Car Reviews & News

Safely buying and selling a car during the coronavirus outbreak

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Our number one concern is the health and safety of our customers and colleagues during this time. With that in mind, we wanted to share the following tips on how to protect yourself and others when buying or selling a car during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As you’re surely aware, official guidance is changing on an almost daily basis. We will constantly be updating this, and our other articles, to reflect the latest advice. But, with all that in mind, please take this article as general advice and use common sense at all times. Check the NHS and UK Gov websites for the latest official updates.
What you have to do at this time
As per Government advice, you must stay indoors for all but essential trips. These are currently limited to:
• Shopping for necessities
• going to work (if you cannot work from home)
• attending medical appointments (either for yourself or someone vulnerable).

If you have to travel, but you, or any of your household, are displaying any of the symptoms of coronavirus then you all have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Buying and selling a car can be postponed, and we’ll still be here to help when you’re better.
Limiting your exposure to coronavirus
If you’re not displaying any symptoms and have to leave the house, then you’ll need to limit your exposure to the virus by socially distancing. You can use this time to research your next car, or to shop online if you need a car urgently.

If you’ve got your heart set on a specific car, many retailers will take a holding deposit for a vehicle and keep it for you until social distancing measures are eased.

If you need an immediate vehicle due to a change in circumstances, such as a current vehicle failure, explain this to the retailer and they will be able to make arrangements.

• Please do not visit a retailer or dealership. Under current restrictions, no dealerships are allowed to open their premises for retail sales, but may still be available for aftersales and servicing for key workers and emergency services. Most retailers will still be taking enquiries by phone, email and live chat where available. Get in touch and they will talk through your options with you.

• If buying a car is essential at this time, find out if the retailer is offering home delivery, or a collection service for purchases and part-exchange. With these, you shouldn’t need to leave your house. The Consumer Rights Act will cover you if the vehicle is faulty, the Misrepresentation Act will cover you if the vehicle is not as described in the advert, and the Consumer Contracts Regulations cover you if you want to cancel your online order within 14 days.

• If the sale isn't essential, please consider moving the date to comply with government lockdown.

Do not visit any retailers, or arrange to collect or sell your car, if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, or if you are in daily contact with anyone in a high-risk group.

If anyone in your household is displaying symptoms, you all need to self-isolate for 14 days.
FAQs
Here’s some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve had so far. If you’ve got a question or concern, let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Can I buy a car online?
If buying a car at this time is essential, for example you're a key worker and you need a car to get to work, it’s possible to buy a car without leaving your house.

Start by researching online. You can use our best-ofs to find recommendations based on your lifestyle and read our expert reviews if you’re still torn between a couple of makes and models.

If you’ve been contemplating a switch to hybrid or electric cars, now’s a great time to read more into that and see if it’s right for you.

If you’re buying a brand-new car, you can even configure it yourself. Just note that, due to temporary factory closures, deliveries are expected to be delayed.
Can I still sell my car online?
You can still list your old car on Auto Trader. Please note that, as the majority of people will be staying at home over the coming weeks, we anticipate that demand won’t be as high.

It is, however, still likely you'll receive queries and questions from prospective buyers, who may be looking to buy as soon as lockdown measures are lifted.

When things are back to normal, you can create and upload your ad in three steps – our audience hasn’t gone away, and we still host millions of car buyers every week. If you’re looking for a new car, then you can also consider part-exchange and get a free, up-to-date valuation of your vehicle.

If you are listing an old car in the coming months, please make sure you clean and disinfect it. Looking after each other at this time is essential, so if you can’t properly disinfect your car – consider delaying the sale until a time that you can.

Note to existing customers: Effective immediately, we have extended all live adverts for an additional 4 weeks, free of charge. We’ve already applied this to your advert and it will be extended for 4 weeks from the original expiry date so there is no need for you to do anything.
Will new car deals be affected?
You may find that dealerships are offering cheaper deals on new cars. This is because the interest rate for most HP and PCP finance deals is affected by the Bank of England Base Rate, which is currently very low.

This does not mean the base rate will stay low, however, and a change will affect variable rate deals. It is essential you stress-test your finances and do not commit to a deal you may struggle to maintain payments on – especially in this time of economic and employment uncertainty.

You can get free, impartial advice on finances from the Money Advice Service and Citizen’s Advice.
What if my dealership closes?
Dealerships are currently closed under the Government's advice. But if you need to buy a car, to get to work or to a medical appointment for example, many of them are offering online journeys that include video calls, home delivery and virtual e-signatures to complete deals. Others are offering measures that ensure social distancing is adhered to.

Remember: all but essential trips are now postponed to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 coronavirus’s spread.
How will home delivery on a new car be affected?
Some dealerships and retailers are offering home delivery services. If you need a car for essential travel, such as visiting a vulnerable person in need of care, please contact the dealer direct via email or phone to see what your options are.

If the delivery of a car is not essential at this time, it should be delayed until after lockdown measures are eased.

If you have any concerns before sending a payment for a vehicle you haven’t seen, please contact our dedicated Customer Security Team for advice. For more information, please visit our Safety and Security page.

Please only consider this service if it is vital over the next few weeks. We will update this as soon as social distancing measures are eased.

If you are self-isolating, please do not use these services and risk spreading coronavirus until the self-isolation for the whole household has passed and no-one is showing signs of infection.
Social distancing when buying a car
If you have to leave the house, please familiarise yourself with the NHS guidelines on social distancing. Again, if you don’t have to leave the house, don’t.

We’ll be here to help when this is over.

More information
For the latest Government advice, visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

For NHS updates, please visit their dedicated coronavirus page.

For our advice to drivers, please visit this page.