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Covid & Lockdown: This is the right time to buy a car.

Covid & Lockdown: This is the right time to buy a car.

9 February 2021 Concept Car

You can Some experts will claim you’ll never get a better deal than right now, during the lockdown. Others suggest postponing a car purchase for as long as possible.

In our humble opinion, not all that much has changed. If you need a car, now is as good a time as any to get one. At CCC, we can help to make that happen – while adhering to Covid legislation and offering you the full package of affordable cars and financing.

If you’re interested in finding out more why there is no reason to wait – read on!

Lockdown times are uncertain times.

We’ll gladly admit that. In many respects, times haven’t been this uncertain for quite a while.

Accordingly, some commentators have taken a rather pessimistic view. Car Expert, for example, urges you to seriously consider your options:

“Just because the industry really wants you to buy a car right now doesn’t mean that it’s the best decision for you. In uncertain times, it’s more important than ever that you don’t overcommit yourself just to have a shiny new car on the driveway. (…) Right now, it’s more important than ever to budget carefully and spend your money wisely.”

The thing is: We totally agree with that statement! Budgeting carefully and spending wisely are probably the two recommendations we give to all our clients.

But:

Just because times are uncertain, doesn’t mean you can’t buy a car.

What it does mean, simply, is that you will need to be especially diligent and careful in your planning.

Which is why our experts will create a personalised finance plan together with you. Our goal is not for you to try and pay off your debt in a hurry and risk running into trouble. Instead, we focus on affordable monthly rates and choosing the right model for you. If you take these factors into consideration, you can reduce the risk of a default to a minimum.

That said, caution is a virtue. If you’re not entirely sure that you’ll be able to keep up payments, talk to us. We’ll go through your options with you and work out a solution that should satisfy even the most cautious customer.

You can reach us by phone at 0800 093 3385. Or use our contact form. We’ll get back to you asap.

One thing we definitely warn you against is “revenge buying”.

What is “revenge buying”?

When Covid first hit our shores, the impulse of most consumers was to ramp up their food supplies and delay all major investments until later. Since then, many have become accustomed to the lockdown limitations and have started spending again. Others are buying out of spite: As the Financial Times have reported, there is (believe it or not) such as thing as “revenge buying”.

One of Volvo’s chief executives told the paper: “People are really tired of sitting at home locked in and they really want to go out and buy.

It is a more than understandable reaction. As we all know, spending can relieve tension. And buying a car can certainly trigger a lot of happy hormones.

But to start buying to take revenge on the virus is not a good idea. Especially with potentially dangerous new mutations in the air, your money is best spent on essentials – and otherwise left alone.

This is even more important as the market has displayed some bewildering developments:

Car prices have gone up, rather than down.

It is one of the biggest mysteries of the pandemic:

At a time when fewer people than ever are buying cars, prices have gone up. It is a development which totally goes against the expectations of the early lockdown period.

The Irish Times perfectly described the excitement of getting to buy a car at a premium discount: “You’ll be assuming that with Covid having banjaxed car sales in 2020 that dealers will be desperate for sales, and the discount red carpet will be rolled out for you.”

Surprisingly, that’s not at all what happened.

Instead, the effect on the car market has been somewhat paradoxical: Although sales for 2020 as a whole were down by about 20%, car prices actually went up! One explanation is that many drivers held on to their old car for as long as they could. As a consequence, demand for second hand vehicles for sale exceeded supply.

With regards to new cars, meanwhile, manufacturers simply waited things out instead of offering dirt cheap deals in a panic. In a way, they simply had other worries: They were busy enough preventing those with a loan from defaulting!

As the lockdown continued and when it was finally eased in the Summer, consumers regained their confidence – and business returned to usual.

So are there no deals to be made at all?

Of course there are. Writes the Irish Times:

“Keep an eye on the motoring pages and the specialist car publications and see when new or facelifted versions of models are arriving on the market. Importers and dealers often offer good deals on “run-out” versions of the outgoing model, and while you might not get a bundle of cash knocked off the price, you might well get a model with upgraded equipment for the same price. Will you be getting an older design? Yes, but in many cases that hardly matters. Take the VW Golf for example. There’s a strong argument to be made that the last-of-the-line MkVII Golf was actually a better car than the brand new MkVIII.”

In some respects, it is actually safer and more comfortable to buy a car right now.

Buying online

Since dealerships can not open, there is no other way for you to buy the car other than through the dealer’s website. The advent of online ordering is not a bad development, however. Quite on the contrary! Most customers are finding that they actually prefer the process to the traditional one.

Plus, it’s safe, efficient and fast.

Handing over the car is still subject to Covid restrictions. You can do this in one of two ways:

Click & Collect, which means that you can pick up the automobile at the forecourt of the dealer.
Home delivery, which means that one of the employees personally drives the car to your door and hands over the keys there.

Can you imagine a more convenient way of receiving your new car than home delivery?

Admittedly, not all dealers offer this option. But whenever you get the chance, we highly recommend it. After all, home delivery of a car during the Covid lockdown gives you the same consumer rights as buying any other product online. As a result, you’ll get a 14 day cool off period. During these two weeks, you can return the car no questions asked and get your money back.

Have you read:
The Truth about Parkers Car Valuation
Online car finance: Is it safe?
Autotrader: The history of a site that changed the game

Summary

As you can see, there are plenty of factors to consider. In the end, meanwhile, there is no real reason not to go ahead and buy a car if you really need one.

Car prices are almost the same as they were before Covid arrived. Car finance has become a bit harder to obtain, but is still manageable. There is slightly less choice today than there usually is – but it’s still more than enough. And finally, things are slightly more uncertain than they used to be. But with vaccines being rolled out, they may not be as bad as some claim.

If you are serious about buying a car, here are our recommendations:

  • Improve your credit score.
  • Save up as much money as you can.
  • Create a reserve for a sizable downpayment.
  • Calculate your monthly outgoings and incomings. Estimate how much you can set aside for car finance, maintenance and gas.
  • Talk to us now about a finance plan which you can keep up even in bad times.

9 February 2021 Concept Car