No, you can’t. For the same reason dealers are not allowed to open, you won’t be able to take the car of your desire for a spin.

In fact, not being able to test drive a car is probably the most problematic aspect of buying a vehicle in the times of Covid.

Why is this a problem?

A test drive allows you to assess the car in a real-world setting and see how its components hold up in action. The difference between looking at a car and then taking it for a ride is immense – and many faults only come to the fore when the engine is on.

So is the ban on test drives a sensible measure? It’s hard to say. Strictly speaking, test drives don’t involve direct contact. If the car is properly aired before you commence your test drive, risk of contamination can be brought down considerably. And obviously, you would be wearing a mask through it all.

That’s not the way government sees it, however, and they’re probably right. Test drives do pose a risk of coming in contact with the virus and therefore appear to be too high of a risk.

So what to do?

The best thing is probably to be even more selective when deciding which car to buy. And: always buy from a dealer. They may be a bit more expensive than private sellers. But you can significantly reduce the risk of buying a lemon with them.

Researching the model you’re interested in is another way of protecting yourself against unpleasant surprises. For almost every car imaginable, there are more than enough videos, reviews and driver reports available online. Make use of these. They may not be the real thing. But they’re pretty good and as good as it gets in these confusing times.