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Home Feature What you need to know about buying cars during the COVID-19 pandemic

What you need to know about buying cars during the COVID-19 pandemic

(Photos courtesy from Honda Cars Philippines, PGA Cars)

For sure, the difficult commute to and from work in the Metro was made even more challenging by the outbreak of COVID19. Aside from sanitation and social distancing, commuters still have to worry about limited public transportation and other issues that make traveling harder.

Now, more than ever, it’s time to get serious with your car buying prospects so you can finally drive your own car and stop worrying about COVID19 related issues.

But how can you possibly buy a car in the midst of the pandemic? It’s not at all impossible, what with many car dealerships even offering a way to buy a car without leaving the comfort of your own home. Here’s what you need to know about car buying during the COVID19 pandemic.

ONLINE AUTO LOAN APPROVALS

The number of banks and lenders that process entire auto loan applications online has grown since the COVID19 outbreak.

Basically, all that’s required to get your auto loan application approved is to visit a bank or lender’s website, create an account, and then complete an application form. Soon, a representative will contact you to ask about your personal financial details. Once the loan is approved, you can then begin to shop for a new car.

Some car brands even have dedicated pages for lenders, so car shoppers can simply choose which lender to use to proceed with their car purchase.

VIRTUAL SHOWROOMS

In a virtual showroom, a car salesperson will walk you through the home using live video, so you can view car features up close and have your queries answered in real time, just like you would if you were physically inside a dealership.

Most agents will connect with you via video conferencing tools like Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Facetime, Skype, or WhatsApp.

But some car brands, especially luxury marques, have launched their respective showroom apps where their staff can show you around and guide you every step of the way while you do your car shopping.

PROMOS AND DISCOUNTS

Car companies suffered a major setback during the early months of COVID19, but what’s bad news for them is good news for you.

This means that there are plenty of promos and discounts to go around. Some car dealerships are even slashing up to P1 million OFF on the prices of some of their car models.

Now, are you in a good position to buy a car?

The government reported that the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 45.5% because of the pandemic. If you are one of the unfortunate ones to lose their job in the past few months, it will be smarter for you to put off your car buying plans for the moment.

For those who managed to keep their source of income, make sure you carefully evaluate your financial standing before moving forward with your purchase. Ask yourself these three questions:

• Do I have enough saved up for a minimum 20% down payment?

• Do I work in a stable company/business/industry?

• Do I have at least six months’ worth of emergency funds to fall back on?

If your answer is yes to all of these questions, pandemic or not, you are clearly in good financial standing. As long as you evaluate each step carefully, there’s no reason you can’t go ahead with buying a car.

Kris Lim
A confessed car freak and road safety advocate, Kris admits to being crazy about vintage cars (this gearhead dreams to own a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE and Shelby 350SR). He loves listening to classical music like Mozart, Bach, and Chopin. Kris works as an executive in a fuel company during the day and was a recipient of the Henry Ford Awards.

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