Is it safe to drive my car during the coronavirus lockdown?

Should you go out in your car during the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak, and does the advice on this differ for those who are in the most vulnerable groups?...

2020 BMW 2 Series 218i Gran Coupe driving

With the introduction of England's third coronavirus lockdown in England from 5 January 2021, people are being urged only to drive for essential journeys. These include using your car to get to work and to travel to buy food and medicine. When you reach your destination you'll need to ensure you wear a face covering, unless you're exempt, and maintain a two-metre gap between yourself and people who aren't from your household. 

If you do need to make essential journeys, using your car is better than travelling on public transport because you won’t be in contact with other people unless you get out of the car. So, if you can't have food or medicine delivered, and you don’t have any Covid-19 symptoms, using your car to go shopping is a good idea. 

Before you get into your car, you should wash your hands thoroughly. And if your car is shared by other family members, before using it you should wipe down the door handles, steering wheel, gearstick and all other frequently used controls, including the touchscreen, with a cloth soaked in disinfectant, or with disinfectant wipes if you have them.

If you are planning on driving somewhere, check the availability of parking online in advance, and, if you expect the area to be busy, try to book a parking space before you set off. 


Remember that if you get out of the car you should try not to touch surfaces, and maintain a two-metre gap between yourself and other people. Before going out, check with the shops you're visiting what their policy is on interaction of people and what measures they are taking to minimise risks. 

We've heard of community shops that are offering customers who've pre-paid for food a service whereby they can drive to the shop's car park at a specified time and staff will put the pre-wrapped shopping in the boot of their car, so that there is no contact between customers and staff.

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