Coronavirus Pennsylvania: Gov. Wolf Allows Online Vehicle Sales During Pandemic
While in-person car sales have been prohibited thoughout the northeast, surrounding states like New Jersey, Delaware and New York have permitted dealerships to sell cars online.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On Monday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf extended the state’s stay-at-home order until at least May 8. That same day, we’ll start to see some life again in the area when construction projects can resume, as long as certain guidelines are followed.
And car dealerships across the commonwealth are now breathing a sigh of relief. Effective immediately, they can now conduct sales online.
The dealership lot has been a lonely place lately.
“When we were all on a level playing field, it was a little bit easier to swallow,” car dealer Gary Barbera said.
Barbera felt the sting firsthand. While in-person car sales have been prohibited throughout the Northeast, surrounding states like New Jersey, Delaware and New York have permitted dealerships to sell cars online.
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That has not been the case in Pennsylvania, until now.
“Because of Senate Bill 841, auto sales will now be allowed to take place online,” Wolf said.
The bill doesn’t speak so much to car sales as it does to notary services, which is a requirement in purchasing a vehicle.
“In order to notarize someone’s signature, you have to be next to them,” Barbera said.
But Senate Bill 841 allows this to happen virtually and therefore, car sales can happen online, too.
“All of our inventory is now virtual on our website,” Barbera said.
Barbera says dealerships can’t meet their customers in person but customers can peruse the lot.
“Clients can look around, look at the car then either call 1-800-barbera or they can go on their smartphone on the lot, similar to what I do when I order my chicken caesar,” Barbera said.
And like a takeout order placed either online or by phone, the new guidelines allow for the car to be handed off in a safe manner, or delivery can be arranged.