Make an appointment
If you’re thinking about visiting a car dealer it is advised that you contact the dealer prior and make an appointment. Many dealers are working on an appointment only basis to reduce the number of customers, and staff, on the premises at once. Not only does this allow for social distancing, it will help dealers who are also returning to business with reduced staff members and working hours.
Visit on your own
We know that buying a car is an exciting time and often one that you want to share with your partner, family or friend, but at the moment we would recommend that you attend the appointment alone. You may find that many dealers insist on you being on your own.
Remember if you want to involve your family you can always video call them when you are viewing the car. Giving them a little tour will make them feel part of the experience and give you assurance of a second opinion.
When you arrive
You’ll most likely need to check in with reception or member of staff when you arrive. If the dealer doesn’t have a dedicated receptionist then you might find a member of staff has been positioned at the entrance to greet you, take your name and tell you where to wait.
To ensure social distancing is in place, you may find that there are arrows, lines or guides on the floor, one way systems in place and separate entrance and exit doors – similar to what you will have experienced at supermarkets like Tesco and Asda.
They may also have Perspex screens at the desks to protect you and the staff member behind the screen. This can be a bit daunting at first but remember these precautions are in place for everyone’s safety.
Viewing the car
You may be visiting the dealer with a specific model in mind, but you may also be there to browse a few options. Previously, cars in showrooms would have been unlocked for ease. You’ll find they are now locked, but don’t let this put you off. You are welcome to sit in any car, just ask a member of staff. This allows the car to be cleaned thoroughly once you’re finished and locked again.
Going for a test drive
Test driving has seen the biggest change, previously you would be accompanied by a member of staff whilst on your test drive. Now you will go on your own, with the peace of mind that you are fully insured to do so. The law has recently been changed to allow customers to take a test drive using the dealership’s trade plates and to be fully covered whilst doing so. Just make sure that you bring your driving licence: you’ll need to show it before you’ll be allowed to leave the dealership with the car.
Not sure of a good route? Just ask a member of staff, they’ll be happy to recommend a good test drive route and even supply maps or directions if needed.
Once you’ve returned from your test drive the car will be fully sanitised and locked.
Buying the car
The process of purchasing the car shouldn’t change too much. You may find that if you have to sign any documentation, the pen will be sanitised before and after use, or replaced with digital signatures.
Hopefully, this has helped reduce any unease you have over visiting a car dealer at the moment. Remember you can browse over 200,000 used cars from trusted dealers in the UK from the comfort of your own home at Exchange and Mart and s1cars.