If your plans to purchase your dream car in 2020 has been hindered by the pandemic, then you’re not alone. There are many people who had to either cancel or postpone this big purchase for many reasons. Some lost their jobs and had to redirect their funds, while others are simply uncertain about how they can do this given the myriad of health restrictions that are currently in place.
Regardless of your reasons, the same changes to purchasing and maintaining a car apply while the coronavirus era persists. It’s worth educating yourself as early as now about what you can expect when you finally become a car owner.
Adjust to the virtual experience
Just as big corporations and universities have converted their services online, so have car dealerships. You will not be able to waltz into any store the way you used to. Most dealerships are interacting with their clients online nowadays, and even the car selection process has become virtual.
Test drives? They may not be available anytime soon. If you’re eager to make a purchase soon, you may have to rely on reviews made by previous buyers or videos released by the manufacturer. Since cars are enclosed spaces, it’s simply not a safe place to interact with others who could’ve been exposed to the virus.
You’ll most likely need to have your car delivered, too, if it’s coming from a distant location. Dealerships are continually looking for ways to streamline their online services to make your purchase as safe as convenient as possible.
Anticipate additional maintenance costs
The spending doesn’t stop with the purchase. At the rate the pandemic is going, you’ll also have to set aside a bigger maintenance budget. A huge chunk of that will go to sanitation and safety practices with every trip you make. Apart from the usual tools you keep in your trunk, you’ll also have to arm yourself with cleaning solutions and fabrics that are suitable to your car’s interior and exterior.
Your new Toyota Corolla Hybrid, for example, will benefit from the careful use of sanitation solutions, as it would be such a waste to ruin its fine interior and exterior by using the wrong product. The CDC advises that isopropyl alcohol with at least 70 percent solution should suffice to disinfect. Anything stronger might ruin its facade, and anything weaker might not kill the virus.
You’ll also want to contact a Toyota repair shop before paying them a visit. They could’ve implemented additional guidelines that you need to follow so that they can cater to your needs safely. Expect that even their sanitation practices could trigger increases in service costs.
The bigger the better
Lastly, you may want to consider purchasing a bigger car. This is particularly true if you have three to five members of the family and you intend to go out together one of these days. Depending on the current restrictions in your state and the number of infected, you may be required to maintain physical distancing even inside the car. You’ll especially want to practice this when going on a road trip with your friends. A car with a five-seater capacity can now accommodate only three or four at most. The bigger the car, the bigger the capacity for passengers without risking your safety.
Another reason it’s an advantage is that you’re likely to run all kinds of errands in one go. Like many people, you’ll schedule the trip to the supermarket, department store, and hardware store all on the same day to limit your social interaction. A bigger space will give you the freedom to buy as many items as you need at once and fit them all in your car.
Adapting to change
Life in the new normal may start to look a bit clearer now, but you can expect that certain things will still change. Restrictions can either grow lax or strict depending on how the pandemic evolves. What’s important is you know it’s possible to buy a car safely, you should prepare yourself financially for additional costs, and that your choice of model can significantly impact your security. With these in mind, adapting to the changes in your car purchase should be a bit easier.