The coronavirus, or COVID-19, situation is changing a lot of things about our daily lives. If you need to buy a car during this uncertain time, you’re probably wondering if dealerships are even open in your state. There are still dealers open for business if you know where to look, and we want to help.
Auto Credit Express has been contacting as many dealerships as possible to find out whether or not they’re open in every state. Here’s what we’ve found as of April 10, 2020:
|State||Shelter in Place Status||Dealerships Open||Are Dealerships Essential?|
|Alabama||Statewide||Many confirmed open|
|Alaska||Statewide||Some confirmed open|
|Arizona||Statewide||Some confirmed open|
|Arkansas||None||No required closure|
|California||Statewide||Many confirmed open|
|Colorado||Statewide||Some confirmed open||Essential|
|Connecticut||Statewide||Some confirmed open|
|Delaware||Statewide||Still verifying openings|
|Florida||Statewide||Many confirmed open||Essential|
|Georgia||Statewide||Many confirmed open|
|Hawaii||Statewide||Some confirmed open|
|Idaho||Statewide||Some confirmed open|
|Illinois||Statewide||Many confirmed open||Essential|
|Indiana||Statewide||Many confirmed open|
|Iowa||None||No required closure|
|Kansas||Statewide||Still verifying openings|
|Kentucky||Statewide||Some confirmed open|
|Louisiana||Statewide||Many confirmed open|
|Maine||Statewide||Some confirmed open|
|Maryland||Statewide||Still verifying openings||Essential|
|Massachusetts||Statewide||Some confirmed open|
|Michigan||Statewide||Some confirmed open|
|Minnesota||Statewide||Many confirmed open||Essential|
|Mississippi||Statewide||Still verifying openings|
|Missouri||Statewide||Many confirmed open|
|Montana||Statewide||Some confirmed open|
|Nebraska||None||No required closure|
|Nevada||Statewide||Still verifying openings|
|New Hampshire||Statewide||Still verifying openings|
|New Jersey||Statewide||Still verifying openings|
|New Mexico||Statewide||Still verifying openings|
|New York||Statewide||Some confirmed open||Essential|
|North Carolina||Statewide||Many confirmed open||Essential|
|North Dakota||None||No required closure|
|Ohio||Statewide||Many confirmed open||Essential|
|Oklahoma||Partial||Some confirmed open|
|Oregon||Statewide||Many confirmed open||Essential|
|Pennsylvania||Statewide||Some confirmed open|
|Rhode Island||Statewide||Some confirmed open|
|South Carolina||Statewide||Still verifying openings|
|South Dakota||None||No required closure|
|Tennessee||Statewide||Many confirmed open|
|Texas||Statewide||Many confirmed open|
|Utah||Partial||Some confirmed open|
|Vermont||Statewide||Still verifying openings|
|Virginia||Statewide||Many confirmed open|
|Washington||Statewide||Some confirmed open|
|West Virginia||Statewide||Still verifying openings|
|Wisconsin||Statewide||Many confirmed open||Essential|
|Wyoming||Partial||Some confirmed open|
If you need an auto loan, Auto Credit Express can match you with a dealer near you that we know to be open, even if you’re dealing with less than perfect credit. All you have to do to get the process started is fill out our free and easy car loan request form.
Car Dealerships by the Numbers
We have been extensively reaching out to dealerships to find out whether they’re open due to the coronavirus. Here’s a closer look at what we’ve learned about how the pandemic is affecting local dealers.
We’ve contacted more than 2,000 dealerships so far, and over 75% of those we’ve reached are currently closed at the time of writing. This shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider that 42 states are currently under a statewide shelter-in-place order, while three others have partial restrictions in certain regions. This leaves just five states with no official statewide stay-at-home order enacted.
Methodology: Our team is working tirelessly to contact as many dealers as possible to ensure that you get the most accurate information regarding if they're open in your state. If we confirmed less than a dozen dealerships open in any state, we classified this as “some confirmed open.” If we confirmed more than a dozen open dealers, we classified this as “many confirmed open.” This list will be continuously updated.
Updates to how states are handling the coronavirus pandemic are happening around the clock. As of this writing, the latest states to issue statewide stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders are Florida (effective April 3), Georgia (April 3), Mississippi (April 3), Alabama (April 4), Missouri (April 6), and South Carolina (April 7).
In other news, Michigan auto dealerships are allowed to make online sales as of April 9. A new government order that extended the state's stay-at-home order also declared dealer employees essential workers. Previously, dealerships in Michigan were told to halt all sales, but they can now sell remotely and electronically even though showrooms must stay closed.
