With little time to prepare for the fallout of coronavirus, public bodies have faced a scramble to introduce new legislation and policies which safeguard the public whilst upholding current environmental and safety standards. This means that drivers are still playing catch up when it comes to new requirements and rule changes which affect how they drive and maintain their cars.
Is the Coronavirus Driving You Crazy? to help keep you sane, Holts has answered some of the common questions motorists have about the lockdown.
Will I still need to MOT my car?
No, not at the moment. The government has announced a six-month so you don’t need to visit a garage. You can still be prosecuted, however, if you’re found to be driving an unsafe car so, we’d recommend that if you notice anything unusual about your car, you pay attention to it. If you notice any new noises or changes to how the car drives, then go to a forum or check out our blog to get an idea of what it could be. Some mechanics are staying open to carry out essential repair work so if you think it’s something serious, you can still get it looked at.
Will I still need to service my car?
No. As servicing isn’t a legal requirement, it’s recommended you avoid taking your car to a garage for any unnecessary work.
Will I still need to pay car tax?
Yes. As long as your car is on the road, you must tax it. If you’re not planning on using it for the entire lockdown period, we’d recommend applying for Sorn ‘off the road’ status.
Should I still be driving?
Following government guidelines, there are certain instances when it’s OK to drive, but you should avoid unnecessary travel wherever possible. The rules allow for travel to and from work if you’re a key worker or cannot work from home, driving to and from a food shop to buy essential supplies and in medical cases where you’re looking after a vulnerable person.
Is my car insurance still valid?
Many people have questioned whether their existing car insurance is still valid during the coronavirus lockdown. This is because details on their policy may no longer match their current circumstances. For example, your policy may state that your car is normally parked in a secure car park at work during the day, when it’s parked on the street outside your home.
Insurers are aware of these discrepancies so will probably take a lenient stance in cases where you have to make a claim. If you’re concerned about the validity of your policy, contact your insurer to let them know of any changes of circumstance.
How can I look after my car during the coronavirus lockdown?
If your car is going to be stood for a long period during the lockdown, there are things you can do to make sure it’s ready for use when the restrictions are lifted:
- Tyres deflate naturally when stood so you should check pressures.
- Turn the engine over once a week and let it run for five minutes. This will prevent parts seizing up and ensure the oil doesn’t thicken.
- Make sure there’s no rubbish left in your car. Bacteria, mould and mildew can grow quickly when your car isn’t in use.
- Fill up with fuel. This prevents condensation forming in the empty part of the tank which can interfere with fuel performance and economy.
- Disconnect the battery if your car is old – this will prevent it from draining power over time.
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