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Need to Buy a Car During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak? Read This Before You Do

In many places, the COVID-19 coronavirus is resulting in schools shutting down, bar and restaurant closings, and enforced self-quarantines and social distancing to aid in curbing the outbreak. But life goes on, and if you’re in a position where you’d intended to buy a new car this spring and can’t afford to wait until the all-clear is given to resume normal operations, we’re here to help inform you not just about car buying, but about how the virus could affect your shopping process. Read on for more.

Related: Coronavirus and Car Buying: What You Should Know

Do I Risk Coronavirus Exposure From Shopping for a Car?

About as much as in any other public place — and less than many, since a dealership is unlikely to be a close or crowded space. If you do go shopping, ask in advance about precautions the dealer is taking and follow the CDC’s recommendations for good personal health habits and preventive actions for avoiding undue exposure. Take your own hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands after your test drive. And limit time in the dealership by doing your research online beforehand right here, then handling most of the buying process with one or more dealers, as well as your choice of financing, online or via email once you know what you want.

What Car Should I Buy?

That depends on a lot of factors, and our reviews can help. Check out our recent additions:

Which Cars Have the Best Deals Right Now?

Check out our top deals for March. As always, your discounts may vary, so see your dealer for specifics.

Does the Virus Mean There Will Be More Deals? 

Potentially. Lower interest rates have already brought down costs for payment buyers, and if more people avoid going out and dealer inventories balloon, automakers and dealers may increase incentives to clear the lots.

Should I Buy New or Used?

Read up on the pros and cons of each. If you go used, review our used-car buyers’ checklist and consider whether you want a certified pre-owned car.

How Much Can I Afford?

Read our primer. Then use our Price Comparison Tool while you shop to find what’s right for you.

Should I Finance, Lease or Pay Cash?

That depends, but this might help you decide. How do I get the best lease rate? Bone up on common lease terminology, plus our tips.

How Do I Get the Best Financing Rate?

Our game plan lays out some advice. While you’re at it, here’s what you need to know about auto loans and what you’ll need to get one.

Anything I Shouldn’t Do When I’m at the Dealer?

Yep. Avoid these pitfalls.

Should I Get an Extended Warranty?

That depends. Here’s what you need to know.

How Do I Sell or Trade in My Old Car?

Learn how to prep your car before you sell it to a dealer, how to trade it in and how to deal with taxes and other considerations. If you still owe money on your old car, read this. Finally, if you want to sell it to a private party, here’s how to create the picture-perfect ad and how to seal the deal.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

 
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