After sixty-something days of lockdown, does your car still love you? It has been sitting there in the driveway, getting older, losing value, never going further than the shop. It smirks at you: “I am here, I am yours and there is nothing you can do about it. Now wash me.”
Time to show it who’s boss. Trade it in for something better. At least something with less attitude. But wait! The lockdown!
Relax. You can now shop around, test drive some wheels, show your car who is who in the zoo. Car dealerships and service departments have been opening up on a sliding scale, with level three starting in mid-May under level 4. Confused? So are we. So let’s recap.
There were three phases announced. The first started on 12 May and were for two weeks. Dealerships and used car traders could open with limited staff and most car sales had to be done remotely. Cars bought had to be fully sanitized before being delivered to your home.
Phase two started on 26 May and was for two weeks as well. More staff was allowed at dealerships and a few customers could visit the premises at a time, all under strict social distancing and hygiene conditions. Fully sanitised cars could be collected or dropped off at the premises.
Phase three of Stage 4 is supposed to start on 8 June, but in the meantime Stage 3 lockdown has been announced and you can do a lot more, albeit within limits.
At least your car can be roadworthied and registered. This is good news because, although many of us have taken a knock, there is a huge need for new vehicles. A recent survey has found that around a third of respondents were under pressure to replace their vehicles in the next month. People are looking too, with the highest recorded search volume for cars being over 1.3-million on 10 May. Enquiries to car dealers are way up as well.
But is it safe to go and look for a car, take a test drive and do a trade-in? The industry is reopening under very strict conditions and customers can feel assured that all steps are adhered to. What are these steps? At all Group1 branches, the following will apply:
All staff will get daily temperature checks and there are mandatory sanitation routines. Everybody must wear masks and visors.
Your test drive will be zero contact and the car will have been sanitised before you go. In fact, you can find the car you are interested in online and discuss it with the dealer via chat or video call.
Once you have decided on the vehicle you want, you can apply and get the approval online. Your trade-in or purchase offer will happen the same day as well.
The same survey that found the interest in buying cars also found that dealers are more than keen to sell. It really is a buyer’s market at the moment and right now a savvy buyer can get the best deals going.
So have a look at what is available at Group 1 Cars and speak to the dealer to see just how twistable his arm is right now.