Buying a Car During Coronavirus: What You Need To Know

6 min


You want to buy a new car. Less than a year ago, you could have simply just headed over to do exactly that. A test drive, some formalities, and you would have the car. But since the year 2020 is bridging the gap between Netflix Sci-fi and reality, you cannot do that. The social distancing guidelines and the use of face masks from the Centers for Disease Control extend themselves to car shopping as well.

Globally, governments of many countries are extending their stay at home orders. And with the horrific death toll coming in headlines every day, the sellers are complying as well. Buying a car during the coronavirus pandemic requires you to know a thing or two beforehand. 

The experience will be completely different and completely virtual now. You can see the car’s insides, ask as many questions as you want, and get your answers. How much different could it be, right? It turns out, quite different. You cannot take a test drive, as you could earlier. It’s not the same thing as actually, physically being at a dealership. You can’t finish the paperwork now. Representatives say that these things can be done only after the pandemic is over. It is now a work in progress.

The last and foremost thing to know is that now is the best time to buy a car. CoPilot’s projections tell us that all the best deals will come around in about six weeks, as the buyers are sidelined, despite the bargains. 

How is buying a car different during the pandemic? 

Multiple changes have been on the rise when it comes to buying a car during the COVID-19 pandemic. Selling cars is radically different, and so is buying them. It is good to buy a car now because the market conditions are notably in favor of the buyer. 

Things that you need to know

    • Virtual experience – Nearly all the transactions will take place online. This includes browsing, researching, buying.
    • Heavenly deals – the market favors the buyer, and you’ll find some lovely deals right now. The principles of buying a car still apply.
    • Efficient experience – the good thing about buying a car during this time is the experience. It will be less time-consuming. There will also be less effort going into the dealership.
    • Home delivery – the services will bring the car home for you. You don’t need to visit the dealership. 

Let’s take a closer look at these points. 

Many people like the entire experience of walking to the dealership, looking around and inside the car, checking out the colors, and having proper communication with the salesman. However, the experience will soon be wholly virtual. And people are opening up to this too. Potential buyers are gravitating towards the online transaction experience.

For skeptical buyers, it might help to consider that the shift to virtual platforms is not sudden. Like other businesses, the car buying and selling business wasn’t far away from the direction. It’s adapting quickly to people’s needs. 

The differences in the experience will perhaps be most noticeable at the lessening of human connection. Price negotiations now happen on apps, instead of in person. Paperwork, too, will be handled by the valet coming to your place. The credit approvals, financing, and other documents will be on a virtual platform. These are precautions taken to avoid surface contamination. 

The Deals

While we maintain that it is a buyer’s market for cars, experts also point out at its perplexing side. This summer, three model years of new vehicles will present themselves as options to potential buyers. The leftovers of 2019, the current model 2020s, and the early ones of 2021. 

The post-coronavirus landscape will be confusing for new consumers. It will have many incentives and unbelievable deals. 

The one stable strategy that works for lowering the price of your car is to buy it at the month’s end. In the last few days, dealers grow desperate and more willing to negotiate on their inventory prices. 

The Efficiency

With the shifting landscape of how we consume things, many aspects will be permanently altered. We’re used to home deliveries for everything –clothes, books, food, machinery, everything. Just like them, we’ll get used to car deliveries too. Contactless transactions are a necessity now, and will soon be the norm. Seeing the rising number of confirmed cases and America facing unprecedented changes, vehicle home deliveries are a good thing. The entire process will be less time-consuming. Additionally, it will get streamlined. One employee can oversee the entire process –from paperwork to prices.

Your car will be delivered for test drives too. Consumers get a chance to test drive many cars before making the final purchase. Such concierge service is quickly becoming a common thing.

So you don’t need to be afraid while making your next car an online purchase. 

How Is The Experience? 

The process is independent. But it does not come without its own set of problems. There were people hired in the car-selling business to help the consumers make a decision. There was a reason behind it. For many people, this ‘efficient’ process may seem a huge challenge. An app can never truly replace a human being. AIs cannot understand the nitty-gritty effect of hand-holding with the customer. It’s a matter of psychology, not just business. 

In case you’re bursting with questions, you’ll find the virtual mode a tad confusing. People who’re generally not tech-savvy and are looking to purchase the new models might find out that this new method isn’t working out well for them. 

The cars, of course, will come disinfected now. The salesman will wear a mask, and you’ll need to.

This new world of car buying will be strange not just to the consumers but also to many sellers. Car dealerships aren’t fully prepared to stumble into this scenario and are dealing with an uncertain, shifting landscape. Digital retailing and other things can be very frustrating for them as well. It could cost someone their job. 

Let’s Talk About Car Loans

You must be wondering what the updates on the loan front are. Can you get a good deal? Most likely, yes. The credit conditions have indeed worsened. Some buyers have probably given up on buying a car due to the economy’s state. 

However, the chances are that if you could afford a new vehicle before the pandemic, you still do. Getting a loan is not going to be extremely difficult.

With the interest rates plummeting in recent months, reaching from 6% of last year to an average of 4.2% in June, you can judge yourself. There are also the zero-percent financing offers. The consumers should keep an eye on them. However, you should still be a bit cautious while going through them. 

Gas Prices

Talking about gas prices when considering a car purchase is important. The prices plummeted when the pandemic grew its monstrous self. With the war and Americans driving less, the prices dropped. Work from home has greatly reduced the demand for automotive fuel. According to the EIA, the gasoline demand and supply is very unstable and will continue to be for a while. While fuel prices should not solely determine your decision to buy a car, it’s certainly a factor to consider before buying a vehicle.

Final Words

It’s essential to consider certain factors for those consumers who’re still unsure about buying a car during the pandemic. Are you secure in your job? Do you see a model that meets your expectations? Can you afford to buy a car right now? If you find yourself answering yes to these questions, this might be a good time to buy a car.

What you must not forget is that we are living in the times of a pandemic. Following medical experts and authorities’ advice, putting efforts into personal hygiene, and actively social distancing will reduce the most significant risk factor: the Covid-19 virus.

The following months can be a beneficial period for you as a buyer. With the car sales plummeting in March, automakers and dealers have come up with some generous incentive offers. Big names are expanding their purchase discount programs. Ford’s 500 dollar bonus cash incentive for the first responders and medical workers is one example.

If you fit in any criterion, grab the chance. Acting quickly would be great for consumers looking for popular models due to slim dealer inventory.


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