Buying a car during the coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a difficult and challenging time, but we all know that some people still need a car. This guide will give you what you need to consider if you are planning on buying or selling a car now.

Coronavirus – skip to what you need to know
Can I get a car delivered to me?
Will my new car be delayed by coronavirus?
Is it safe to buy a used car?
Will there be better deals on new cars?
I’ve bought a car on finance – what happens if I don’t get paid?
Coronavirus and your car
Carmakers and coronavirus: what are they doing?
Coronavirus: advice for self-isolating drivers
PCP optional final payments – what are my options?

Are all car dealerships closed? 

With all but shops selling basic essentials – such as food and medicine – closed, car dealerships have shut their doors for the foreseeable future. Many of these dealerships are still available to take calls and handle inquiries from potential customers, though, and you can even have your new car delivered straight to your door with no-contact delivery – just like ordering groceries. 

Can I get a car delivered to me?

carwow has launched remote-buying features to help you buy a car without leaving your home. When looking at offers from dealers, car buyers can see which dealerships are offering the ability to purchase 100% remotely.

With Delivery and Disinfect, when you get a new car delivered to your home, the delivery driver will disinfect the car prior to handover, and also drop documents through the customer’s letterbox, leading to a zero-contact buying experience.

When you configure a car using carwow, keep an eye out for the banners showing you which dealers are offering home test-drives, disinfected delivery and remote purchase options. Click on the button below to configure your new car.

Will my new car be delayed by coronavirus?

If you’ve recently ordered a new car, there’s a chance your delivery will be delayed. Click to see the list of which carmakers and their factories are affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Even manufacturers yet to suspend production could experience delays as a result of supplier factory closures in China. However, many of these facilities are starting to re-open as the rate of new coronavirus cases reported in China slows.

Even if your new car has been built, there may be delays in delivering it to your chosen dealership as logistic companies take extra precautions to protect their staff. Dealers will be told whether to expect delays to their deliveries and you should contact them if you’re concerned.

If you’re looking for a car that can be delivered sooner, check out the latest in-stock cars available from carwow dealers. These cars might not come in the exact specification you’re after (they may be painted a different colour or come with a few extra options) but they’re in-stock and ready for delivery now. Configure your chosen car now to see which in-stock cars are available.

Is it safe to buy a used car? 

The trusted dealers on carwow will ensure that all their stock – new and used cars – will undergo a thorough cleaning process before they’re delivered. They have the resource and staff to do this properly. This might not be the case if you’re buying a used car from a private seller, especially if the car’s still in regular use. Tap on the button below to see used cars from these trusted dealers. 


Will there be better deals on new cars? 

If you’re planning on paying for your new car monthly (using HP or PCP finance deals), the amount you pay is affected by interest rates – including the Bank of England Base Rate. This is extremely low at the moment, so you may find some dealerships are offering slightly cheaper deals on new cars as a result. 

I’ve bought a car on finance – what happens if I don’t get paid?

You may find your financial situation changes as the coronavirus situation develops. It’s advisable to keep a close eye on your outgoings, including car finance payments, to make sure you don’t fall behind. If you’re concerned about upcoming payments, don’t ignore it – contact your finance provider immediately. 

These firms are often separate from the dealership that sold you your car, but you’ll find their contact details on the documents outlining your finance agreement. 

The Finance and Leasing Association advises customers to “contact their lender as soon as possible if they anticipate problems – they’re there to help. The type of assistance will likely vary depending on the customer’s circumstances, but starting the conversation is key”.

I have a PCP agreement – what are my final payment options?

If you’ve financed your new car using a PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) agreement, you’ll be given the choice of returning your car when your agreement ends or making an optional final payment if you’d prefer to keep it. The recent coronavirus lockdown has imposed limits on personal movement, but this doesn’t mean you’ll have to choose the option to pay to keep your car by default. You’re still entitled to choose from the two options outlined in your original finance agreement. 

The Finance and Leasing Association states that “the abiding principle has to be that customers are able to choose the option that best suits their circumstances”. They advise that you should contact your finance provider to discuss your options if you’re unsure about any aspect of your agreement.