Mercedes-Benz B Class outside house 2

Can I buy a car under 2021 lockdown restrictions?

If you need to buy a car during lockdown, here's our guide to everything you need to know.

Plans have been announced for bringing most of us out of a lockdown designed to control the Covid-19 pandemic, but restrictions remain in place for some weeks yet. What does this mean if you want or need to buy a car?

During lockdown, all non-essential retail locations are closed, including car showrooms. The public has been told to work from home if possible and to use their cars only for essential travel. Those restrictions are now scheduled to be lifted in England no earlier than 12th April, so you’ll be able to visit a car showroom to view and buy a car. 

Until then, however, the current guidance remains in force. Non-essential retail businesses, including car showrooms, can remain open for deliveries to customers and for ‘click & collect’ services. So you can still buy a car during this period, with little or no extra inconvenience.

What does the lockdown mean for buying a used car through a traditional dealership?

The lockdown rules mean that car showrooms will be closed because they don’t count as essential retail locations, so you can’t go and browse cars in person. Plenty of dealers will continue to operate online and organise contactless delivery or collection though, so you can still find and buy a car.

At Cazoo, our Customer Centres are closed to ‘walk-ins’ but you’re still able to buy a Cazoo car as easily as ever. Once you’ve found your perfect car, you can buy it online and choose to have it delivered to your door or to collect it from one of our Customer Centres.

Our Customer Centres are open but all handovers will be conducted outside, in line with government advice.

Can I ‘click & collect’ a car if I buy one during lockdown?

Yes, as long as this service is offered. If you buy a car from Cazoo you can book a slot to collect it at one of our Customer Centres.

What if I live in Scotland or Wales?

The lockdown restrictions in mainland Scotland and Wales are very similar to those in England, and remain in place for the immediate future.

However, the Scottish government has amended the rules for how Scottish car dealers can operate during lockdown. Customers can visit a dealer to “conclude” the purchase of a car, if they have an appointment to do so. Face coverings must be worn and social distancing must be in place while the customer is on the premises. Ideally, only one customer at a time should be on the premises.

Restrictions in Wales mirror those in force in England. Car dealers can remain open for customer deliveries to people’s home addresses and for ‘click & collect’ services, so you can buy a car online or over the phone, then travel to the dealer to collect it. All handovers must take place outdoors.

Can I travel to collect a car during lockdown?

The official guidelines say that you should not leave home except where necessary, but you may do so to 'shop for basic necessities'. Car sales are not mentioned specifically. The guidelines say that if you need to travel you should stay local and avoid travelling outside of the village, town or the part of a city where you live.

Is collecting a car essential travel?

All car servicing, repair and MOT centres can remain open since they’re classified as an essential service and you can still get an MOT or service for your car during lockdown. While collecting a car is not viewed as essential travel the government guidance says that you can leave your home if you have a reasonable excuse such as 'buying goods or services that you need'. Any travel should be within your local area wherever possible, however.

You can buy a car online and have it delivered because delivery services are permitted as long as hygiene and social distancing guidelines are followed. All Cazoo cars are thoroughly sanitised inside and out and all handovers are conducted at a safe distance.

Can I go for a test drive during lockdown?

The guidelines that have been in force during lockdown didn’t specifically address whether you could test drive a car before buying it. However, doing so fell foul of other restrictions, so dealers weren’t offering test drives.

The guidance has now changed to allow test drives if the customer has paid a deposit for the car. Then, for the test drive to be carried out, the car can be delivered to the customer’s home or to a location near the showroom, which must remain closed.

At Cazoo, instead of a test drive we offer a 7-Day Money Back Guarantee, so 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.

Is it safe to buy a car during lockdown?

There are strict guidelines for businesses on how to deal with the threat of Covid-19. Most 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 completely sanitised inside and out at our Vehicle Preparation Centre. We deep clean everything, from the backseats 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 2 metres.

Can I get car finance during lockdown?

Yes, you’ll be able to do this online as long as the dealer is offering it.

At Cazoo we've made financing your next car online simple. You can choose from our monthly payment options and because we're a finance broker not a lender, we’ll always find a competitive deal for you. 

You can apply for finance and get a decision within minutes and then sign your agreement online, all from the comfort of your home.

Can I sell a car during lockdown?

There’s no official guidance not to sell a car during lockdown, but it may be difficult to do so without breaking lockdown rules. You can still place ads online, but government restrictions say you shouldn’t travel unless it’s essential. This means that most people won’t be able to legally visit and view the car. Many online car buying businesses have also suspended their purchase and collection of cars. 

If you’re part exchanging your current car for another one this can make the whole process a lot easier. 

At Cazoo, we give you an instant online valuation for your current car that won't change or include any extra fees. When we deliver your Cazoo 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 during lockdown. Use our search function to find one you love, buy it online and then have it delivered to your door or choose to collect it from your nearest Cazoo Customer Centre.

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