Car Buying During a Pandemic

Wouldn’t it be great if all of us were in the market for an Audi E-Tron?  Maybe you are lucky enough to have one of those in mind, or perhaps you need something a little less ambitious.  But chances are, if you need a car, you need it now, not later when COVID 19 pandemic restrictions are lifted.  So how do you go about searching for and investigating a new or used vehicle amidst quarantines and stay-at-home orders?  Here is how the process generally works now.   

Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay.

Car Dealerships are Non-Essential

Restrictions in the UK were tightened in early January, and car dealerships are not considered essential.  You can still purchase a car remotely, using click and collect services, or delivery services.  Click and collect is only available in some regions, though, and that could be subject to change.  

Click and Collect

With click and collect services, you will browse available cars online through your dealer of choice.  Most dealers have lots of photos available, and some even have 360º cameras so that you can see your car options from all the angles.  


Once you have picked out your perfect ride (this might be the most time-consuming part of the process), your next step is typically to apply for finance through a secure online portal.  This part of the process can take as little as a few hours, and unlike the dealership, you don’t have to sit around drinking lousy coffee while you wait.  

Part Exchange

If you are interested in doing a part exchange, turning in your old vehicle, and deducting the sale price of it from your new car, there will generally be a form to fill out.  

Reserve, Question and Collect

Image by Jay Lamping from Pixabay

The next step is to put a small amount down on your new car, and, assuming your financing has been approved, someone will contact you to set up a collection appointment.  Make sure you ask any last-minute questions about the vehicle before you set up your appointment.  Any payments or additional paperwork will typically be handled when you collect the car, with all parties adhering to social distancing guidelines.  Your new vehicle will be sanitized before keys are handed over.  


Home Delivery generally works the same way as click and collect, except that the dealership will bring the thoroughly sanitized car to you.  You will also have to send in your payments and any paperwork, generally 24 hours before delivery.  You can sit back and relax in the safety of your own home, and they will bring you your car!  

Photo by Lovefreund

Given how much easier click and collect and delivery services are, it’s a wonder anyone even wants to go to the dealership, anymore.  The only thing you are missing out on is the test-drive, and it makes sense to forego that step during a pandemic.  Being able to browse from your lovely, safe, socially distanced sofa is probably the best part, though not having to wait around for an answer on financing is pretty fantastic, too.  So, if you need a new or used car right now, don’t despair because of lockdown.  You should be able to safely, quickly and legally get into a new ride.