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Coronavirus: What you currently can and can’t do with your car

Georgia Petrie

Written by

Georgia Petrie

Driving in summer
  • Showrooms reopen soon
  • The Stay At Home order has ended
  • MOTs and servicing continue

With lockdown easing further on 12 April, we've put together this handy round-up of what you can and can't do with your car — wherever you are in the UK.

This article was last updated on 7 April 2021.

Can I drive my car around?

The ‘stay at home’ rule ended on 29 March but many restrictions remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. This won't change until 17 May at the earliest.

That essentially means that you can drive to your heart's content without needing an essential reasonable out, but bear in mind the Covid-19 guidance and make sure you're keeping to the lockdown rules until they're entirely relaxed. 

Can I go to a showroom?

From 12 April (in England), yes! We've covered all of that — plus test drives and a few other things — here.

If you like a drive-in cinema, those are also reopening on 12 April. 

Can I buy or sell a car privately during the lockdown?

You can have a potential buyer round to buy a car even if it isn't essential now that the Stay at Home order has ended. However, private car sales aren't explicitly mentioned in the Government guidance and you should still reduce the number of journeys you're taking until we're more out of the woods with the pandemic.

You're likely to get more attention on the car after lockdown ends, too, so we'd recommend sitting tight for now.

Can I get an MOT done during the lockdown?

It’s currently business as usual for the MOT test, but until the lockdown is eased further, Government guidance says to stay local.

This means, for now, all car owners will need to ensure their vehicle has a valid MoT if it's over three years old. As before, as in all cases, the MoT lasts for 12 months and the expiry date is found printed on the pass certificate.

If the MoT expires then the vehicle must be removed from the public road and declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). Owners should also inform their insurer of the SORN notification and the location where the vehicle will be stored. Vehicles on SORN can only be driven to a pre-booked MoT appointment and must have valid insurance.

Can I get my car serviced during the lockdown?

Servicing is also permitted, although non-essential repairs are best left until the lockdown is eased or ends entirely.

Should I wear gloves when refuelling my car? 

Yes, all drivers should wear gloves when using fuel pumps in a bid to slow down the spread of Covid-19. However, this is in no way mandatory. You never know what's on people's hands though...