Car Shopping During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Written by Omid Badie, Operations Manager, Automall Network, 2020-03-20, 2020-03-20

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With the COVID-19 Pandemic grabbing a hold of the Canadian economy, our opinion is that the auto industry may be about to face a pandemic of their own. This article outlines the strategy we are recommending to our clients if they need to get into a new vehicle in the coming month or so. Those who have leases ending in March or April should pay special attention.

This is traditionally the time of year when manufacturers start to dole out larger than normal incentives to clear out existing stock in preparation of the next year's models. However, with the COVID-19 effect, buying has stalled and so there is a much larger than normal supply of inventory that must be moved. Automakers are probably panicking just like the rest of us and we anticipate that at the beginning of April, there will be a much larger round of incentives than normal.

This could be a silver lining for car buyers at this otherwise dark time.So the strategy we are recommending is to lock in during March, but don't complete the purchase until early April, once the new incentives are announced. This is called "Rainchecking". If the incentives are, as we predict more significant, then move forward and take advantage of the higher discounts. If not, then stick with the programs from March that you locked in to. Note that some manufacturers may require you to use only the programs in place when you take delivery but at this point in time, we believe there will be more flexibility just to get the cars off the lots.

Every situation is a bit different. If you have further questions about this or other strategies for your particular situation, just Ask V. In the mean time, please stay safe while practicing good hygiene and social distancing.

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