It is not easy to buy a car even in normal times but I had to buy a car in the middle of a pandemic and I had to bring my kids with me.
This is how you entertain during test drives, If you're considering buying a car I wanted to share my experiences so you can learn what to expect and you can learn how to stay safe.
If you're wondering why I'm crazy to even be doing this well, my family and I are in a situation our we have to move out of our apartment we need to find a new place to live.
We need to move.
And we need a car to do that.
I don't own a car.
I live in Queens in New York City, you know the epicenter of the crisis.
So yeah, not only do I not have a car I haven't owned a car in nearly eight years of living here.
If I knew someday I get a car again, I just didn't think it would go down like this, but you roll with it.
My husband and I had to make some calculations on what we could afford and what would be a good car for the family.
A new car would be easier, but we wanted to save money and find a used car.
At the start of this hunt.
We were thinking about getting a pickup truck and we narrowed it down to a Toyota Tacoma.
Now I am not a truck person.
I never thought I would drive a truck, let alone buy a truck.
But things are different now.
So we started thinking differently about this purchase.
We needed a vehicle that was tough, something that could help us survive something that could help us move, something that can get [BLEEP] done.
So if you're going for a used car, of course you wanna find someplace that will let you get behind the wheel to do a test drive.
Expect to call and email, lots of dealerships and also expect most of your work to lead to a dead end.
That's because a lot of dealerships are not doing business as usual.
Many that we found were completely closed somewhere only doing online orders.
We had to find a dealership that would get creative to problem solve this with us to let us test drive a car, but still stay away from the staff and do it in a safe manner where we're not near anybody.
So if I
can get the Carfax and look it over, you tell me what the next step would be because I I am cautious about buying a car this way cuz I've ordered shoes online and even that didn't work out well for me.
So I definitely don't wanna buy a car.
Sometimes the dealership will get back to Very quickly over email and sometimes busy it will take a day or two, that's because everything has at these dealerships.
Their staffs are followed, hours are cut back, so don't expect everyone to get back in touch with you the same day.
You are very welcome.
We will talk, wait, this weekend, are you open this weekend?
We're only gonna make the day close the hours a short doors we're only hearing Monday through Friday 9 to 5,
Monday to Friday 9 to 5.
The only dealerships that did offer the option of a test drive with us.
We're located pretty far from Queens.
We had to rent a car just to buy a car so you can get to the dealerships.
That meant we had to wipe everything down in the rental car and make sure it was safe for our kids in the backseat.
Because yes, I had to bring my two little Munchkins along the trip, as if it wasn't stressful enough.
We got a few price quotes.
It was all over the phone.
And that's when we decided to make our first trip out to New Jersey to a dealership.
There were no games it was just hey, here's the price if you want to come by and see it come by and see it.
The interesting thing about a test drive during this COVID-19 era is that we could do a test drive without a salesperson in the car with us.>> All right, I want to start this thing live.
You want to press that button.
Press this button.
When you get a day out with kids, you gotta take snack breaks and each of us will take in turns doing test drive.
So one of us watches the kids.
When my husband did do the test drive though, he found a strange sound coming out of the truck.
Turns out it was a bad belt.
That meant it was a no for us on the Tacoma.
But being on the lot meant that we could check out other cars and we found ourselves looking closer at a 4Runner, a black SUV.
So I did like the forerunner better.
I like driving it better.
I liked how the dashboard and the controls were all laid out, I liked the way it felt.
For me, I was glad I was there to test drive it in person and I wouldn't even be able to do that if I didn't go and see for myself.
But there were some aspects of that car we were not in love with.
It had a lot of miles and it wasn't a certified Pre Owned vehicle.
We needed to think about it, do more research and see if we can find something better.
So we did find a dealership that had a better deal on a foreigner that had fewer miles and a better price.
We swung by on Sunday to check it out but there was no one there.
You have to do everything by appointment these days.
So we came back Monday morning.
When we went shopping face coverings were not required by law and I wish they did wear masks.
So don't expect sale staff to take the same safety precautions that you may take.
I'm glad I brought Lysol wipes, multiple gloves and masks.
Don't be afraid to speak up about how you like to keep your distance, even if that means.
Hey, can you just leave the paperwork on the hood of the car?
Can you leave the keys on the hood of the car and then I'll go pick it up.
You gotta do what it takes to keep yourself safe.
So test driving the red for runner went fabulous.
We both loved it.
And the deal was pretty good too.
Turns out that the sticker price was way more than the online price for this particular model.
And the manager said that's because they put the online price the lowest price they would go so they wouldn't play games.
They wouldn't waste time.
This is a skeleton crew working.
It was just the manager.
So you can't ask to speak to a manager to haggle if you're talking to the manager already.
And they really knew the position that they were in.
They wanted to make deals quickly to get things off the lot.
Waiting in the car as they do the paperwork, and I just instantly bought insurance online.
Cuz that's what you do.
I know I don't typically do these things so fast, but sometimes you just got to do that.
I'm grateful to the dealerships who stayed open and got creative with us so that we could make this happen so that we could buy a car and feel more secure in these uncertain times.
And I hope all of you out there who are still doing buying and selling or doing what it takes to keep each other safe.
Expect the actual sale of the vehicle to take longer than you expect much longer in some cases, there's just not that many folks working there now so it takes longer to do the paperwork.
All right, we did it.
[LAUGH] That's it forever.
We own a car.
This is not the usual procedure of the buying cars like we're putting away a patient like this is Got it
gotta be safe.
And now we got a feeling feeling pretty good, but man it was like someone watched the kid someone go in and sign.
Do you have your gloves go back and find you have this a little disjointed but it's done.>> Now that it's been a few days, I am happy that we hustled and that we put in all the work to get this quickly and I think it's pretty cool to say we have a tough fourier.
And if you're looking to buy a car I hope you find this all useful and that you can find something that you are proud to own.
Even though it's a stressful situation to buy a car right now.
Here at roadshow and CNET, we're going to keep you informed with continued tech and car advice As we all navigate this crisis and if you have your own experiences buying a car during the Coronavirus mess, please do share it in the comments.
Until next time, guys.
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