Are you planning on purchasing a new car these days? There are 2 aspects to buying a new car during the Covid-19 outbreak:
What are the benefits of buying a car during the pandemic?
What precautions you must take before you bring the car home?
Is there a risk of catching Covid-19 when buying a new car?
It is as much as catching the virus at any other place. In fact, exposing yourself to the Covid-19 virus at a car dealership is less likely to happen because unlike other crowded places such as retail stores and restaurants, there are fewer people at a car dealership.
So, in that sense, and provided you take care by wearing a mask and making sure that you wash your hands in case you touch something or someone, there is less chance of getting infected. Nonetheless, there is a chance of exposure everywhere these days. It is better to follow the CDC recommendations.
Why does it make sense to buy a car during the Covid-19 outbreak?
Well, the economy is in a slump. Schools and offices have been shut down in many places.
Although the economy is “opening up” in many US states, the cases of coronavirus infections have suddenly spiked and this may force many states to go into lockdown again. This may make it difficult for you to purchase a car but as of now, there is nothing to stop you.
This Forbes report says that the outbreak has cost the car dealers approximately $ 2.6 billion in profits. In April this year, for example, car sales were 50% down. The sale of new cars and trucks in the US plunged to a 30-year low.
Hence, many car dealerships are ready to walk the extra mile to be able to sell you a car during the Covid-19 outbreak. They are offering incentives. Many have lowered their prices. Some are offering 0% financing.
Not every car dealership may offer discounted prices or loan incentives
Not everyone has a clear idea of the seriousness of the Covid-19 outbreak. Hence, many dealers may think that it is a passing phase and within a few weeks the situation is going to turn back to normal and until then, they just have to stick to their ground.
Of course, nothing is wrong in that and we are not saying that since there is an outbreak, the car dealers must be pushed against the wall. It is just that, if there is an opportunity, you should be able to grab it. There is nothing sinister about it.
Hence, if a car dealer acts as if nothing is out of normal and insists that you purchase a new car just as you would purchase it during the non-COVID-19 times, don’t be taken aback.
Do some research online before purchasing a new car
Even when lockdowns are being eased out, people prefer to stay-at-home. For all you know, even your neighborhood car dealer might be operating from home and steps out only when it is absolutely necessary. Consequently, lots of information is available online these days.
Almost every auto dealer these days has a website where he or she publishes the necessary information. If they have better deals for you, they are bound to publish them on their website. If there are some convenient loan facilities, you will find the information on their websites.
Even if you don’t find useful information on a particular website, just Google what you are looking for (“discounted car sales prices during coronavirus”, for example).
On the other hand, a problem with websites is that even when the actual dealership store is closed, rarely a website is taken down. So, even when you can see the listings on the dealership website, the actual dealership store might be closed for business. Hence, before making a move or before making further plans, make sure you call the dealership and confirm that the car that you like is available for purchasing.
Precautions for test driving before purchasing a new car during Covid-19
Remember that when it comes to your safety (and through you, the safety of your loved ones) you cannot take chances and it also means, you can assume that the others may not be as serious about taking precautions as you are.
When you visit a dealership store for test driving, make sure that social distancing is maintained. There is no way of finding whether the car has been sanitized or not, but make a call and insist that the car be fully sanitized before you go for a test drive.
If there is a legal provision of making sure that the car is sanitized before you enter it, try to avail it. You may also assist in getting a written certificate from the car dealer that the car interiors have been sanitized.
Taking a new car on a test drive (or for that matter, even taking a used car on a test drive) is ridden with danger, because you never know how many people have sat inside the car for the purpose of test driving it.
Sure, if you want to take the dealer’s word for it, go ahead, but just to be on a safer side, assume that lots of people have used the car before you, and it may not be thoroughly sanitized. What do you do then? Shouldn’t you test drive the car?
Here are a few things you can do if it is absolutely necessary to test drive the car:
- Wear a good quality mask.
- Wear goggles that completely cover your eyes.
- Wear gloves.
- Liberally spray the steering wheel, the clutch, the seatbelt and the dashboard (basically, everything you are going to touch while test driving the car) with a sanitizer.
- Once you have test driven the car and have stepped out, dispose of the gloves.
- Wash your hands vigorously with soap and if it is not possible, apply sanitizer.
- When you reach home, if you have used your existing car, sanitize it as thoroughly as possible.
- Dispose of your mask.
- Immediately go to the bathroom, take off the clothes and if possible, put them to be washed with hot water.
- Take a bath.
The same set of precautions must be taken when you purchase a new car and bring it home. Thoroughly sanitize it. As thoroughly as you can. Even if your car dealer reassures you that the car has been thoroughly sanitized, don’t take chances and sanitize it yourself.
Please remember that the cases of people being infected with Covid-19 are rising sharply and one of the primary reasons is that people are not taking it seriously. Consequently, they are not just exposing themselves, but also their loved ones.
Now that you are planning to buy a new car during Covid-19, we also advise that you invest in good quality car floor mats. These mats will protect your carpeting and floor area. With proper hygiene practices, you may also keep Covid-19 away with the help of 3D and 5D car floor mats.