You would click and collect your groceries, but would you do it for a new car?
This is the question many locals, currently under strict COVID restrictions, are having to ask themselves, as they weigh up the new added risks of buying in lockdown.
From limited supplies and long wait times to removing face-to-face negotiations and inspections, the time for buying a car is far from ideal.
Oatlands resident Anthony Coorey knows first hand the challenges of buying a car in the current climate, after he bought a brand new Volkswagen without ever seeing it in person.
With only two left of its kind in the state, he was told he had to be quick and so took the risky plunge to purchase the vehicle.
“I didn’t even get to test drive the car,” he said.
“This particular model is in high demand and there is a significant backlog, so I just had to trust my gut.”
Mr Coorey said with the click and collect system, keys are left on the front seat and customers have a phone call with a sales rep to go through the car’s features.
“What this means though is that you have to pay full price, I couldn’t negotiate, so I couldn’t get any extras thrown in there, however they had no accessories left to give anyway!” he said.
Whilst traditional visits to the showroom or dealership are currently out of the question, some dealerships are using technology in an attempt to boost consumer confidence. The NRMA says the ability to test drive is unlikely but that dealerships are “doing everything they can to create a thorough buying experience online”.
This is being achieved through video calls to describe vehicle features and drive experience.
The NRMA strongly recommends that you thoroughly research all aspects, take a good look at the pictures that accompany the ad, ask for a 360-degree walk-through via video and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions.
When it comes to buying privately, COVID Health Orders still apply.
A NSW Health spokesperson reminded the community that the stay-at-home orders are designed to limit interaction between people from different households.
“Please make practical and sensible decisions that will limit your risk of acquiring COVID-19,” the spokesperson said.
NSW Health recommends that people make trips for essential shopping, including for purchasing a vehicle, as brief, COVID-safe and close to home as possible, especially in Local Government Areas of concern.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.