A pandemic is obviously a challenging time for any sort of business transaction—and buying or selling a car is no exception. We’ve adapted the way we do things in order to keep car buying and selling as safe as possible, and to help flatten the curve.
It turns out that our normal ways of doing things—focused on minimizing time and hassle—also tend to minimize direct and indirect contact with other people. So they help with reducing risk of exposure to COVID-19. And beyond that, we’ve added some new practices to make sure we can offer as safe an experience as possible for anyone buying or selling a car now and in the coming months.
Here’s how our contact-free car buying and selling experience works:
- You don’t have to visit a dealership. You shop our online inventory , so you’re not coming into contact with a large staff, or other customers. You avoid the risks of touching surfaces that lots of other people have touched, both at the dealership and touch points on the cars themselves.
- We handle the paperwork, so you don’t have to go to the DMV. We’ve always done this, to help you avoid the long lines and hassle that can take up hours of your day. But now—as a lot of DMVs have cut back to limited hours, or some locations have closed—going to the DMV is likely to be even more crowded, with even more delays. And in addition to being a hassle, that’s a lot of added exposure and risk for you, the DMV employees, and the rest of the community. With TRED, you don’t have to worry about that at all—we’ve got you covered.
- You don’t have to drive a car before you buy it, but if you do go on a test drive, we have social distancing-compliant test drive protocols in place for all buyers and sellers in our TRED community.
- When you’re ready to take delivery of your car—whether or not you did a test drive—you can have it delivered to your doorstep by our partners, or pick it up from the seller. It’s up to you.
Social distancing-compliant test drive—the details
On our test drives, only two people are in the car—the seller and the buyer.
The buyer should sit in the driver’s seat, and the seller should sit in the rear passenger-side seat (or vice versa).
Surfaces people are likely to touch most—like the steering wheel, seatbelts, door handles, etc. should be cleaned with soap and water or disinfectant wipes.
General coronavirus car safety tips
Here are some general guidelines to follow if you’ve been out to pick up groceries, or takeout, or have touched anything outside your home.
As mentioned above, you’ll want to keep your steering wheel, interior and exterior door handles, shift levers, seatbelts, and arm rests clean.
Many of the cleaners you’d use at home are also safe to use on your car, but be careful not to use hydrogen peroxide or bleach. Those will kill the coronavirus, but they can also damage your car’s interior.
The good news—as we’ve all seen in guidance from the CDC—is that good old soap and water are extremely effective against coronavirus. And they’re safe on all parts of your car’s interior. You can also use sanitizing wipes, if you have them, but soap and water will do the job just fine.
For your car’s touch screens, you’ll want to be especially careful—they have delicate anti-glare coatings that can be easily disrupted by certain compounds. It’s best to just use a damp microfiber (or other soft, non-abrasive) cloth on those.
And always remember—before and after you touch your steering wheel or any other parts of your car, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands thoroughly. It keeps your car, your house, and anything else you touch clean, and it minimizes potential for any viruses, bacteria—or even simple dirt or grime—to be transferred. It’s a good habit to develop, even when the COVID-19 crisis has passed.
Stay safe, and reach out to us anytime, for any questions or concerns you have—we’re here for you and more than happy to help.