How can I sell my car safely during the coronavirus pandemic? 

We offer a car owner advice on how to sell his secondhand car privately and stay safe from coronavirus...

Driving lessons and tests

I’m looking to sell my car and would be grateful for your advice about how to stay safe from Covid-19 while doing so. My main concern is what to do if a potential buyer wants to test drive the car.

I’m classed as highly vulnerable to the virus and therefore would not want to get into a car with anyone I do not know. But if I let someone drive the car without me alongside them, there is the risk they could steal my car.

So how can I keep it safe and still let them try it out before they buy it?  Would it be acceptable to say they can’t test drive it? 

Robert Mankiewitz

What Car? says…

We'd advise you to vet potential buyers as much as possible by talking to them on the phone or by email prior to them viewing the car to ensure they are genuinely interested in buying it. You may also want to get details such as their address in advance. 

With regards to letting someone take the car for a test drive, you should both wear face masks and use hand sanitiser before and after entering the car and you should sit as far away from them as possible, in the opposite rear seat of the car, while they take a test drive.  

Driving lessons and tests

The official guidance for driving instructors and others who need to drive alongside another person for work is to wipe down all the touch points, such as the steering wheel and gear level, before and after someone has driven the car, keep the car’s windows open while it’s being driven to improve ventilation and avoid using the air con especially in recirculating mode. Long clothing that covers arms and legs is also recommended, and some people also choose to wear disposable gloves. 

However, if you're really not comfortable with sitting in your car with a potential buyer you could ask them to leave a bank card, their wallet or the key for their own car with you as security while they take the car out alone.

With regard to not allowing potential buyers to test drive your car, we don't think this is a good idea because our advice to car buyers is to always take a test drive before agreeing to buy a car. 

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Read more: all the latest coronavirus advice for drivers >>