The spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has restricted mobility for most of us, yet many people still need a car to perform the essentials.
If you’re in the market for a vehicle, the good news is that there are dealerships still open for business and, for our part, RoadLoans remains ready to accept applications for credit.
This is how our process works, along with tips for shopping and the benefits of online services during this time of social distancing.
Applying for a loan
As a full-spectrum lender, RoadLoans has experience working with customers with a wide range of credit, so even if your credit score has been affected by the current situation, you can still apply for financing. It takes just a few minutes to complete our online form, and we provide instant decisions. If approved, you’ll receive a number of offers which you can view by logging into your secure account. Take a moment to review them and select the best option for your needs.
Where can I buy a car?
Keep in mind that dealerships across the country should be following local and federal government orders regarding whether they can or cannot stay open for sales.
“A handful of states have ordered sales stopped, while others have specifically said they can be open,” writes Fred Meier of Cars.com. “Some jurisdictions have set specific rules for conducting sales to limit contact. And in a lot of places, the status is confusing — you need to contact the individual dealer to check.”
RoadLoans customers should start with the preferred dealership listed in their loan approval, or use our dealer locator to search for another.
As part of efforts to reduce social contact, many dealerships allow much of the sales process to be carried out online. Other measures may include test drives from your door and the delivery of purchased vehicles.
Using your RoadLoans approval
Print your loan approval notice, gather the required documents and take them to your RoadLoans dealer. Preapproval will enable you to save additional time by focusing on the car purchase rather than having to talk financing, too. Once you’ve closed the deal, we’ll finalize the paperwork with the dealership.
Tips for car shopping during Coronavirus
You might be apprehensive about buying a vehicle right now, but here’s what John M. Vincent of U.S. News and World Report has to say on the matter:
“The fear of the Coronavirus should not stop you from buying a car – as long as you’re looking for a vehicle that meets your needs and that you can afford. However, you don’t want to risk the health of you, your family, or others in the community to purchase a vehicle.
“To avoid spreading the disease, it’s critical you follow the advice of medical authorities about person-to-person interactions, hand washing, social distancing and other methods of preventing disease spread.”
Cars.com’s Kelsey Mays offers shoppers further advice and practical tips, summarized below:
- Do as much as possible online. You can’t test drive a car on the internet, but just about everything else is possible without leaving home.
- If you visit a dealership, practice social distancing, which, per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), means staying a distance of six feet away from others when possible. Wash your hands regularly, and avoid going if you’re feeling sick.
- A widely cited study finds the Coronavirus can live up to several days on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces, so consider using disinfecting wipes on high-touch areas of your prospective vehicle, such as the steering wheel, gear shift and seat-belt buckles, plus all major controls and touchscreens.
- Consider dealers that can drop the car off with you for the test drive and paperwork – a situation that can limit your interactions to just one person.
- If you’re shopping for a used car, consider a certified preowned vehicle. We strongly recommend taking any prospective used car to a mechanic before you buy, but doing so introduces one more round of social interaction – perhaps a bridge too far for some shoppers. Since CPO cars come with a longer warranty to cover things should something go wrong, the need for a mechanic is comparatively less.
Learn more about staying safe during Coronavirus by visiting the CDC website.
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