COVID 19 Vehicle Update: Here's What Drivers Can and Can't Do During Lockdown
For the third time in history, the UK is going into a full national lockdown.
By now, we all know the drill. Don’t go out. Wash your hands. Only see those in your household or support bubble. All that said, there are some key differences this time around when it comes to the Coronavirus rules, particularly for drivers.
If you’re a UK motorist wondering what it all means, we’re taking a look at what you can and can’t do as a driver under this third set of Covid-19 restrictions.
Can I still drive my vehicle under lockdown?
Given all the new rules, you might be wondering if you can drive your car at all during the lockdown.
The answer is yes. You can still drive your car under tier 4 but only for specific purposes.
The government has drafted a list of ‘reasonable excuses’ - it includes shopping for food or dropping kids off at school if you’re an essential worker (children of essential workers are still allowed to go to school). Travelling for medical appointments as well as assisting elderly and vulnerable people is also allowed.
Jumping in the car just to have a break and get out of the house? Unfortunately, this does not count as exercise or a reasonable excuse and is therefore not permissible. If you’re stopped by the police and can’t give a good reason for why you’re travelling, you could face a fine of up to £200 or more.
It’s also vital that any passengers going along with you are from your own household or your support bubble. Drivers and passengers are encouraged to:
Open windows for ventilation,
Face away from each other (in terms of seating arrangements),
Clean the car after each journey,
And, of course, wear face masks
Are garages open? Can I get an MOT test?
During the first lockdown, garages were closed. This time they’ll stay open.
MOT testing and vehicle servicing are considered essential business. That means you can book your car for an MOT or check-up during this third lockdown.
It’s important to note that since MOTs and servicing will go ahead, there will be no MOT test extension period, as there was due to the first lockdown.
What about fuel top-ups? Are petrol stations still open?
Petrol stations are also essential businesses and therefore will remain open throughout the 3rd lockdown. That includes motorway stations as well as independent sellers.
While topping up, you’re advised to wear gloves and practice proper hygiene.
Can you still get a car wash under tier 4 restrictions? The answer is yes, though while automatic car washes are open, manual hand-wash locations won’t be.
Can I buy a car during lockdown?
Those dealers able to offer a click-and-collect service as well as contactless delivery can stay open during this current lockdown, though showrooms and physical locations must remain closed.
That means motorists can order a new car or lease online and collect their new purchase outside of the dealership at a social distance.
If the car was previously purchased or used, the dealer must sanitise the whole vehicle along with its keys. Instead of in-person demonstrations, they are to provide walk-through videos.
What about renewing my driving license?
During the first lockdown, the DVLA struggled to update photocard driving licenses as most of its workforce was forced to work from home. Drivers whose licences were set to expire between the 1st of February and the 31st of December 2020 were thus offered an 11-month extension.
Motorists with licences due to expire in 2021 will have to apply for a renewal.
Can I take a driving lesson or test?
The DVSA has confirmed that both driving lessons and tests cannot take place during this 3rd lockdown, including in Scotland and Wales. That applies to everyone, including key workers.
The agency stated that they’d be in contact with candidates as soon as possible with additional information but that they await the government to make further announcements.
Is it time for a new set of wheels? Get the car you want on lease from Rivervale. You’ll find a superb range of leases on offer from family-friendly models to the latest electric and low-emission vehicles.
It’s a challenging time, but we’re still here, operating on a contact-free basis to ensure your lease's smooth set up and delivery. All vehicles on offer are completely sanitised, including keys, before their contactless delivery or hand over.
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