Find the best tips and advice for your car from the experts at Michelin.
What Is Classified as Essential Travel?
The current law notes that people shouldn’t leave their house without a reasonable excuse.
You are allowed to go the shops for necessities such as food and medication. However, these trips should be limited to as few as possible. Similarly, you are currently allowed to exercise outside the confines of your house for one period each day. This includes cycling, running, and walking.
The government has detailed an extensive list of reasonable justifications for being out of the home, available here.
You should not travel unless you can provide one of these reasons, otherwise it is illegal to do so, and you could face punishment of a fine or arrest.
Petrol Station Hygiene Precautions
Thankfully, the vast amount of technologies available to us in modern times mean that we can limit the amount of interaction, and ultimately, the risk of infection when filling our cars with fuel.
Use pay at the pump facilities and contactless transactions when possible. Similarly, use gloves, disposable if available, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
That said, when going to fill up, follow all government instructions and those displayed at the petrol station.
Can I Still Car Share During Social Distancing?
One of the most prominent questions in regard to travel, especially for key workers, since the implementation of social distancing has been: “Can I still car share with colleagues who don’t live in the same house as me?”
A spokesperson for Public Health England said: ‘that unless it was possible to be at least 2m apart in a vehicle, you wouldn’t comply with social distancing’ and therefore car sharing is not allowed.
Disinfecting Your Vehicle During Lockdown
Alongside washing our hands, wiping our phones, and disinfecting surfaces within our homes, we also need to consider the alternative places from which an infection can spread.
One of these is our cars.
Seats, dashboard, doors, and boots are all areas which can harbour germs. They should be disinfected to reduce risk. Advice suggests that you should wait until at least 72 hours have passed following a journey before cleaning your vehicle, as by this stage the number of particles living on these surfaces will have significantly reduced.
The government recommends that when cleaning your car, you should use PPE, such as disposable gloves and an apron. Focus areas for cleaning include stereo controls, door handles, the steering wheel, head rests, and seat belts (pulled out to their maximum length).
Once you have thoroughly cleaned your vehicle, either bin your PPE, if it disposable, or place it immediately into the wash.
My Car Service Light Has Come on but I Still Need to Drive During Isolation?
Certain garages are still open as they have been deemed to be an essential service. If you are continuing to use your vehicle for essential travel, then getting a service light resolved at the nearest convenience is important.
However, it is worth asking yourself prior to doing so, ‘is this so I can complete essential journeys?’.
New Car Delivery During Lockdown – What Happens?
At present, all new car deliveries should have been postponed, unless they are catering to essential travel, such as that of a key worker or to care for someone vulnerable.
In certain cases, due to factory shutdown, some manufacturers may have already been forced to delay delivery.
Meanwhile, if you are self-isolating but have already arranged a delivery as you meet the criteria of the above, contact the dealership and make alternative arrangements or establish suitable redelivery.
Are Breakdown Services Still Working During Lockdown?
Thankfully, across the board, most breakdown companies are still operating business as usual having taken the necessary precautions to protect both their staff and customers.
This decision was taken to ensure those key workers conducting essential travel are able to continue to do so safely.
Breakdown services across the country, however, are working at their own discretion therefore, if you have any questions, please contact your breakdown provider.
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