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Maintaining your vehicle during lockdown

Added: 21 April 2020

Tips for taking care of your vehicle during lockdown.

As your vehicle may be parked for an extensive period, we have some helpful tips to ensure it will continue to run smoothly:

1.  Start your vehicle once a week for 15 minutes. Ideally undertake a short drive if it is possible and safe to do so, while adhering to the essential journey advice from the government.  This should ensure that the car's battery is kept charged and in working order.   Do not turn the car off and on in quick succession as this is an inefficient drain on the battery,  and never leave a vehicle switched on unattended.  If parked privately investing in a battery maintainer will ensure optimum performance but beware that any cables and wires are not trip hazards.

2. Brakes can seize with inactivity, so ensure the parking brake is released once a week.  Roll the car back and forth if possible which also helps to reduce tyre flat spots if they are in the same position for too long.

3.  If a MOT is due, the DVA has suspended testing until 22nd June 2020 and issuing Temporary Exception Certificates, the MOT still needs to be booked for this process to happen.  If you have a maintenance contract, we will be managing this process on your behalf.  For the latest information please see the DVA website via:  For vehicles based in Great Britian, from the 30th April your MOT expiry date will be automatically extended by 6 months if it’s eligible. A member of our maintenance team will be in contact prior to your MOT expiry date to discuss options. Please feel free to email or call our driver helpline on 02890386606 if you require.

4.  There are several simple and quick checks to ensure that your vehicle is appropriately maintained including; checking oil, coolant and screen wash levels, ensuring correct tyre pressures, condition and depth (minimum legal level is 1.6mm), plus test exterior lights.  This will mean when you are ready to drive the vehicle should be in working order.

5.  Ensure the vehicle is ventilated regularly to avoid any moisture or condensation build up, when you do turn on the engine also switch on the air conditioning which will help minimise the chance of mould developing in the system.

6.  Finally, to remain road legal, road tax and insurance needs to be kept up to date.  While it is possible to declare your vehicle SORN (statutory off-road notification), this means that it is unable to be used even for essential or emergency journeys and only if you have access to off-road parking, so for the majority of people this would not be the appropriate option.

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