buy it?
Dealership forecourts and showrooms are closed, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to view a car before buying However, some dealers might be able to provide an ‘around-car’ video of the vehicle you’re interested in.
Again, it’s a case of phoning up to check beforehand.
Can I buy a car completely online?
Many places are still offering ‘contactless’ car buying. It means that you can choose, buy, organise finance (if you need it) and take delivery of a car without having to leave the house.
Dealerships might not re-open for some time – so if you do need a car right away, then the contactless solution is probably the only way. Many dealers will advertise this service if it’s something they offer. Get in touch with them if you’re not sure.
Will my car delivery be delayed?
If you want to order a new car to specification, expect delays. With manufacturers around the world closing production plants, it’ll likely have a knock-on effect on when a new car will arrive.
If you do need a car right away, choose a just-new or delivery miles car which is already at the dealership.
Can I still sell my old car?
If you’re planning on selling your old car privately, you’ll need to wait for current restrictions to be lifted. Selling a car requires close contact between people, as well as non-essential travel.
You can still list your car online, ready to sell once the situation improves. Or, if you’d rather part-exchange your car, a dealer might be able to help.