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Can I Drive During The Covid-19 Outbreak?

Published on Wednesday 22 April 2020 in Van News

Can I Drive During The Covid-19 Outbreak?


Since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, it can be a little difficult to keep up with what's allowed & what isn't during these uncertain times. A question we know many people are asking is whether they can drive right now, so here are the rules around using your vehicle during lockdown.


When Can I Drive During Lockdown?

Lockdown means only essential travel is permitted. This rule extends to using your vehicle too. So what is counted as essential travel? There are only 4 reasons you should be getting into your vehicle right now & here they are:


  • Medical reasons - if you need to collect medical supplies or medicine from a pharmacy, this is classed as essential travel & is permitted.

  • Shopping for basics - trips to the supermarket or your local food shop to get groceries is permitted but should be done as infrequently as possible.

  • If you're a carer or helping a vulnerable person, including getting medical supplies or groceries for someone in need, this is allowed.

  • Work - if you're not able to work from home, you can use your vehicle to get to & from work.

The guidance is also that if you do decide you need to use your vehicle for any of these essential reasons, to keep your journeys as short as possible & if you can walk to your destination, do so.


When Shouldn't I Drive During Lock Down?

All the same rules of lockdown apply to your vehicle too, so you should not drive for any of the following reasons:


  • Meeting up with any friends or family you don't live with.

  • Travelling to second homes, caravans, etc. The Government has advised you should stay in your primary residence at this time.

  • Shopping for non-essentials. Only necessary groceries should be shopped for during this time.


If you are travelling for a non-essential reason & you get stopped by police, you may be fined. Fines for unnecessary travel start from £30.

Please remember, if you are self-isolating you cannot drive & you shouldn't even leave the house.


How Can I Stay Safe If I Choose To Drive?

If you need to drive for any of the essential trips mentioned above, there are ways to take precautions. These include: 

  • Wash your hands. Make sure you follow guidance & wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after any trip out of your home.

  • Use hand santisers. If you are able to get your hands on hand sanistiser take this with you to use won any trips outside your home.

  • Try to wipe down doors, handles, steering wheels & any other surfaces you could be touching.

  • Drive at less busy times of day. Although there will likely not be as many people on the road anyway, try to travel at non peak times to avoid having to interact with anyone.

  • Don't refuel unless essential – if you're going to a petrol station try to ensure you wear gloves when filling up your vehicle & make sure you wash your hands afterwards.

  • If you break down, recovery services are still running but social distancing rules still apply.


How Can I Look After My Car During The Outbreak?

If you are having to drive during lockdown, it's important to ensure you're keeping your vehicle in good nick. Read more about checking your vehicle is safe to drive here. & if you're worried about getting your vehicle MOT'd during this time, you can read the latest guidance here.