Given the recent Government advice, people of the UK are advised to stay at home. Arguably, this raises a whole host of concerns around people not using their car at all or as little as possible having to maintain their vehicle. Do you own a vehicle? Wondering whether you should drive your car, or maybe you MOT is due. Below, we'll look at some basic essential things you should do to maintain your car throughout lockdown.
Firstly, Think of all the significant checks you would typically do before setting out on a major journey. These checks still apply when leaving your car dormant over a period of time. Checks such as your oil level, tyre pressure, all the necessary fluids such as the washer and brake fluid as well as the appropriate battery checks, must be carried out.
One way to look after your tyres if your car sits longer than 30 days either at home, garage or on a driveway is to purchase a set of tyre cushions. These are designed to support more of the tyre by settling into the pads concave depression and helps prevent flat spots.
If you are not sure how your battery life is looking, you can buy a trickle charger or a smart charger. These only charge your car when it needs to. You can find out how to carry out all vital these checks listed by the AA here: https://www.theaa.com/breakdown-cover/advice/car-maintenance-tips
Key components such as the battery shouldn't fail throughout the entirety of the lockdown, providing regular checks have been carried out. Should the battery fail here is AA's advice on what to do: https://www.theaa.com/breakdown-cover/advice/flat-battery
The Ministry of Transport confirmed MOT exemption is valid for six months, provided that the MOT expires from 30 March 2020. This will allow people that are self-isolating to wait for their MOT. A DVSA spokesman said: "Our priority is to help everyone drive their vehicles safely, but drivers in self-isolation should not take the risk of testing their vehicle.” Bear in mind that if you are still using your car for unavoidable/essential travel, you do still need to keep your car in a roadworthy condition.
If you are in a position of unavoidable travel whether you are a key worker still needing to get to work or shopping for food or medicine essentials you do still need to keep your car in a roadworthy condition. Having said this, if your car does encounter a breakdown or puncture, emergency call-out services are still available to repair your vehicle at present.
Your safety is a priority, as the RAC have recently said they may not be able to transport you in their van but will ensure other arrangements are made imminently.
With this in mind, call-out providers are still obliged to take caution and stick to government guidelines respecting social distancing, keeping two metres apart. Companies such as the AA and RAC are ensuring their employees wear latex gloves while carrying hand gel and sanitiser to ensure all parts of the car touched are wiped down after.
For further information, here are some call out providers response to Covid-19
Getting your car fixed may not be as easy as before. Therefore, it is recommended to do online research beforehand and as said previously, make sure you understand their protocol for interaction.
After lockdown is finished and we come out of isolation, it is advised you carry out all the same checks before starting the engine.
Pay particular attention to the tyre pressure, and all the fluid levels. Once you have started your engine, carry out a simple brake and handbrake test before slowly setting off. Lastly, you should take your car on a reasonable journey to re-energise critical components such as the battery.
Please note these tips and guidance do not constitute mechanical or technical instruction from Miller & Middleton and are guidance on best practice to look after your car. If you would like to speak to us about your vehicle in a technical capacity, you can contact us via our website.