Are you worrying about maintaining your vehicle during lockdown?

We have some tips that can help you keep your car ready to drive when you need it.

Unless you’re driving for one of the essential purposes outlined by the government – including work, shopping for necessities or medical reasons – you should avoid driving at all for the time being.

Maintaining the Brakes

If left for a while, a car’s brake discs can begin to corrode. This can eventually lead to the brakes seizing entirely, which will require a mechanic’s attention to put right. To prevent this from happening, roll your car back and forth a few metres every so often if safe to do so. This will also help prevent your tyres from developing flat spots.

One tip would be to simply start it up once a week and let it run for around 15 minutes. Not only will this give the battery time to increase its charge, but will also circulate oil and fuel around the engine, which can prevent engine flooding in petrol cars.

Keeping Your Car Roadworthy

Car, motorcycle and van owners whose MOTs had been due from 30 March 2020 have been given a six-month extension on having this test done, but are still expected to keep their vehicles in a safe and roadworthy condition

If you need to drive, this checklist may be useful:

Check Fluid Levels

Gently Press Brakes

Check lights are working

Check tyres have sufficient tread depth and no defects

Ensure tyres are properly inflated

Maintain your Tax & Insurance

While all car owners have been given a six-month MOT exemption to keep garages free for essential repairs, you’ll still need to keep your road tax and car insurance up to date to ensure your car is road legal.

The only exception to this is if you make a statutory off-road notification (SORN), though if you do this, you won’t be able to use your car at all, even for essential or emergency journeys.

You’ll be able to claim back the value of any full months of tax remaining on the car, and you’ll no longer be obliged to insure it.

Unfortunately this option isn’t available to those who don’t have access to off-road parking. If you have to leave your car on the street, park in as safe a place as possible and remember to use your handbrake (and leave the car in gear if you’ve got a manual gearbox) if you’ve left it on a slope.

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