Across the country, many vehicles remain parked in driveways due to COVID-19, but there are some essential workers who may need to buy a car to get to work.
While auto service centers are allowed to be open to keep cars repaired and maintained, car showrooms are closed to the public. But one website, Carpages.ca, has teamed up with 240 dealers to give the public a chance to buy a car during the pandemic.
“With buy from home we are giving people a chance to buy a car if they need one without leaving home,” Ben Mirecki, the president of the website, said.
The website has launched an online marketplace that now has a "buy from home" option.
Once a prospective buyer finds a dealer that is taking part in the program, they can work with a salesperson to do virtual tours, walk around inspections and complete all the documentation online.
If a person decides to buy the car, the vehicle is sanitized and social distancing is practiced when the vehicle is dropped off at the person’s home or picked up at a dealership.
“For people that need a car to get to work, such as grocery store clerks or hospital workers, for them this is a good option," Mirecki said.
Airport KIA in Mississauga is taking part in the contactless way to buy a vehicle and Sales Manager Nav Gill says they have already sold several vehicles to essential workers who needed them.
“We had a warehouse employee who works in a medical position and he used to carpool so he can’t do that anymore and he needed a car,” Gill said.
In another case, Gill said there was a nurse who ”works really long hours and she was not comfortable taking public transit anymore so she bought a car as well.”
When buying a car from home in Ontario, experts advise people to look for Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) licensed dealers and get a vehicle history report such as a CARFAX. You can take part in video chats to review the car and do a vehicle inspection.
It’s import to check the return and exchange policy carefully and read the contract thoroughly.
Because consumers may be apprehensive about buying a car this way, some dealerships are offering more flexible money back guarantees or vehicle exchange policies in case the car is not what you want.
CTV News Toronto checked with other dealerships and they said they are also finding ways to help customers buy cars from home with staff working online.
So if people really need to get a vehicle during the pandemic there are options to make it happen.