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What Motorists Need to Know During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Coronavirus outbreak has made the world question a number of things that we otherwise wouldn’t have given a second thought, in particular, we’ve heard a lot of noise regarding ‘what do motorists need to know during COVID? This month, Oak Services will be clearing up this grey area, to ensure us motorists know what the road restrictions are during the pandemic.

Does the official advice on driving and using a car apply to the whole of the UK?
No, the official advice is different across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – be sure to check the rules specific to your location. 


Where am I allowed to go in my car?
The UK Government is advising England to ‘stay alert’ in the hope that we can control the virus and save vulnerable lives. Staying alert for motorists means that they are to:


  • Only travel to shops or establishments that have been allowed to reopen (in these places you must abide by social distancing and wear face coverings where appropriate)
  • Visit pharmacies and give care to a vulnerable person
  • Travel to work, if you can’t physically work from home
  • Exercise outdoors in a local, open park


Other than recent, local lockdowns in certain areas, where the rules have been restricted again, you are not limited on how far you can journey with your household to an outdoor area within England. This can be for exercise, picnics and general recreation. 

You can now venture further afield, coming into England from Wales and Scotland, which means you have other leisure options available for you to travel to.


Is it OK to drive out somewhere for recreation purposes such as walking my dog, or for a day trip? How far am I allowed to drive during the pandemic?

As long as you adhere to social distancing rules, you can visit places within England that aren’t currently back in another lockdown. It’s also important to note that you must consider whether or not your destination is likely to be busy, as it’s vital that not all drivers have the same plans and all flock to one well-known tourist area. 


Can I drive to see family and friends to check that they’re alright?
As of June 1st 2020 in England, up to six people from other households are allowed to meet together outside, whilst maintaining all-important social distancing. 


Can I drive to a holiday destination in the UK and can I book overnight stays? currently permits overnight stays elsewhere in the UK – as long as the area isn’t in lockdown. If your journey involves taking a caravan, trailer or tent, you may want to make sure that you have a car recovery package sorted before setting off. 


Will driving be different to normal?
Don’t feel confident about getting back on the road? Do a familiar drive around quiet and local roads before setting off for a long drive. The roads are generally quiet at the moment, with many people working from home, however, the amount of cyclists and pedestrians has increased – so be cautious as you normally would when driving.

If it’s been a while since you were last behind the wheel, you may wish to organise to have your car serviced. If you’re satisfied that you needn’t take your car to your local service centre, be sure to check your tyre’s tread depth, tyre pressure, windscreen wipes, screenwash, oil level, engine coolant, lights, windows, mirrors, brakes and fuel level.  


Can I share my car with others?
It’s advised to drive solo but if you do need to share the car, only do so with members of your household.

Can I use my car if I’m self-isolating?
If you suspect that you have Coronavirus, you must stay at home, as well as anyone else who is inside the same household. The Government advises against going out of the home, even if it’s to buy food. To combat this, you must attempt to call a family member, friend or neighbour for their help and turn to home delivery where possible.  


Is it better to use my car than getting a bus or an Uber?

If you have a car, it’s advisable to use this instead of public transport, as you won’t be coming into contact with other people. On a bus, you’ll have multiples of people hopping on and off, and in an Uber, the risk is lessened but it is still fundamentally difficult to socially distance. It’s important to lessen the risks where you can, so if driving your own car is an option, do that instead.

If I fail to comply with the Government advice, what will happen?
Depending on your offence, police are enforcing fines with discretion but if you are a repeat offender, you could be fined up to £3,200. 


What do I do if I’m not using my car at all at the moment?
If you haven’t had coronavirus and you’ve no need to use your car, maintain your vehicle by taking care of the battery and performing a full check before taking it for a spin around the block. 


I have to drive in London – must I pay for congestion and ultra-low emission zone charges?
You will have to pay for congestion and ultra-low emission zone charges if driving in London, as of the 22nd June, the charge for congestion rose to £15 a day and applies Monday-Sunday.


If you’re in need of car servicing or car repairs, turn to Oak Services Ltd. We’re a local, family-owned business that provides half-price MOTs with every service and we are providing contactless services to ensure our customers and staff remain safe during these uncertain times. For more information about how we can serve you, contact our friendly team today – we’d love to help you get back on the road.