The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many challenges for the automotive industry in the Philippines, and the rest of the world. However, the need or want to buy a car is still a very real thing that most people have to contend with.
Things have changed ever since the pandemic, and car buying in the Philippines isn’t as easy as it once was in some areas, and much quicker and simpler in others. So here’s a rundown of car buying in a pandemic.
Are dealerships open?
All the dealerships in the country are open but are subject to several health and safety guidelines for customers and staff to follow. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a must, which includes a face mask and face shield. Also, social distancing should be followed, which means that customers should keep their distance from the staff and minimize contact with all unnecessary parties.
Most dealerships accept walk-in, but it is preferable that customers schedule an appointment for a unit viewing.
Find the right car?
Traditionally, if you were to buy a car, you’d have to take a trip to the dealership or several in order to find out whether a model suits your needs and wants.
AutoDeal has a whole plethora of reviews that cover some of the most popular cars out in the market. You may also compare cars between brands and across multiple body types. Also, consult our car guides for general specifications and features that a car your eyeing might have.
‘Buy Online’ and ‘Get Quote’
Contactless transactions and interactions are common now, and the automotive industry was also able to adapt. Multiple brands started investing in their digital infrastructure for the Philippine market.
Autodeal is able to give customers the ability to get in touch with a sales agent, get a quote, and finally make a purchase for select models. Our features allow you to decide and buy a car without visiting a dealership. Also, watch our YouTube videos for a more in-depth and personalized view of a vehicle as well as critiques and opinions on what’s best to buy in the market today.
If possible, a dealer may allow pickup or delivery depending on their staff, thereby minimizing any unnecessary contact.
Find the best agent
How do you find the best agent to help you if you cannot talk face to face with people at the dealership? To alleviate this problem, AutoDeal also has an agent finder feature that will allow customers to sort through accredited and verified AutoDeal agents based on location, rating, and brand.
Are test drives allowed?
Quite a number of dealerships will allow customers to test out a number of their vehicles in stock. While walk-ins are allowed, it’s a good idea to contact the dealership first and book an appointment. Customers can also book a test drive through the AutoDeal platform should the brand and model be available.
On the health and safety front, most dealers in the Philippines treat it as standard practice to disinfect and clean the interior of all the test drive vehicles before letting a would-be customer take it for a spin. Do note, however, that social distancing and wearing of PPE are a must for any test drives or dealership visits.
When will I get my vehicle?
This depends on the model, the demand for the said model, and the supply of the dealer. Most dealers will have the most common cars on hand, but others will have to wait a little longer depending on the supplier’s stock and the demand a nameplate is currently facing.
Due to the pandemic, there could be delays when it comes to the delivery of your vehicle, as a few more health and safety checks must be observed by the logistics networks of the brands. However, if the unit is on-hand and not on order, you can expect the processing to happen within a month’s time or less. If there are some delays with regard to logistics or supply, your car could experience quite a few delays related to production and customs clearance if it is a model that is assembled in other countries.
The global chip shortage is also to blame for some of the delays. Manufacturers and brands in the automotive sector rely heavily on chips and microprocessors to keep multiple systems running inside the car. These microchips are rather low in supply and high in demand for 2021, thus the car that you ordered could come to you later compared to pre-pandemic timetables.
Will financing payments be delayed?
With the online infrastructure currently in place, it’s unlikely that banks will offer extensions for payments if you do choose to buy a car now.
Brands and some banks extended payments following the lockdowns that were set up in 2020, but given the more relaxed travel restrictions, payment schemes continue as normal.