How to buy your first car during a pandemic

Car Hire

Whilst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is continuing to cause disruption to our day-to-day lives, the fact remains that the newly fledged drivers amongst you will still need to buy your first car.

As you won’t want those lockdown driving lessons going to waste!

As England descends into another lockdown from November 5th, non-essential shops have been forced to close, which includes car showrooms. Luckily though, we have the internet shining in our favour, offering the opportunity for online sales and organising contactless deliveries – as we saw earlier in the year, during the first lockdown in March. Now, you’ll be unable to visit dealerships in person, or test-drive cars – unless you opt for a private dealer who is willing to thoroughly sanitise the inside of the car before and after you test it, which is quite unlikely. Of course, once you make the payment and the car is delivered, it will have been fully sanitised ahead of time. However, for the extra cautious amongst you, we’d probably recommend giving it a secondary sanitisation of your own, just to be safe!

As we mentioned above, if you’re buying online during the pandemic, you won’t be able to test drive it. So, what can you do instead? Well, we suggest that you try the following:

  • Keep your options open. We know you’re excited about buying your first car but it’s best to act with caution, especially as you won’t be able to test drive your selection! Make sure to compare the same car on different sites, and ensure that you’re getting the best deal.
  • Watch video reviews. The second-best thing to visiting a car in person is watching an in-depth video of someone else doing it! It might take you a while to find someone who does reviews that fit your taste, but once you do, it’ll make the online buying process a lot easier!
  • If possible, opt for somewhere that offers a Video Call service. Again, not being able to visit a dealership may leave you feeling vulnerable or unsure about making a purchase on a new car, however being able to video call can sooth some of these qualms. In an age almost dominated by online alternatives, as well as being plagued by the current pandemic, a lot of dealers have started to offer the opportunity to partake in video calls, where they will show you around the cars you’re interested in, and answer any of your questions straight away – as if you were there yourself.

Still feeling a little uncertain about the whole thing? Feel like you need a little more information? Have a look at our dos and don’ts when you buy a car online to give you a little more guidance.

Dos and don’ts of buying a car online


  • Make sure to compare various seller’s prices, extra charges, guarantees and warranties, to make sure that you’re really getting the best deal out there!
  • Always favour a seller who is clear and upfront during the buying process – if it feels like they’re hiding something, they probably are!
  • If you’re making a part-exchange, ensure that you’re providing a completely accurate description of what you have to offer.


  • Become lapsed in your approach to buying a car, just because it’s online and more convenient.
  • Try to multitask whilst making shopping or buying a car – give the task your full attention.
  • Forget to check who your contract is with, if opting for buying on finance.

In such uncertain times, it’s more than natural to feel anxious about making big decisions. But, if you follow our tips and tricks, and stay as informed as possible, you should be driving your new car in no time!