Are car dealership service departments still open?
In all probability the answer to that is yes. Dealerships in some states may have had to close their public facing sales departments as they have been considered “nonessential,” but service departments for automotive repairs are necessary so remain open. Many dealerships and large dealership groups are offering enhanced services such as vehicle pickup and delivery, modified service hours and increased sanitization efforts. Best to call ahead or check your local dealer’s website to see exactly what they offer and when they’re open.
For those of us who like to delegate, there is what is called no-contact car service, or concierge car service, which allows your car to be picked up and serviced without you ever having to leave the comfort of your own home.
Can I buy gas?
Gas stations also fall under the “essential” category for businesses. In order for commerce to continue to flow as normally as possible, fuel might be one of the most essential items Americans need now.
While many people are able to telecommute, there are lots of people still on the road, and there is some good news. Because of economic uncertainty and in the wake of the global pandemic, crude oil prices are low and gas prices have fallen. The national average was 32 cents a gallon higher last year at this time than it is now.
Is it even possible to buy a car right now?
Depending on what your local officials are permitting, the answer is yes. While more car dealerships are closing their in-person sales, many dealers are enhancing their online sales efforts and services such as test drives that come to you and/or 100% online purchase with delivery of your new or used car. You might even be able to find “Online Only” deals. Before you head out of the house, we suggest calling your local dealership or check out their website to find out if they’re open, and if so, how they’re complying with government policies and serving their customers. Also, be sure to check out some of our tips for buying a car entirely online and reducing the risk of infection while buying a car.
Is there a best way to purchase a car during a pandemic?
There is a strong likelihood that if you need a car in these uncertain times you can still purchase one. Check with your local dealership about hours of operation. If they’re not open, they might direct you to their website. Regardless of whether you walk into a brick and mortar dealer or use your keyboard, there are always good things to know when buying a car. Here is some additional information about car shopping during the coronavirus outbreak.
What about buying used cars?
All car dealerships should be observing instructions by local and federal governments during these extraordinary times. While some of them may remain open, depending on the areas these dealerships are in, others might be deemed “nonessential” and ordered closed. Regardless of whether you buy a used car in person or online, there are some good tips to know before making a used car purchase.
Is leasing or buying better in financially uncertain times?
Regardless of a public health crisis, the decision to buy or lease a car is always a highly debatable one. How you’re going to use the car, the number of miles you’re planning to put on it, if you’re expecting your family to grow, or whether you plan to modify it or not are all questions to consider. Given the volatility of the stock market, long-term financial decisions could be a factor for you, too. For more information check out Autotrader’s advice on whether leasing or buying is best for you.
Is this a good time to finance?
The short answer to that is yes. The Federal Reserve just cut interest rates and the government has taken sweeping action to avoid a recession. If you’re in a position to finance a vehicle there should be some enticing incentives to encourage you to do just that.
Where can I find some good deals right now?
New incentive programs from dealers are changing daily in response to the COVID-19 situation. Check Autotrader’s curated deals for other additional incentives.
Should I sell my car now?
Even under normal circumstances, selling a car can be a hand-wringing scenario. Add a global pandemic where “social distancing” has become the norm and you might not want to deal with the stress if you don’t have to. However, if it’s a necessity now, there are many different options for selling your car that might prove helpful.
Some general information on COVID-19
Our 24-hour news cycle seems to be shrinking by the minute. The one thing we do know is that everything is changing quickly and staying informed is our best defense. For more information the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed a resource page to answer questions and give assistance on what to do if you’re sick and how we can best prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
Looking for more information? Find out what to expect when buying or servicing your car during the coronavirus pandemic.
This story originally ran on Autotrader.com.