Buying a new or used car during COVID-19 – 6 tips

The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of us, and most of the population are thankfully self-isolating. Here at FreeCarCheck we thought it’d be helpful to write a quick guide on what to do if you’re contemplating viewing a used or new car, and what checks you can do.


How best to buy a used car right now:

  • Our systems and checks are still working fully.
  • Try to arrange home delivery if you are buying a used car.
  • Spend the time in lockdown researching your next potential vehicle purchase
  • If you are a keyworker or urgently need a vehicle for essential travel, it’s still possible.


If you’ve found your perfect car but don’t wish to buy it right now, consider offering a holding deposit to the dealer. For private sellers, this may not be the best idea unless you trust the seller.

With everything in lockdown, now is a good time to do your due diligence on your next vehicle purchase. Most of us have more free time than normal, so there’s not really any excuse not to!

If you need an immediate vehicle due to a change in circumstances, such as a vehicle that is a non-mover, explain this to the retailer and they will be able to make arrangements.


Are your checks and systems still running fully?


We source our data from several government APIs, such as the DVLA and DVSA, and these have full redundancy (availability) 24 hours a day. All our checks are working as normal and will continue to do so. If this situation changes, we will update this page.


Can I still sell my used car?

Yes, but it’s extremely important to remember to disinfect it. Please bear in mind that selling a used car right now may result in lower enquiries on sites like Auto Trader, as many people are still self-isolating.


What about new cars?

You may find that dealerships are offering cheaper deals on new cars. This is because the interest rate for most HP and PCP finance deals is affected by the Bank of England Base Rate, which is currently very low.

Most car dealers premises are closed, as per government advice, but it’s possible that enquiries will still be answered as dealers work from home.

If you are a keyworker you should be able to buy a vehicle as normal, although you will need to notify the dealer beforehand.

A word about buying a car and the protections from the government: The Consumer Rights Act will cover you if a car is faulty. The Misrepresentation Act will cover you if the vehicle is not as described in the advert, and the Consumer Contracts Regulations cover you if you want to cancel your online order within 14 days. All of these government regulations still apply.

Be aware and alert

With everything going on, it’s easy to get into panic mode. Remember that, if you are buying a vehicle essential for travel, then don’t lose your head. Remember that there are still scam artists out there and not everyone has good intentions sadly.

Make sure to view the vehicle in person (while practicing safe distancing – see below). If you cannot view the vehicle then it may be possible to view it via video such as Facetime – but be aware that the Experian part of our Data Guarantee will not cover any non-physical vehicle inspections.


What about social distancing?

If you have to leave your home, familiarise yourself with the NHS guidelines on social distancing. Again, if you don’t have to leave the house, don’t.

FreeCarCheck realise that most customers will want to hold off any vehicle purchase given the current climate – but if you have to buy a car now, for whatever reason, then we are here to help wherever possible.

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