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Buying online in lockdown

You can still buy a car in lockdown. Learn more about your option, including Home Delivery and safely sealing the deal online.

Last updated on 29 December 2021 | 0 min read

During the latest national lockdown, buying a car online remains an option to many. At Auto Trader, we’ve been working hard to support you with the information and buying tools you need to buy or sell a car safely and securely.
Home Delivery is available across the UK, with Click & Collect services also currently available in Wales and England. As ever, you can research your next car using our expert reviews, guides and increasingly popular YouTube channel. If you’re looking to kick some virtual tyres on the site, check out some of the best electric cars due to be released in 2021, or browse our best ofs.

Buying online

Those looking to avoid public transport, make the switch to an electric or hybrid, or find a car that’s a bit more reliable in the event of an emergency over the next few months can still buy online.
On Auto Trader, we’ve got over 350,000 cars available to buy online, with over 250,000 of those available with Home Delivery. You can filter your searches by this and any Click and Collect services available when you’re browsing the site. Some retailers have embraced new buying habits and gone fully online, meaning you can go from start to finish in just a few clicks. Tens of thousands of cars have been sold this way already in the last 12 months. Need a little more info on the car before you pull that pin? Don’t worry — lockdown innovations like video viewings mean switched-on dealers can offer you a livestreamed look at the car and your chance to ask specific questions to the salesperson as they show you around. Just look for the ‘live video viewing available’ icon on the ad and book a virtual appointment through the ad. If that’s not reassurance enough just remember, any car purchased entirely online comes with a returns policy to protect consumers, exactly like any other online purchase. Make sure to check any small print in your contract for the specifications before you sign.

Will dealerships stay open?

UK car dealerships can remain open. Under the latest Government guidelines, issued in November 2021, masks are required in retail settings unless you are exempt. Further measures have been introduced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Please confirm the rules and any exemptions to mask wearing with your local authority before visiting a dealership. To make an appointment, simply contact the dealership via the Auto Trader advert. If you do want to visit a dealership when they re-open, you’ll have to follow on precautions in place such as: • Wearing a mask • Sanitising your hands • Checking in using the Track & Trace app • Taking a temperature check • Other measures introduced by the dealership to help keep everyone safe Rules for retailers are likely to change in line with the latest government guidance, which can vary in different regions. Check the guidance local to you, and remotely get in touch with the dealership using the contact details in Auto Trader adverts. They’ll be able to advise you on test drives and other policies.

Here’s what online car buyers are saying

Plenty of people have started buying their cars online through Auto Trader, here’s what they had to say about the process.
Buying an Audi Q7 without seeing it!!
By Gareth M on 06 Jun
I've just bought an Audi Q7 from RS Car Sales, it was delivered to me today. I was nervous about buying the car during the covid-19 pandemic having not physically seen it in the flesh and spending £30k on it. Well what can I say, I needn't have been worried, the car is all and more that RS Car Sales promised me, and I am really pleased with it. I part exchanged my BMW 330D m sport touring and was happy with the p/x deal. On the day of delivery it was a smooth straight vehicle swap using social distancing and sanitizing each car. I also got 12 months warranty instead of just 3 months as an incentive to buy during this period, it also includes the next MOT and service. All in all I'm a very satisfied customer and would highly recommend dealing with RS Car Sales to anyone who fancies buying one of their smart vehicles.
Great service during lockdown
By Zrinka 13 Days ago | VERIFIED PURCHASE
We were unsure of what would buying a car look like during the lockdown and were positively surprised with Carsa's services. They've offered to bring the car to us (in a trailer, fogged to remove any potential virus) for a test drive, if we didn't like it they would just take it back and not charge us anything. We did like the car and decided to buy it and were able to go through all the paperwork via Zoom. Everyone we interacted with was very nice and patient. I was afraid that they would pressure us to take on some extras but they didn't do that at all. The driver who brought the car was also really nice and friendly. All in all they've provided extraordinary service and I would buy a car from them again.
Got a really good deal on my new car
By Stuart Ash 4 Days ago | VERIFIED PURCHASE
Got a really good deal on my new car. David and Ross were a pleasure to deal with, it couldn't have been simpler. Really polite service, not pushy at all. Highly recommended!!!!
Great Service
By Amy Law 5 Days ago | VERIFIED PURCHASE
Great service from David and the team. They were very helpful and they made the process very quick and easy. Would recommend.
Carsa, Brilliant
By Darren 6 Days ago | VERIFIED PURCHASE
The staff at Carsa were so helpful and accommodating with my car purchase, the car was delivered to my address no problem for them, and was exactly what they had described to me, no pressures to buy, all at my leisure. I would definitely recommend Carsa. Thanks Guys

Find your next car online

Auto Trader's new buying online hub allows you to do more from home, whether that's researching your next car, getting in touch with dealerships, sorting your finance or buying your car online.
Start your online car-buying adventure.