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How To Protect Yourself When Buying A Car During Coronavirus Pandemic?

24 March 2020 AutoMarket, Tips & Advice

One thing is certain – coronavirus is not going away anytime soon. With all the turmoil it has caused and more events to still unfold, should it stop you from buying a car?

Buying a car may not be everyone’s priority right now but the fear of coronavirus should not stop you from doing so. Just as you are buying a car without the coronavirus in the picture, you should look for a car that matches your budget and your needs.

However, there are risks involved when you go out there. Needless to say, you should not risk your own safety and health as well as your families or others in your community when you decide to buy a car.

You can still be smart with your car purchase while following the state’s rule on social distancing and person-to-person interactions.

So, what steps should you take to protect yourself when buying a car during the pandemic?

1. Make use of online research.

Now more than ever, online research is at most useful amidst the current quarantine and social distancing rules. There are lots of resources available online including car classifieds where you can search for your desired car and compare prices and specifications. Others also provide financing and loan applications online. This should be an easier route of buying a car as there is less hassle and you only need to sign documents electronically.

But as with online shopping, you can do so much when buying a car online. Here are a few tips to guide you:

  • Start with the right website to find the right car for you.
  • Check for car reviews and rankings to help you answer questions about the car you want to buy.
  • Narrow down your car choices.
  • Once you’ve found the right car that meets your criteria, start contacting the seller or the dealership.
  • Check for the car’s price negotiability.

Buying a car online seems to be the most viable these days and remember, the less buying process within a car dealership, the better and safer.

2. Consider home delivery options.

If you’re worried about exposure, the home delivery option is a great way to limit your contact with the outside world. Some dealers of luxury cars do offer concierge service where they can deliver the cars straight to your home. Even Tesla has announced a ‘touchless delivery’ program. Using the Tesla app from a smartphone, customers can access their newly delivered car and sign the documents which are left in the car.

Of course, you can’t expect all dealerships to offer home delivery options and it won’t hurt to ask. Coronavirus sure had limited our social and business activities but it also opened doors to some business to adapt with the times, such as what Tesla did.

3. Be aware of the dealership’s coronavirus precautionary measures.

Did you know that an employee of a Toyota dealership in Kirkland, Washington USA was tested positive for the coronavirus virus? It’s on the other side of the world, but you can’t dismiss the possibility that it can happen anywhere in the world.

Both customers and car dealerships have a responsibility in not only protecting themselves but also the community they belong to. So when buying a car, it completely makes sense that you ask the dealerships about their preventive measures to protect yourself and other customers from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Know how the car dealership is taking the coronavirus and what they are doing against the virus. Are they practising social distancing? Do they have safety guidelines pertaining to hand washing, disinfecting and handshaking? If you feel that their precautionary measures did not live up to your safety standards, then you’re free to consider other dealerships with more acceptable measures.

4. Disinfect first before doing a test drive.

While going out is highly discouraged, a test drive is still a critical part of any car purchase. But you might risk a coronavirus exposure when test driving a car. It has been found out that coronavirus lives up to several days on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces. Add in the fact that you have no idea how many people had already touched the car before you.

So what do you need to do to protect yourself?

  • Even if the car has been prepared already, wipe it down by yourself and be extra careful with the touchpoints – keys, key fobs, seats, steering wheel, gear shift, seat belt buckles, major controls and touch screens and other surfaces that normally come in contact with people’s hands.
  • Test the disinfectant first before wiping any fabric of soft-touch surfaces to make sure you’re not causing any damage to the material.
  • Make sure to use strong disinfectant as opposed to just ordinary cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Ask the car dealer what they have done to clean the car’s interior – be specific if they had included disinfectant or not.
  • Politely ask the seller or dealer to sit in the back seat of the car as you take a test drive so you’re both on the safe side.

To safeguard yourself while doing a test drive, it’s best to see the car as any other public space that gets infected. This way, you’ll be more vigilant in taking extra precautionary measures.

5. Practice social distancing when visiting a car dealership.

As a major coronavirus prevention guideline, social distancing is heavily imposed in all public areas including a car dealership.

When visiting a car dealership, sanitise yourself before entering and maintain 6 feet away from others.

Should you shake hands after completing your car deal? No. Right now, everyone should disregard that tradition. Skip the handshaking part and proceed with closing the deal. As an additional preventive measure, you might also want to bring your pen to sign the necessary documents.  

If you do choose to shake hands, wash your hands immediately with soap and water.


Buying a car, even in the age of coronavirus pandemic, is still possible. The fundamentals remain the same -  you want to get the best deal out there by making several options, comparing prices from different dealerships, test driving the car, negotiating the price, and hopefully taking advantage of low-interest financing or purchase and lease incentives.

It’s still going to be the same process. The only difference is that you need to take extra precautions to protect yourself when buying a car during coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps, spend more time looking online.

Car dealerships may still be open but staying at home is your best preventive measure against coronavirus exposure. Fortunately, the internet is overflowing with resources for both new and used cars. So stay at home and take advantage of that.

Go visit to begin your car hunt.  At Motor Matcher, you can compare new and used cars online faster and easier than any other car classified.

Everything we do is modelled around providing customers with the right tools when buying and selling cars.

Of course, don’t forget to wash your hands before and after using your computer or smartphone. Stay safe and happy browsing!