Restrictions may be easing in many places, but coronavirus is still very much with us. We need to work out how to continue with our lives while staying safe – and our cars are playing an important role.
As more people return to work, they are choosing to drive themselves rather than potentially put themselves at risk by using public transport. It’s preferable to join the queues of rush hour traffic than wonder if the person sneezing on the train simply has hay-fever or if it’s something more serious.
In Berlin, for example, one of the first cities in Europe to relax lockdown measures, it’s reported use of public transport is down by 61%. The number of people driving, however, is just 28% below pre-Covid-19 statistics. It’s a similar story elsewhere.
As well as using them to drive to work, most of us prefer the safety bubble of our own vehicles for personal journeys too. Unsurprisingly, using our cars more frequently means more wear and tear, so it’s vital to look after them through regular maintenance.
Take care of your ‘bubble’
Inevitably, as we drive around the roads our cars are bound to pick up scuffs and scratches. It’s all too easy to scrape a wheel rim along the curb, or for a stray stone to fly up and chip your paintwork. As well as spoiling your car’s appearance, left untreated this kind of damage can cause more serious deterioration over time.
Clean and check your car over regularly. If you do discover any scuffs, ordering our EZFIX patches is a quick and simple process. Find the right match for your car here and follow our easy application procedure to ensure a flawless finish.
It’s also a good idea to carry out a few checks to minimize the chances of problems once you’re on the road. There’s never a convenient time to break down, but while Covid-19 is still a threat there’s less chance of a good Samaritan stopping to help, and who knows how long you’ll need to wait for a recovery service?
We’d also recommend you do the following each week and before any long journeys:
- Check all tire pressures and adjust as necessary, including the spare.
- Check fluid levels such as engine oil, water in the radiator and screen wash; if you know how, you could also check the brake fluid and power steering fluid reservoirs.
- Make sure all your lights work, including reversing lights, and that covers aren’t cracked or in need of replacement.
- Check your windscreen for cracks or chips.
If you don’t plan on using your car for more than a week, remember to start the engine and let it idle for ten minutes or so; this will stop the battery from going flat in the meantime.
Using your car during Covid-19
Rules on using private vehicles and which journeys are allowed will vary depending on where you live. However, it’s generally accepted that solo trips are preferable, or only carrying passengers who are members of your household.
Even so, if anyone else uses or travels in your car, it makes sense to follow some simple precautions. At some stage, you or they will have come into contact with other people and environments.
At all times, before getting into the car, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and ask any passengers to do the same. Door handles, the steering wheel, gearstick and other frequently used controls should be cleaned, either with disinfectant wipes or a cloth and appropriate solution.
It’s a good idea to keep a packet of disinfectant wipes in the car if possible, along with some alcohol-based hand-rub and a supply of disposable masks. If anyone other than your household travels in your car, everyone should wear masks and sit as far apart as possible from each other. If anybody else touches your car at any time, for example if a store assistant loads goods into your boot, make sure you wipe the area down as soon as possible afterwards.