Though most businesses have or are slated to reopen shortly, social distancing and limiting the number of people in group settings can make the car buying market a challenging landscape to navigate. For those that don’t have to sell their car right now, it may be easier to hang onto your vehicle until things become clearer. On the other hand, if you need the extra cash, or don’t have the option to wait, here are some practical tips on how to sell your car during and after a pandemic.
Show your car via virtual meetings
Depending on where you plan to list your car, the first step is usually creating an online listing. Keep the selling process online as long as possible by providing virtual showings of your vehicle. Use up to date photos, information, and vehicle history to tell the true story of your car and think about what most car buyers would want to know and see to make a decision.
Using FaceTime, Skype, and other video-calling applications, you can do a pretty good job at showing off your automobile without initially having the potential buyer inside it.
Setting up the test drive
Before someone purchases a car, they may want to set up a test drive. Though, not everyone will need the look and feel of steering the wheel themselves. For those not needing to have an actual test-drive, you can create a test-drive video. Then upload it online to places like YouTube or Instagram and share it with potential buyers. This usually requires having the right equipment like a small camera and head-piece to provide a first-person experience for the interested party. If you don’t want to spend the money or don’t have the time to purchase extra equipment, consider having an immediate family member film with a smartphone while you “test” drive the car for potential buyers.
Now, some buyers will require an actual test drive. In this case, present the option to meet in person but only for individuals that don’t show any symptoms of the Coronavirus and have not had a temperature in recent days. Anyone feeling sick should not be test driving your car. To keep you both as safe as possible, provide your potential buyers with a pair of disposable gloves and a facemask. Sanitize the surfaces potentially touched before and after the drive.
Lastly, you may be able to forego the test drive necessity for some during and after the pandemic. You can do so by providing a third-party vehicle history report (like Carfax) and a recent inspection from an independent mechanic showing a clean bill of car health.
Take precautions when accepting payment
It may seem easiest to accept online payment for your sold car due to the rise of mobile payment options and trying to navigate social distancing. We still always suggest the best way to avoid a scam is to get paid at a bank. It may not be optimal for everyone, but your and your buyer’s safety is pertinent to a good car selling experience. Cash or a cashier’s check can still be exchanged at the bank while practicing precautions. Accept the physical payment with disposable gloves and a face-covering mask and deposit right away at the bank.
If they are paying cash, arrange the exchange at your bank to deposit the money there. If they are paying by cashier’s check, meet at their bank to watch the bank employee issue it.
Navigating the car-selling process during and after a pandemic is not as easy as it was a few months ago. If any of this seems overwhelming, you can still sell to a dealership, but expect to get less for your vehicle. That being said, following the above steps should provide a safer, buyer-friendly experience than can have that car “For Sale” sign updated to “Sold” in a short time.