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Coronavirus: Can I Get a Deal on a Car During the Pandemic?

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author photo by Eric Brandt March 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has had a major economic impact. Many workers are being laid off or furloughed or are seeing their hours cut, which strains their household budgets. Part of this harsh reality -- even though it's temporary -- is that there aren't a lot of folks going out and buying new cars while they're holding out for some stability to come back into their daily lives.

It's a Buyer's Market

Although the conditions that caused it aren't ideal, it's currently a hot buyer's market for cars. Auto plants worldwide have paused production as car companies try to mitigate impending inventory issues, and many are offering special incentives and financing to try to move cars off dealer lots. You can read the specifics of those incentives here. That said, it's best to avoid going to the dealership right now, especially if your city or state has taken strict action, which could determine whether sales departments are even open.

If your job hasn't been significantly affected by the coronavirus and you're in a financial position to buy a new or used car, it's a great time to shop for your next ride online and get the ball rolling on a lease, a purchase or financing by reaching out to the dealer through Autotrader. On top of the attractive incentives that some automakers are offering -- such as GM's special 0% financing for 84 months plus 120 days of deferred payments for well-qualified buyers -- dealers likely aren't very busy at the moment, and they're eager to sell some cars. Not to mention stimulus checks that are going to most American adults which could be used for a down payment.

Here's everything you need to know about buying a car during the coronavirus pandemic.

Is It Still Safe to Shop for a Car?

The short answer is yes. In fact, many dealers are taking steps to make the car buying process safer. It's important for the dealer to do their part, but there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of getting a virus when buying a car.

Of course, we want to echo the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and urge you to stay home and do your car shopping online. Read expert reviews, narrow down your consideration set and zero in on the car that's exactly right for you from the comfort of your home. When you find a car in your area that you're interested in, contact the dealer to begin working out the details of your deal. You can probably do everything virtually, and many car dealers will even drop off your new vehicle at your house.

Looking for more info about you, your vehicle and the COVID-19 pandemic? Check out more of Autotrader's coronavirus content.

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Coronavirus: Can I Get a Deal on a Car During the Pandemic? - Autotrader
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