We might be in the middle of a pandemic, but there’s no need to panic

With close to 200,000 cases confirmed as of March 17, the COVID-19 outbreak is now a serious pandemic that’s causing people to panic and storm supermarkets for supplies.

The situation is Europe is equally dramatic with Italy, Spain, Germany, and France having reported around 55,000 cases and close to 3,000 deaths over a couple of weeks. The outbreak has also prompted several automakers to close plants in Europe. Things look rather bleak for the auto industry, but Hyundai claims that car sales could hike as consumers will seek an isolated mode of transportation. But are new cars produced in Europe safe to buy?

Number of Coronavirus Cases at March 17, 2020
Country,Other TotalCases NewCases TotalDeaths NewDeaths TotalRecovered ActiveCases Serious,Critical Tot Cases/1M pop
China 80,881 +21 3,226 +13 68,715 8,940 3,226 56.2
Italy 31,506 +3,526 2,503 +345 2,941 26,062 2,060
Iran 16,169 +1,178 988 +135 5,389 9,792 192.5
Spain 11,409 +1,467 510 +168 1,028 9,871 563 244.0
Germany 8,639 +1,367 23 +6 67 8,549 2 103.1
S. Korea 8,320 +84 81 +6 1,401 6,838 59 162.3
France 6,633 148 12 6,473 400 101.6
USA 5,704 +1,041 97 +11 74 5,533 12 17.2
Switzerland 2,742 +389 27 +8 15 2,700 316.8
UK 1,950 +407 71 +16 52 1,827 20 28.7
Netherlands 1,705 +292 43 +19 2 1,660 45 99.5
Norway 1,452 +104 3 1 1,448 27 267.8
Austria 1,332 +314 4 +1 8 1,320 12 147.9
Belgium 1,243 +185 10 14 1,219 33 107.3
Sweden 1,191 +70 8 +1 1 1,182 12 117.9

Note: According to https://www.worldometers.info/

Panic spreads faster than the novel coronavirus

COVID-19 Crisis: Are New Cars Produced in Europe Safe to Buy?
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While statistics say that COVID-19 might not be more harmful than the common flu, the new coronavirus is more contagious and several countries have declared a state of emergency.

This, coupled with fake news spread by the media, has caused a lot of panic among the population. People took supermarkets by storm, stocking up on canned food, hand sanitizer, and even toilet paper. Local authorities have shut down institutions and are disinfecting everything from furniture to books. We already know that the virus can survive on surfaces for a while, so a thorough cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is actually a very good measure.

While cars are usually assembled on automated lines by robots, some processes and stages are done by humans. This means that an infected person could spread the virus into a car if he sneezes or coughs. It sounds really serious if you’re a hypochondriac, but is this a good reason to panic? No it’s not, and you shouldn’t!

Buying a new car is as safe as it’s ever been

COVID-19 Crisis: Are New Cars Produced in Europe Safe to Buy?
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Although COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for a while, it won't reach a dealership on a car's upholstery.

With nearly all of Europe under heavy quarantine, people everywhere are taking precautions toward keeping things clean to avoid the worsening of this pandemic. And needless to say, all new cars are cleaned thoroughly once they leave the assembly line in a normal process before being sent to dealerships.

Sure, cars are then handled by various drivers before being parked in a dealer’s lot, but again, everyone is taking more serious measures now and the risk is very low. If anything, a virus might get into a car only if an infected driver visits a dealer for a test drive. Definitely not during the assembly process. In short, buying a new car is as safe as it’s ever been.

Buying a new car might be a bit more difficult now

COVID-19 Crisis: Are New Cars Produced in Europe Safe to Buy?
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The novel coronavirus prompted all sorts of safety measures all across Europe and the United States and many businesses are no longer operated.

While dealerships aren't usually crowded, some may opt to close shop for a few weeks, so buying a new car right now might be a bit complicated.

The same goes when it comes to deliveries of brand-new vehicles, as many carmakers closed their factories across Europe and shipping is suspended for a few weeks to say the least.

If you’re in the market for a brand-new car and you can’t wait a few more weeks, it’s best that you proceed with caution and go through the process without much contact with other people. Luckily, some automakers have buying programs that don’t require a trip to the dealerships so you can have the car delivered at home, which eliminates some of the risks.

Bottom line is, buying a new car may be complicated, but relatively safe, even if the said vehicle was built during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
About the author

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