Coronavirus: advice for self-isolating drivers

  • Is your car due a service or MOT
  • Are you getting a home charger installed
  • Speed awareness courses
  • Driving tests
  • Collecting a new car

The coronavirus outbreak means you should only leave home for essential shopping or brief exercise periods, and you should practice social distancing when you do venture outside.

If you have appointments coming up, you may be wondering how to manage both your self-isolation and your car.

Can I get my car serviced?

If your car is due a service then, unfortunately, it will have to wait. Making sure your oil and spark plugs are changed is not a valid reason to leave the house. However, the timescales are not strict with car services, so a few weeks leeway here and there won’t be an issue.

The Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, announced on March 25th that any car for which the MOT is due to expire after March 30th will be granted an extension of six months. This means you’ll still be able to drive your car, even if the MOT expires from April 1st, until August 30th providing you make sure your road tax and insurance are up to date.

You must still keep your car in roadworthy condition, however. If you drive with tyres that don’t have the legal minimum amount of tread left, for example, you may still be fined or given penalty points if you’re pulled over by the police.

Can I get a home-charger installed?

Home chargers are installed by different companies, so it is best to check with your provider to see the latest advice.

BP Chargemaster has said: “Following the latest government advice to only go outside for necessary food, health reasons or essential work, we have taken the decision to temporarily stop all Homecharge and commercial charge point surveys and installations, as well as our production, development and testing facilities.”

If you were due to have a survey or installation BP Chargemaster says these appointments will be postponed until a later date.

Can I go to a speed-awareness course?

As of Friday March 20th, speed awareness courses have been suspended. If you were due on a course then this will now not be taking place and new courses will not be offered for a period of 12 weeks.

A statement by NDORS (the National Driver Offending Retraining Scheme) says: “We will now work with forces and course providers to establish options to deal with drivers who have already been offered a course and advise you to contact your course provider for further details on how this will be achieved.”

This also means that new courses will not be offered for the time being, as the statement says:

“As a result of the unprecedented unfolding events, Chief Constable Bangham, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for Roads Policing believes that it is no longer appropriate nor proportionate for police forces to offer classroom-based education courses, which brings members of the public together in one place, as an alternative to prosecution for motoring offences covered by NDORS. This position fully supports the Prime Ministers direction to close schools, nurseries, and other educational establishments and to reduce social contact with others.”

Speed awareness courses have been suspended.

Can I still take a driving test?

Sadly your driving test will have to wait for the time being. The Government has suspended all driving tests, except for key workers, until the summer.

There is no more information on when your driving test will be rescheduled to just yet, but the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) says that it will rebook it “free of charge, as soon as possible”.

It adds: “DVSA will send you another email with the new date and time as soon as it’s been rebooked.”

Theory tests, however, will be automatically refunded and not rebooked. Don’t worry if you don’t have an email through confirming that just yet, it might take a few weeks to arrive, says the DVSA.

“You should not try to rebook your test right now,” says the official statement. “The DVSA will email you when you can book again.

How do I collect my new car?

Many already offer home delivery, so you might well be able to take receipt of your new car in exactly the same way as you would have done before the spread of the coronavirus. This will differ from dealership to dealership, though, so check with the team you are dealing with.

carwow has launched remote-buying features to help buyers minimise or eliminate contact with other people during the buying process.

As mentioned above, those self-isolating shouldn’t head out of their house at all.