How do I service my car during the coronavirus outbreak?

If your car is due for a service while you are ill with coronavirus or are self-isolating, what should you do?...

Car being serviced

It’s important to have your car in good, working order during the coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19), in case you need it at short notice. 

At present, although car showrooms have been told to close, service centres and garages are still allowed to open to perform repair and servicing work, and most have pledged to stay open to complete pre-booked work and service cars for keyworkers. Some are offering discounts to NHS workers, including the Chorley Group, which is cutting the cost of servicing by 50% to say thank-you to NHS in its region. 

It's likely that some garages will reduce staff to cover only servicing on the vehicles of key workers - but for now there are no government exemptions on service or MOT work that is required. However, the Government has provided a six-month extension for any cars with MOTs due from 30 March, so that people who can't leave home don't have to worry about driving without an MOT in the short term. 

The positive news is that more and more garage and servicing businesses are adapting to the current situation, many offering additional services, such as free no-contact collection and delivery services to enable people to get their cars serviced. 

There are also many mobile mechanics, working either as independents or for a fast-fit chain, who will come to your home and carry out any necessary work there. 

If you want to avoid contact with servicing staff, you can leave the car keys in a secure place to be collected. Many garages are reassuring customers that collection and delivery staff will be wearing gloves and other protective equipment. Online bank transfers should also be possible, to minimise contact when paying.

If you are taking your car to a garage for a service, we would advise you to discuss and agree the protocols for how you will interact with staff in advance. If you are in a higher risk group, such as being over 70, pregnant or suffering from other conditions and have been told to stay at home for 12 weeks, get someone else to drop off and pick up the car for you.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more: all the latest coronavirus advice for drivers >>