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

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 UK now on lock-down due to the coronavirus outbreak, the vast majority of us are being told to stay at home and only travel if it's absolutely necessary. If you do need to go out to buy food or medicine or to deliver essentials to a relative who is in a vulnerable group, 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 get food or medicine delivered, and you don’t have any Covid-19 symptoms, using your car for essential trips 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. 

Older drivers

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 where 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.

While you might be tempted to go for a drive to take advantage of the empty roads or just relieve the boredom of self-isolation, this isn't advisable until the restrictions lift.

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