Buying a car used to be a face-to-face transaction between a dealer and a customer. Then, COVID-19 happened, and social distancing has become the norm. Suddenly, going to auto showrooms ends up with you just choosing a car and signing your name on a contract. Like most things nowadays, car shopping has become a battle for your health.
But just because there’s a pandemic going on, it doesn’t mean you can’t buy your dream car. As establishments have learned to adopt COVID-19 protocols and more people get vaccinated every day, businesses like auto dealers are increasingly showing signs of life. Still, you can’t let your guard down and risk your health. When shopping for a vehicle, you need to follow protocols to prevent the spread of the disease.
Here are some smart tips to follow when buying a vehicle during the pandemic.
1. Minimize The Time You Spend In Car Showrooms
Minimizing person-to-person contact is still one of the top tips recommended by experts to prevent the virus from spreading. When buying a car, it would be best to choose the vehicle you want beforehand. Most auto dealers have websites, such as the one you can visit here. They have listed online all available models in their inventory, providing details about the car colors, key features, price ranges, payment options, and added customer perks.
So, you can do the selection process online at the comfort of your home. Call the dealer if you have concerns or to have them prepare the documents. By visiting online car showrooms, you lessen your exposure and risk of catching the virus. The only time you need to visit the dealership physically is when you pick up your ordered unit.
2. Draw Up A Budget For Your New Car
As the pandemic continues and many people are still losing their jobs and livelihood, it’s hard to splurge on a new vehicle. Everyone seems to be in a belt-tightening mode. With that in mind, you need to set a figure for how much you’re willing to spend on a new car.
It would help if you plan how you’ll cover the down payment and the loan installment. And while you’re at it, it may also be a good idea to consider where to get financing for your car—whether from a bank or the auto dealership. By doing so, you’ll have a clearer picture of how much money you need and where to get funds.
3. Gear Up With Your Credit Rating
Even in a pandemic setting, you’ll need a good credit score to borrow money for your car purchase. Remember, the economy is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic. So, banks and businesses like auto dealerships also have constricted resources. It means consumers will find it hard to get their loans approved.
Even so, it’s true that many car manufacturers and dealers are now presenting a myriad of financial incentives to attract buyers. Some offer financing with 0% interest in the next five to seven years, plus deferred payments for up to 90 days. Yet, you must check on your credit score to get an idea about the kind of financing you can qualify for.
4. Consider Buying Used Car
Authorities have yet to declare that the pandemic is over. Many people continue to lose jobs, and businesses are closing. Still, there’s a demand for cars as people have become less inclined to use public transportation for fear of getting infected.
But while many people are willing to spend money on a vehicle at this time, the supply of brand-new vehicles may not meet such demand as global supply chains have been disrupted. If you find it challenging to get a new vehicle or don’t want to be on a long waiting list, then you may find it more convenient to consider a second-hand car.
When buying a used vehicle, make sure to have the unit checked or hire someone to inspect its roadworthiness. With a used car, you don’t have to spend as much as a new vehicle.
5. Avail Of Contactless Test Drives
It’s another way of making sure you spend less time in the auto showroom. Ask your dealer for contactless test driving. Under this arrangement, you choose the car you want to try out on the road. You call the dealership, and their representative will drop the unit at your doorstep.
You don’t have to worry about the virus because they will sanitize the vehicle you’ll be test driving before it’s delivered to your home. Your dealer will typically allow you to take the vehicle for a spin for a few days. If you have any concerns, you can contact them via email or phone. How’s that for social distancing?
6. Take Prompt Action
Car shopping online has its advantages, especially during this pandemic. You don’t have to go out of your home, plus dealerships are offering more incentives to buyers. For many people, now is a great time to be in the market for a new car.
If you want to take advantage of the present car market conditions, you need to decide fast and act promptly. Remember, many other prospective vehicle buyers are also doing their shopping in the comfort of their homes. You have competition. And waiting for the perfect deal may end up in lost opportunity and regrets if it doesn’t come.
7. Ask About Dealer’s Precautionary Measures
Many communities are still fighting the pandemic. You still can’t afford to be careless when it comes to COVID-19 protocols for your and your family’s sake. So, part of your car shopping process should be asking the dealer about the measures or steps they take to prevent the virus from spreading.
Do they sanitize their cars before delivery? Do they test their employees for infection? If you think the dealer doesn’t follow the guidelines recommended by experts, then you can always take your business elsewhere. Your health and peace of mind are more important than saving a few dollars on a new car.
Buying a new vehicle during the pandemic can pose quite a challenge. But the good news is you can work around these hurdles and ensure that you don’t catch the virus while shopping for the right vehicle. Some smart tips include minimizing person-to-person contact via online car shopping, setting a budget ahead of time, looking at used cars, applying for a contactless test drive, and inquiring about your dealer’s pandemic protocols. Remember, getting the best vehicle deals doesn’t require risking your health.