Statewide Shelter in Place vs. Regional Shelter in Place
Almost all states have issued some type of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home order in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These directives mandate that residents stay at home and limit movement to essential trips, and have closed businesses that aren’t deemed “essential.” In areas ordered to stay at home, essential services include things like grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and some medical offices.
However, some places only have regional shelter-in-place orders in place, which differ from statewide directives.
Regional shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders are typically put in place by the local government and only cover a certain area in a state. In most cases, these orders are put in place in the most populous or hardest hit areas of that state in an attempt to reduce the number of individuals exposed to coronavirus.
Statewide shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders are issued by the state’s governor and put these restrictions in place across the entire state. As we mentioned above, there are currently 42 states under statewide shelter-in-place directives.
How Dealers Are Open Despite Shelter-in-Place Orders
The coronavirus situation has created a grey area for many dealerships. Some states have labeled dealers as essential businesses, while others have told them to stop selling cars but to keep service departments open.
Across much of the country, the result is that automakers and dealerships are finding creative ways to keep business going during this unprecedented time. Here’s a look at some of the unique ways dealers are helpings consumers buy vehicles:
- Online car buying – Many dealerships are still open, although not physically. Instead, they’re providing all-digital selling processes that allow people to shop for a car and look at financing options completely online. Dealers are even going so far as to provide touchless delivery.
- Appointment only – Some dealerships that are allowed to remain open must conduct business by appointment only, to minimize person-to-person contact. These dealers are also typically required to institute upgraded cleaning measures inside their showrooms and customer areas.
- Essential dealerships – In several states, dealerships have been deemed essential, and are able to remain open, though cautiously. This includes dealers in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and more.
Car Buying and Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a shelter-in-place order?
A shelter-in-place order is proclaimed in the case of emergencies, and asks citizens to remain in their homes instead of seeking shelter in community emergency shelters. It’s an order for citizens to remain at home unless they're acquiring essentials that are needed to sustain life. In the case of the COVID-19, it’s a way to help stop the spread of the coronavirus by limiting person-to-person exposure.
These orders have been enacted in the majority of states in the U.S., along with some regional shelter-in-places orders. A regional shelter-in-place means that select areas may have more stringent regulations and lockdown orders than the rest of the state.
What is an "essential" business?
An essential business is one that is needed to sustain life, or help keep the infrastructure working. The exact specifications of an essential business vary by state, but this typically means businesses such as:
- Health care facilities
- Grocery stores
- Restaurants with takeout/delivery options
- Dealership service centers
- Daycare for essential workers
- Public transportation
- Gas stations
If your state has a shelter in place order, you may be able to visit your state's government website and review which businesses have been deemed essential.
What does this mean for car dealerships?
This varies by state, but for many, this means that dealership service centers are still open. Since many workers have been deemed essential, such as healthcare workers and grocery store employees, dealership service centers in many states remain open to perform regular maintenance and vehicle repairs.
Even workers who haven’t been deemed essential still require their cars for trips to acquire essential items like food and medication, adding to the need for service centers to remain open.
Some states have allowed dealerships to keep their showrooms open, as well, while following the CDC’s recommendations of social distancing and sanitization.
According to our reserach, there are dealerships that are selling vehicles and have their service centers open in some shelter-in-place states. At the same time, some dealerships may only be allowed to sell cars to customers by appointment, or sell vehicles online to avoid unnecessary exposure. A few dealerships are also offering curbside or drop-off selling/delivery options to customers.
Can I still complete a loan request form with Auto Credit Express?
Yes, our auto loan request form is still available to those looking to get matched to dealerships with special finance departments. We help borrowers with less than perfect credit find those dealers that work with subprime lenders. We can match you to a dealership that, to the best of our knowledge, is still open in your area.
Get Connected to a Dealership Near You
The social distancing, quarantining, and stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders that have come as a result of the coronavirus have created a temporary new normal. Despite dealership closures in some areas, Auto Credit Express is still working to match consumers to dealerships that are open in their local area.
We're teamed up with a nationwide network of dealers, including those that know how to handle bad credit. It’s our mission to make the process of buying a vehicle faster and easier on consumers. If you need an auto loan at this time, we're here to connect you with a dealer near you that’s open for business.
Our online auto loan request form is up and running, and you can complete it for free with zero-obligation. Get the process started right now!