With no imminent signs of total lift on the Lockdown restrictions, the number of vehicles on UK roads have plummeted, permitting car owners to neglect their vehicles.
Cabinet Office data has recently revealed that as of 29th March, motor traffic has dropped by a whopping 73%. Levels have not been this low since 1955, which is having a hugely positive effect on the environment. Air pollution and noise pollution have fallen, resulting in improved health conditions. As well as the number of traffic deaths and injuries which have been reduced.
While the UK has some downtime from road users, thousands of cars are left standing, potentially damaging the vehicle for future use.
With this in mind, Ecommerce Manager at GSF Car Parts, Mark Barclay has given his expert tips of how to look after your car during this time:
“If you're not using your car due to the social distancing rules, or only making very short journeys, there's a risk that your battery could lose its charge. To be on the safe side, disconnect your battery, invest in an external charger, or sit in once a week with the engine running for 15 minutes — just make sure to do this outdoors, as engine fumes can build up to dangerous levels inside garages. If you have an electric car, your handbook should have advice on keeping the battery topped up.
It can also be a good idea to move your car slightly, so that the handbrake doesn't stick, and to pump your tyres to the manufacturer-recommend PSI.
You'll need to continue paying tax on your car unless you make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN), which disallows you from parking or driving on public roads. If you tell the DVLA that your vehicle is officially off the road, you'll receive a refund for any full months of remaining tax. You don't legally need to insure SORN vehicles, either, but it may be worth keeping Third Party, Fire and Theft cover.
Cars, vans and motorcycles have been granted an MOT extension due to the coronavirus crisis, so those with a test due between 30th March and 30th September 2020 don't need to worry. However, you will still need to keep your vehicle in roadworthy condition, unless you make a SORN.
Many garages are open for essential repairs, and breakdown services like the AA and RAC are available. However, it's extremely important toavoid any unnecessary trips. If you're finding yourself with more time on your hands, now could be a great time to learn DIY car maintenance and repair.”