Coronavirus: How Will The Pandemic Affect Motorists?

For tens of millions of Britons, driving is a major part of their lives. So how will the coronavirus pandemic affect them and the way they use their cars?

Will You Be Able To Get Your Car Serviced?

It’s unlikely that you’ll experience any difficulties in getting your car booked in at a garage or service centre because of coronavirus. However, you may face delays in some parts of the country. The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has requested that the government works to  ensure that “essential repair and maintenance services for all vehicles will not be closed as part of anticipated wider closures of shops in the UK”. Sue Robinson, NFDA director said “ensuring that essential vehicles remain in a roadworthy condition will reduce the likelihood of mechanical failures and other incidents, ensuring that vital journeys can be made and services fulfilled”.

Will We Face Fuel Shortages Because Of Coronavirus?

Not according to the experts. Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, has pointed to the situation in Italy. The pandemic is months ahead there and fuel sales are down 60%. Madderson said “it is the reverse of panic buying”. He’s said the situation in the UK is “mixed”, with drivers taking more shorter journeys and fewer longer ones; largely due to the number of people working from home. As a consequence, sales are steady in urban areas and declining at motorway service stations.

What About Finance And Leasing?

The government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will offer loans of up to £1.2 million to small and medium-sized businesses. However, there’s no blanket view concerning consumers. The Finance and Leasing Association has advised that motorists contact their finance lender as soon as possible. Depending on a driver’s personal circumstances, advice and support may be available. That’s the best that’s on offer at the moment, although the government has said that it intends to introduce more measures as the pandemic develops.

What Can We Do About Hygiene? 

In short, keep your car as clean as possible. Research has revealed that surfaces in our cars can actually be dirtier than a toilet seat! Now more than ever you should be keeping your car clean, neat and tidy. Use soap and antibacterial wipes on your car’s dashboard, wheel and door handles. Regularly vacuum the interior and remove anything that doesn’t need to be kept in the vehicle. You should also give your car seats a thorough clean. Finally, try to avoid eating in your car or wearing dirty or muddy footwear. If you’re visiting a garage, think of the mechanics and technicians; don’t force them to wade through dirt and rubbish.

Concerning fuel stations, motorists are being urged to use disposable gloves. Whilst pumps are cleaned everyday, they can’t be cleaned after every use. Some forecourts are even offering customers hand sanitiser and are reportedly refusing cash payments; but don’t expect many to become ‘plastic-only’.

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The Autoserve Club can save you time, money and stress. Club Members can receive huge discounts on servicing and new tyres and access to our professional 24/7 helpline; not to mention regularly updated motoring and lifestyle offers. To learn more, contact our friendly Service Advisers on 0121 521 3500 today.

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