A new Guilford County stay-at-home order that brought about plenty of new rules for church services right before Easter Sunday also offered some modifications and clarifications for automobile dealers.

The order lets those dealers conduct business in person – but only under some very stringent conditions.

Guilford County government put out the new stay-at-home order on Friday, April 10, making it the latest update in the county’s effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

A previous countywide order limited auto dealers to online sales. The new order does allow car and truck sales at dealerships – but there are plenty of rules for everyone to follow. For instance, one sales technique practiced by new and used car salesmen and saleswomen – a firm handshake to greet potential buyers – is strictly forbidden under the new order.

Under the new rules, all motor vehicle sales must be conducted by appointment and there can be no more than 10 people – including customers and employees – in the showroom at any one time.

The dealerships are also required to “Designate six-foot distances with signage, tape, or by other means, six-foot spacing for employees and customers to maintain appropriate distance.”

In addition, the order requires that customer lounges be closed and that hand sanitizer and sanitizing products be available for employees and customers alike.

Also, no vehicle test drives are permitted unless expressly requested by the potential buyer. And those drives, if they do take place, are also subject to rigorous requirements. For instance, having that new car smell is not enough – the vehicle must be completely sanitized with “COVID-19 approved products,” and the dealership must also keep records of when the car was driven and when it was sanitized. Furthermore, drivers must wear gloves and sit on protective seat mats.

There are a slew of other rules as well, but at least auto dealers now have a chance to sway people in person again that they need that sweet ride that they’ve had their eye on.