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Can I buy a car under 2021 lockdown restrictions?

If you need to buy a car now that lockdown restrictions are easing, here's everything you need to know.

The UK’s lockdown restrictions are finally being eased and the latest phase allows non-essential retail locations to reopen their doors for business from 12 April. That includes car dealerships.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Are car dealerships open for business again?

Under lockdown restrictions, car dealerships were classed as non-essential retail locations and had to close their doors. They were still allowed to make deliveries and offer ‘click & collect’ services, however. From 12 April, car dealerships are being allowed to reopen their doors to ‘walk-in’ customers. That means you can just turn up to any dealership and walk in to buy a car.

Dealerships must remain what the government calls Covid-secure, which means wearing a mask indoors and maintaining social distancing, ideally keeping two metres apart but at least one metre apart. That may mean limiting the number of customers in the showroom at any given time. So although you won’t need an appointment to visit a dealership, you may be asked to wait outside while other customers are being helped.

Can I still ‘click & collect’ to buy a car?

The majority of car dealerships operated ‘click & collect’ services during lockdown. This allowed you to buy the car you want online or over the phone, then collect it from the dealership or have it delivered to your home. 

Many dealerships have found that click & collect is popular with customers and are planning to continue it after 12 April. At Cazoo, you can buy a car entirely online, then collect it from one of our Customer Centres or choose to have it delivered to your door.

Can I travel to buy a car?

There are no specific limits on how far you can travel from home as lockdown eases but the government does ask that people ‘minimise travel’ wherever possible. All car servicing, repair and MOT centres remained open during lockdown since they were classified as essential services and you’ll still be able to have your car serviced or MOT’d as normal.

Can I test-drive a car before buying it?

From 12 April, car dealerships can allow ‘walk-in’ customers to test-drive a car before deciding whether to buy it. Covid-secure guidelines mean you might not be accompanied by a dealership employee during the test drive, as would have normally happened pre-pandemic.

During lockdown, dealerships have been offering ‘at home’ test drives, bringing the car to a buyer’s house for them to drive before committing to the purchase. Many will still offer this service after 12 April if a customer asks for it.

At Cazoo, we offer a 7-Day Money Back Guarantee. If you buy a car from us, we give you up to a week after delivery or collection to make sure it suits your lifestyle. If you change your mind, you can return it and we’ll give you a full refund.

Is it safe to buy a car as lockdown eases?

There are strict Covid-19 guidelines for businesses – including car dealerships – and these will still be applied even as lockdown eases. Most dealerships will be carrying out contactless deliveries and cars will be thoroughly cleaned prior to collection.

At Cazoo, your safety is our top priority. All handovers are conducted at a safe distance and each Cazoo car is sanitised inside and out at our Vehicle Preparation Centre. We deep clean everything, from the back seats to the boot and even the engine. We also use ozone gases to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.

Before a car is delivered or collected, we fit protective covers to the front seat, door handles and gear stick. Our Handover Specialists wear PPE when they hand over a car and all handovers take place from a safe distance of at least two metres.

What’s the situation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

Non-essential retail locations, including car dealerships, can reopen in Wales from 12 April. Car showrooms in Scotland have been open on an appointment-only basis since April 5 and are scheduled to re-open fully on 26 April. Showrooms remain closed in Northern Ireland, but can operate ‘click & collect’ services.

Can I sell my car now?

You can now sell your car privately, so long as you stick to the rules. Up to six people from two households can meet outside and social distancing must be observed whenever possible. If you wish to accompany the buyer on a test drive, both of you must wear a mask.

If you don’t want to go through all that hassle, you can part exchange your current car when you buy from Cazoo. We give you an instant valuation for your current car that won’t change or include any extra fees. When we deliver your car, or if you choose to collect it from one of our Customer Centres, we’ll take your old car off your hands at the same time.

Cazoo gives you an easy, safe way to buy a car. Use the search function to find one you love, buy it online, and have it delivered to your door or choose to collect it from your nearest Cazoo Customer Centre.

We're constantly updating and adding to our stock. If you can't find the right one today, check back soon to see what's available or set up a stock alert to be the first to know when we have cars that match your needs.

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