Coronavirus Updates & FAQ: What Shift Is Doing During COVID-19

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Like all of you, we’re keeping a close watch on the developments around coronavirus (COVID-19). As part of our effort to keep our customers and communities safe, we’ll be posting regularly with new information. Below is a list of coronavirus updates and FAQs to help you stay in the know.

Detailed Coronavirus Updates

A Message from Shift’s CEOs – how we’re adjusting to keep you safe

Essential Workers Program & Community Pricing Initiatives

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Essential Workers program work? 

This program is intended for customers who are considered essential and frontline workers during the coronavirus including grocery store staff, utilities operators, government employees and medical professionals. If you feel you fit the description, please let your Shift representative know at the time of or before your appointment and they will confirm your discount status. 

This is an honor system, and will operate on a discretionary and availability basis, so please be advised that we cannot promise you will receive a discount or for what amount until your appointment. 

It will apply to cars both for local test drive appointments and cars purchased directly online, and will continue for as long as strict public health directives are in place. (Subject to change.)  

How does the no-contact test drive work?

Your Shift Car Concierge will show up at your home for your scheduled appointment. They’ll ask you for your driver’s license so we can verify it in our system. Once that’s done, the concierge will wipe down any frequently touched surfaces (including the interior and exterior of the car, keys, iPad, and driver’s license), hand you the keys, and then you get to go take the car out for a spin by yourself while the concierge waits for you at a designated meeting spot. At the end of your test drive, if you decide to buy the car, we’ll facilitate the transaction right then and there. If not, we’ll simply drive it back. 

Can I test drive a car without being in physical contact with anyone?

Yes, in two ways – first, you can use our no-contact test drives (see our question on this), or you can request a virtual test drive via video conference. 

I’ve scheduled a test drive. How will it work given social distancing measures? 

In an effort to reduce the spread of germs, we’re now exclusively offering no-contact test drives. That means we’ll bring you the car, wipe it down, and let you take it for a test drive on your own without a Shift Concierge present. In addition, our Concierge will avoid being in close proximity during your appointment and will not be shaking hands.  

Can I still sell or trade in a car to Shift?

Absolutely! We’re always interested in buying cars. You can get a free, no-obligation quote here. Our Shift concierge will come to your house to evaluate the car and give you a final offer on the spot. If you’re trading in a car, our Shift concierge will bring you the car you want to test drive, and if you want to trade in your old car for the new one, we’ll apply the trade-in credit on the spot. And if you’re not ready to commit just yet, you can always sell us your car without buying a new one just yet. 

How does direct online purchasing work?

Glad you asked! We made this quick demo video to show you how it works on our website. In a nutshell, all certified cars are eligible to buy directly online without a test drive. Once you place a deposit on it, we’ll give you a call to confirm the purchase and arrange delivery to have the car dropped off at your house. You’ll have seven days or 200 miles, whichever comes first, to return it if it ends up not working out for whatever reason. 

Can I still return a car if I buy it directly online? 

Yes – all cars, including our cars sold directly online, are eligible for our seven day/200 mile return for any reason. Depending on where it is, we may be able to pick the car up from you. Simply call or email us and we’ll help to arrange a return for you. 

Shift will waive the shipping fee for direct online sales. What does that mean?

The shipping fee is applicable for cars purchased directly online, just as you’d pay a similar fee for any other online purchase sent to your home. Please note that the shipping fee is different from other costs associated with Shift’s standard service fee, and only applies to the actual shipping cost of the vehicle itself. Shift will waive up to $350 off the fee. 

Can I still get financing for a car I buy online?

You sure can! You’ll have the option to get prequalified for a loan during your shopping process to be able to view cars based on your likely monthly payments. Or, you can apply for and choose an auto loan during the checkout process. You can also add vehicle protection plans and gap insurance at that time. 

Is there a deposit for Buy It Now?

Yes – as with any of our cars that you plan to purchase, you’ll be asked to put a $250 deposit on the vehicle. Our sales team will then follow up with you to confirm the details of the purchase.  

I tried getting a quote for my car. Why am I getting a message that you can’t accept it? 

Due to current market volatility, we’ve had to make some temporary adjustments to our seller program. Unfortunately, this has meant we’re not able to buy cars of certain makes, models, years and locations until conditions evolve. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, and we’re here to answer any other questions you may have. Our seller team is always available. 


Last updated: 4/6/20