Selling your car during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis

The following guide to selling your car during the coronavirus outbreak is accurate as of 25th January 2021, it will be updated regularly.

With England, Wales and Scotland now in tiers or lockdowns due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, governments have placed restrictions on travel within the UK that make selling your car more challenging than normal. This guide explains everything you need to know.

The government’s stringent travel restrictions reflect its current focus on containing any further transmission of the virus and implementing a nation-wide policy of ‘social distancing’  –  instructing everyone to stay at home, whenever possible.

Efforts to contain the coronavirus and relieve pressure on the country’s frontline services have prevented many parts of the car industry from operating normally. Therefore, if you are looking to sell your car over the coming months, you may find it trickier than usual.

However, Motorway are open for business as usual and are abiding by the current guidelines regarding contact-free car selling. We work with a nationwide network of 3,000+ verified dealers to find your best offer, and transactions are completed contact-free for your safety. You can sell your car now.

If you are looking to sell your car during the lockdown period, we have put together this guide below that will explain what you can and can’t do whilst the restrictions on movement and travel remain imposed.

Selling your car coronavirus covid-19
Selling your car during the COVID-19 lockdown presents a number of challenges

COVID-19 travel, transport and movement restrictions explained

What you have to do during the COVID-19 lockdown

In order to stem the spread of the coronavirus, the government’s instruction is that you carry out social distancing.

This means staying within your home, and only leaving to buy necessities (such as food and medicines), to take exercise, or to attend work if you cannot work from home or are deemed an ‘essential worker’ — a term limited to government employees, health, education and social care workers, and those tasked with maintaining the country’s infrastructure.

The latest guidance from the government is here.

How can you limit your exposure to coronavirus?

The guidelines specify that, as well as practising strict social distancing, you should wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser or with warm water and soap, in order to reduce exposure to the coronavirus.

Should you encounter people from outside your household whilst practising social distancing, it is critical that you endeavour to remain two metres (6ft) away from them at all times — and, to reduce any possibility of transmission of the COVID-19 virus, that you cover your mouth and nose if you sneeze or cough.

It is essential that you do not visit a retailer or dealership during the lockdown period unless they are open for vehicle collections or drop-offs.

If you are an essential worker and need to sell a car to buy a new one — so that you can travel to work, for example —you may wish to  find a dealership online that offers home delivery or a collection service for purchases and part-exchange.

The Consumer Rights Act will cover you if the new vehicle is faulty, the Misrepresentation Act will cover you if the vehicle is not as described, and the Consumer Contracts Regulations cover you if you want to cancel your online order within 14 days.

What are the restrictions on transport and travel during COVID-19?

The government’s guidelines stipulate that you must not leave your house without a valid reason, whether that is for work that cannot be done at home or for activities listed as being acceptable.

Only international and domestic freight transport, by air, ship, road and rail, is classified as essential transport activity. All other vehicle travel is only acceptable if it meets government guidelines.

As a consequence of the restrictions, many car retailers and dealerships are currently closed; with those that are remaining open only doing so to service vehicles or to complete transactions in a contact-free manner.

Selling your car during the COVID-19 outbreak explained

What will the impact of coronavirus be on car valuations and prices?

According to car valuation specialists Cap HPI, in March 2020, used car values fell by 2.2% as a direct consequence of the coronavirus outbreak.

As retail and trade demand declined in the latter half of the month, there was an average drop in value of 2.2% (£275), based on three-year-old cars, with 60,000 miles on the clock. Whereas, newer models — one-year-old used cars, at the 20,000 point — saw a drop of 1.8% (£425).

valuing cars coronavirus
Valuing expensive cars is a bit trickier than usual during the COVID-19 crisis

Prices have since recovered in 2021 however. Although short-term valuation forecasts are predicting no change to values in the long term, if government-imposed restrictions keep motor dealerships closed for a prolonged period, it could lead to further drops if retail sales do not pick up.

However, Cap HPI has also stated that when the restrictions are fully lifted, and the car industry returns to normal practice, the sector is liable to experience a surge based on ‘pent-up demand.’ If this does occur, the shortage of new cars on the market could well prove to be positive in terms of used car prices.

Can you sell your car online during the lockdown?

Yes you can. The internet is still at your disposal during the coronavirus lockdown, so you will be able to sell your car online to professional buyers who can collect from your home, or offer a click and collect service drop off point.

If you are selling a used car, it is essential that you clean and disinfect it properly before handing it over to limit the transmission of COVID-19.

Can car dealers buy cars from the public?

Dealers will be able to calculate an estimated price for your car based on information you can share  with your reg— such as your car’s make, model, age and mileage.

Some dealers are also able to complete inspections, collections and payments at private addresses as long as they follow social distancing guidelines for contact-free purchases.

Are online car buyers able to buy vehicles?

Many instant online car buying companies are still able to buy and collect vehicles at present.

During any period of restrictions, the demand for used cars may fall, which could mean that instant sale prices are lower than normal.

Can you sell and have your car collected from your home address?

Yes. Some car buyers are able to collect from home addresses in a contact-free manner that meets government guidelines regarding social distancing. If we can offer this service to you when you sell your car, we will let you know on our website or with an email at a later date.

Can Motorway help you sell during a lockdown?

Yes. Our service is limited only to buyers who can offer contact-free home collections and drop-offs.

The Motorway team is working full time throughout the coronavirus crisis, please email us with any queries.