COVID-19 and efforts to curb its spread have disrupted millions of Americans’ lives. However, our need for essential items goes on, including a reliable form of transportation. Many dealerships and manufacturers are taking extra measures to provide a safe buying experience and delayed payment, meaning that now may be the best time to upgrade your car.
Score Significantly Reduced Rates
Many dealerships are eager to earn your business, often accepting lower sales prices than they would otherwise. When weighing your options, ask the sales representative if they’re willing to negotiate the price!
Additionally, most manufacturers now enable customers to defer their first payment for months. Examples include:
General Motors offers buyers of new vehicles interest-free APR financing for 84 months with postponed first payment for the first 120 days.
Ford offers buyers of new vehicles a 90-day deferment in their first payment.
Honda offers a 90-day deferment in monthly payment on new vehicles and a cash bonus associated with the loyalty purchase assistance program.
Kia offers no-interest financing for 72-months and delay on the first payment for up to 120 days for new vehicles.
Almost all major brands offer some sort of modified payment program. Make sure to check with the manufacturer’s website or a local dealership about the current standings of their offer and the expiration date, as current events may heavily impact policies.
How to Stay Safe Throughout the Buying Process
Dealerships are finding creative ways to respect social distancing needs without interrupting services. To reduce risk of exposure, take the following steps:
- Conduct online research or call dealerships with a list of prepared questions. Read online reviews from multiple resources and even consider watching videos in which individuals give a detailed “tour.”This will narrow the field of possibilities so you have to drive only a few vehicles rather than dozens.
- Inquire about what steps the dealership takes to protect customers and its team. Each vehicle should be thoroughly sanitizing each vehicle before-and-after test drives and ensuring that their facilities meet CDC standards.
- Research the dealership’s reviews. Not all dealerships are created equal—they run the gamut from dedicated professionals to negligent and dishonest. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to research the company prior to giving them your business. A dealership with poor reviews is unlikely to take the necessary measures to provide a healthy environment.
- Consider working with a dealership that brings vehicles to you to test-drive rather than requiring you to visit their location. An increasing number of dealers provide this option, limiting your exposure to other buyers and providing added peace of mind.
Examine Your Own Finances and Err on the Side of Caution
Selling points like delayed payments and the possibility of reduced rates can make this period of social distancing the ideal time to buy a new vehicle. Nonetheless, it’s important to examine your financial situation prior to making the big leap, especially in light of the volatile economy. If you ultimately decide that taking on an extended car payment is unwise, consider other options like leasing a vehicle or buying used. Plus, you can try to repair your current car’s problems as a short-term fix, as service centers are considered essential businesses and continue to remain open.
Best of luck buying your new ride and, above all else, stay healthy and safe!
Written by AJ Watson, Master Certified Sales Person at Bo Beuckman Quality Ford.