Coronavirus Car Round-Up: Getting A New Car, Maintenance Tips And More< Back to blog
Found yourself a little confused after the latest COVID-19 restrictions were released? We’re here to clear up everything you need to know about cars during the third national lockdown.
Our round-up includes rules around getting a new car, tips for maintenance over lockdown, what the restrictions mean for learner drivers, and in what circumstances you’re even allowed to drive over the coming weeks.
Looking to start 2021 on the right foot? Find the perfect leasing deal in under 5 minutes at Moneyshake!
Can I still buy a car during lockdown?
The short answer is yes. However there are some slight restrictions to the process, but none that should cause too much of a headache.
As car dealerships are considered non-essential stores, they must remain closed to the public as of the 6th January. However, they are allowed to remain open for click-and-collect orders, as well as delivering new vehicles. You can therefore still buy a new car as normal, just without going in to a dealership and viewing/test-driving your new car.
PSA Virtual Showroom
Having said that, Groupe PSA have found a way around this minor inconvenience with four brilliantly innovative virtual showrooms. Peugeot, Vauxhall, Citreon, and DS all now offer a digital look around their models via the online platforms.
So if you do find yourself wanting to see a particular model before you make a final decision, we recommend heading over to the respective manufacturers’ website and take a look around what they have to offer, from the comfort of your own home.
Can I still lease a car during lockdown?
Again, yes. Leasing a car will follow exactly the same restrictions as buying one outright. The good news is that Moneyshake offer free delivery to anyone on UK mainland regardless of the model you choose, so this becomes less of a problem if you are looking to lease a car.
If you are currently in the market for a new car, compare leasing deals at Moneyshake and find the right deal for you in under 5 minutes.
Can I still buy/sell a used car?
The restrictions surrounding used cars are a little less clear than those applicable to new vehicles.
As car sales are not specifically mentioned anywhere in the government’s latest announcements, it is difficult to tell whether or not collecting a used car would be considered outside of the current restrictions. Our understanding is that if you are in need of a car for essential travel, you are allowed to go and collect one privately. However, like we mentioned, the rules are unclear so it is better to have the car delivered in a contactless manner if it is possible.
Can my car still be serviced during lockdown?
Crucially, all car servicing and repairs companies are considered essential and allowed to stay open, including MOT centres. So if you are having a bit of trouble with your vehicle, there is no need to hesitate getting it seen to as services can and will still be carried out, in a COVID-friendly way.
When does the furlough scheme end for dealership staff?
The latest announcement regarding furlough, or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), sees the scheme extended until the end of April 2021, good news for staff of the tens of thousands of car dealerships up and down the UK.
Employees put on the furlough scheme from those dealerships will be able to continue earning 80% of their normal pay until they are allowed to officially re-open.
4 car maintenance tips during lockdown
Have you been using your car less often during the coronavirus pandemic? Make sure you are keeping it in good working condition with these handy little tips.
1. Start the car up once a week if left unused
Leaving your car left unused will inevitably run down the battery, as it is the engine that essentially keeps it charged up. Most healthy batteries should last around 2 weeks but we recommend re-charging once a week if you are not getting out in your car. Have the engine running for 15 minutes each week to ensure that you don’t get an unfortunate surprise when you next come to use your car.
Make sure you are present for all of those 15 minutes as leaving the engine running whilst unattended is considered unsafe and can land you a hefty fine!
2. Check tyre pressure before use
When you do eventually come to use your vehicle, it is highly recommended that you check your tyre pressure before driving.
If left dormant for a long period of time, tyres are likely to decrease in pressure. This is due to a number of reasons, including possible damage around the tyre, chemicals in the air, and even the weather! There is no need to panic as it only requires a quick check before you start driving, and can easily be fixed by pumping up your tyres if necessary.
3. Test your brakes
It is possible that your brakes may have built up some corrosion during its lack of use. This is especially likely if the car was wet when you last used it, as the water increases the build up.
It is important that you test your breaks as early as possible on your first journey back in the car, and continue to use them as much as is appropriately possible to remove any corrosion.
If you are really concerned, it might be worth moving the car back and forth slightly whilst you have the engine running to prevent any excessive build up.
4. Keep your tank as full as possible
Finally, if you are likely to leave your car unused for some time, keeping your fuel tank full will reduce the likelihood of any problems occurring when you come to start it up again. A full fuel tank prevents any condensation from damaging the tank or other surrounding parts of your car.
If you want more information regarding the maintenance of your car, check out our latest guides to keep your car in top condition!
How will the pandemic affect my driving lessons?
It has been a roller-coaster year for anyone learning to drive, with restrictions changing throughout meaning that they were able to continue to learn for short periods, before being restricted again.
As expected, all driving tests have been suspended until further notice, and lessons are prohibited throughout the national lockdown. However, a learner driver is allowed to be supervised by someone from the same household during an essential trip.
It is unclear when tests and lessons will be allowed again as it is very much based on government restrictions, however it is worth keeping in contact with your test centre throughout to ensure you are kept up to date with the latest information.
Am I allowed to drive during lockdown?
Driving for any reasons outside the government guidelines is strictly prohibited. These reasons include:
- Getting to work
- Essential shopping
- Taking care of a vulnerable person
- Short trips for exercise
If you are caught driving outside of these reasons, you may be liable to pay a £200 fine.
Is car sharing permitted during the COVID-19 pandemic?
This is not encouraged by the government but will be allowed if absolutely necessary. However measures should be taken to reduce the risk of transmission, such as:
- Face away from each other
- Sit as far away from each other as possible
- Avoid any physical contact
- Open the windows where possible to increase ventilation
For more guidance surrounding regarding the restrictions, you can read through the full list of the latest government guidelines.
Confident about the new rules and want to start your leasing journey? Compare great deals on your dream car at Moneyshake today.