Navigating The Road Ahead During the COVID-19 Crisis: Your Car Questions Answered

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[UPDATE 5/14/20: Many car dealers that had to temporarily close their showrooms are now reopened. Last week, Car Pro host Jerry Reynolds talked about the continuing huge rebates and incentives due to the virus. Reynolds says it is hard to put into words just how good they are and how eager CarProUSA dealers are to make deals. Reynolds' says he's never in his career seen a better time for buyers. He believes, however, this window will close after May as the auto industry rebounds and inventories return to normal levels. Car Pro Certified Dealers are adhering to all CDC guidelines to keep employees and car shoppers safe. Many continue to offer online sales as well.]

If youíre like us, youíll never again take for granted the freedom to get in your car and head to your local grocery store to pick up a few things. The inability for many of us to currently do so is just one way transportation is being impacted by COVID-19, as people stay off the normally busy roads and remain at home to practice social distancing. The Coronavirus is clearly having a big impact on transportation as it forces us all to, in a word, adapt. Adapt to how often we use our vehicles, how we care for them, and even how we buy them. Here are some of the most prevalent questions many people have when it comes to driving, buying and getting cars serviced during the COVID-19 crisis.

Can I Get Help With Car Payments?

Yes. If youíve been impacted by job loss during COVID-19 and need help making car payments, automakers will discuss relief payment options with you. Some automakers, like VW, are extending those relief options. Click here for a list of automaker assistance information and deferred payment offers.

Will COVID-19 Impact My Auto Insurance Premiums?

A number of auto insurance companies are offering and have already provided a refund or payback portions of premiums or offer credit on renewals. They include Allstate, GEICO, State Farm, Farmers, Liberty Mutual and USAA.

Can I Get My Vehicle Serviced?

Car service departments are considered essential businesses and most remain open. So you can still get your car serviced during COVID-19, whether it is regular maintenance, emergency repair or a recall. In fact, thereís never been a better time to get those pesky recalls repaired. Check out our recall section here. Some dealerships are providing pickup and drop off services as well. Itís always best to contact your service department set up an appointment.

Are Automakers Offering To Extend Expiring Warranties?

Yes, some of them are. On May 13, Audi announced it would provide a three-month warranty extension on its New Vehicle Limited Warranty as well as its Certified pre-owned Limited Warranty set to expire in March through the end of May, 2020. VW is extending its New Vehicle Limited Warranty and its Certified Pre-Owned Limited Warranty by an additional three months on all vehicles for which coverage would have ended between March 1 and May 31, 2020. Porsche, Hyundai and Kia are also offering previously announced extensions. Check with your automaker to see what extensions may be offered.

How Can I Protect My Vehicle From COVID-19?

Nothing is 100% sure-proof when it comes to killing the coronavirus, but there are steps you can take to mitigate the threat. They involve carefully disinfecting your vehicle after each use (using disinfects and soft cloths that wonít harm its interior.) You can find additional tips on disinfecting your vehicle here.

Use Disinfectant Wipes/Spray on: steering wheel, exterior and interior door handles, gear shifter, climate controls, knobs and buttons, rearview mirror, dashboard, key fob, seat belts, use microfiber clothes on touchscreens.

What Other Car Precautions Should I Take?

Limit the number of people in your vehicle so you can maintain social distancing. A 6-feet distance between you and other people is recommended. Also, if you can, avoid rideshares or public transportation. This isnít always possible so in those cases always follow all CDC health and safety guidelines. Never ride with someone who is ill or may have been exposed to the virus. Wear a mask.

What If I Need To Park My Car For Awhile?

Parking your car even short-term for a few weeks, as many people are being asked to do right now, can pose some potential problems for your vehicle. The best way to prevent many of them is to drive your car once a week (while maintaining social distancing) and for at least 20 minutes. Here is a list of potential issues and other ways to prevent them.

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