Driving and COVID-19

Some of your questions answered about driving and using your car during this coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Important – the following does not constitute health advice, and official advice from the Government about travel and transport can change at any time. For the latest information and advice on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak always check official sources including GOV.UK and NHS.UK.

If you are self-isolating, always follow the official guidance at GOV.UK.

What is ‘essential travel’?

From 24 March 2020, the Government advice is to “stay at home and away from others” until further notice, apart from for essential reasons.

These reasons are classed as “Essential”:

  1. shopping for the basics, such as short trips to the supermarket or other food stores, as infrequently as possible (remember, social distancing still applies and you must stay at least 2m away from the next person)
  2. trips to Pharmacy/Chemist for any medicinal needs (prescriptions etc.)
  3. to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  4. travelling for work purposes, only where the work cannot be done from home

Of course we advise drivers against all but essential travel.

Can I use my car to drive to a park for exercise?

You really should not use your car to do this. In line with Government advice, you should only leave your home for exercise. But we suggest using your garden for this (if you have one) or leaving your home on foot or by bike. As always, you should stay more than two metres away from others. Some counties are policing this and will issue fines if you are caught “driving to a location” to exercise.

Can I use my car to go and see family and friends to check they are okay?

The Government is clear that you should only do this if you’re providing care or helping a vulnerable person. All other contact should be made by phone or internet instead.

We have Easter plans which involve travel – can we still use the car for these trips?

No. This doesn’t fit the criteria set out by the Government – you should stay at home. Read the full guidance at GOV.UK.

Should I share my car with other people?

Travelling alone is strongly advised at the moment. For instance, if you’re going to buy essential supplies from the shops. If you do need to share a car, you should only do so with members of your household.

Is it safer to use my car than public transport or taxis?

Of course, if you have access to a car, it is highly likely you know all of the people that have been in it, as such it is definitely more of a known quantity. But remember, you should only leave home for the essential reasons listed above.

Should I use a car if I’m self-isolating?

If you have any symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Government says you and everyone in your household must self-isolate at home. They advise against going out even to buy food or other essentials – you should call on family and friends from other households to help, and make use of home delivery services if possible.