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4 Quick Tips for Reducing the Risk of Coronavirus When Buying or Selling a Car

Practicing good coronavirus etiquette — not to mention healthful manners in the first place — shouldn’t dissuade you from buying or selling a new or used car. Taking careful steps to minimize contact can help to reduce the spread of any type of germ.

Here are a few tips that can keep your car deal safe for everyone involved, whether you’re the buyer or the seller.

1. Sanitize Touch Points

Grab a sanitizing wipe, or even a paper towel with a spray or two of antibacterial cleaner, and get to work. Give the steering wheel a wipe, and follow that up with the gear knob, parking brake lever, turn signal stalk, door levers, seat belt latch and buckle and anything else likely to be touched during the test drive. Oh, and don’t forget the key!

If you’re selling the vehicle, it may earn brownie points — which could translate into a stronger value — if you do this for the buyer before they even get in the car. It’s the new version of common courtesy. Read more of our tips on how to disinfect your car and what disinfectants are safe for your car.

2. Don’t Shake Hands

This one goes for pretty much any transaction these days, but keep your hands to yourself when you buy or sell a car. The traditional handshake at the end of a deal is officially a thing of the past.

Consider a fist bump or an elbow tap, or just be happy that the deal is sealed and one of you is going home with a new car. If you’re looking to sell, read more of our tips on how to sell a car during the coronavirus pandemic.

3. Take a Test Drive Alone

Not all dealerships or sellers will allow you to take a test drive solo, but it’s worth asking. Just don’t push too hard, as many dealers have a rule against solo test drives. Some dealers, however, have specifically announced that they’re allowing solo test drives. Read more about dealer practices for sales and service during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you do wind up driving with someone else in the car — a salesperson or the car’s owner — crack the windows if the weather allows. It’s a good way to test if they work, after all! If you’re looking for more tips on car buying in this climate, we’ve put together everything you need to know about buying a car during the pandemic.

4. Done Deal? Bring Your Own Pen

Buying and selling a car usually requires a fair amount of paperwork, even for a private sale. At the very least, you’ll need to fill out and sign a few lines on a title, as well as a bill of sale. If you’re going through a dealership for the sale, you’ll have more paperwork to satisfy local and state authorities, plus any financing documents.

BYOP — bring your own pen. This might be good advice for any transaction.

Stay healthy out there, and don’t forget these tips! They’re good practices to keep in mind, even when coronavirus is no longer a concern. Find a vehicle for sale

Looking for more info relating to you, your next vehicle, and the COVID-19 pandemic?  Check out more of Autotrader’s Coronavirus content.

Andrew Ganz
Andrew Ganz is an author specializing in helping in-market consumers get the most bang for their buck -- and the best car, while they're at it. When not virtually shopping for new and used cars, Andrew can probably be found under the hood of a vintage classic that's rapidly losing fluids.

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