Coronavirus and Car Buying: Is it a Good Time to Buy a Car?

With the recent Coronavirus pandemic affecting the economy and having an even greater economic effect on households across the nation, many consumers are plagued with financial burden. On top of the financial stress, social distancing has become the norm and many states are issuing mandatory quarantines. And although we need to keep human contact to a minimum and finances are tight, is now a good time to buy a car?

Yes and No

Let’s face it, despite the threat the coronavirus spreading and everyone having to hide out in their homes, there is still a need for cars. Unfortunately, job loss is quickly rising and many Americans have their backs to the wall when it comes to being able to afford just about anything right now. So is it a good time to buy a car? For many, no. But for those with the means to make a big purchase during this time, then it can be.

Certain automakers, like Volkswagen, are currently offering 0% financing with no required payments for up to 6 months, while Hyundai will make up to 6 months of payments for new owners who lost their jobs involuntarily. Other brands, like Honda, are currently offering great lease offers and 0.9% financing on certain models. These kinds of deals are typically unheard of so it’s a great time to make a move if you can.

A car salesman showing a customer around
A car salesman showing a customer around | MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images

What about pre-owned cars?

If you’re more likely to be in the market for a pre-owned car, as opposed to new, then we suggest checking out Carvana or Vroom. Both companies buy and sell cars via a delivery service right to your home. There’s no physical dealership to go into, which will minimize any physical contact.

In fact, Carvana even just rolled out their “Contactless delivery” service in which the car that you choose will be delivered to your house, the steering wheel and keys will be sanitized, and the paperwork will be left on the seat for you to review. They are also providing “Contactless appointments” if you happen to be able to go to one of their vending machines.

What if I need to go into a dealership?

Whether you plan to purchase new or pre-owned and you happen to find a car that you like at a local dealership, then, by all means, set up an appointment and go. In order to avoid as much contact as possible, we do suggest calling ahead or scheduling an appointment via the dealership’s website before going in. Also, do all of the research you can at home in order to narrow down your options as much as possible before going in.

Many car dealerships are still open right now, and the employees are well-aware of the current situation, so they’ll be happy to assist in the best way possible. While we can’t promise the best and lowest pricing ever on any car right now, be sure to ask as many questions as you can when it comes to pricing and financing, as dealers should be sympathetic to anyone’s current financial situation.

A person doing car buying research on their laptop.
Car research | Joseph Branston/Future via Getty Images

Don’t give up

We understand that there are many families in need of a car right now and the coronavirus pandemic and mandatory quarantines will continue to take a toll on all of us for the foreseeable future. But our main suggestion when it comes to finding the right car, for now, is not to give up. Dealers and those who run any car-selling services are all human too, and we’re all going through this together. So, find the car you want, do the research, and just reach out. Someone should be able to help you.