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Can you go for a drive during the latest COVID-19 lockdown?

Driving is a great escape for some, but what are the rules concerning getting out and about in your car during lockdown? We have the answers.

Driving for anything other than essential reasons is not advised at this time.

Driving for anything other than essential reasons is not advised at this time.

Across the country, during the current lockdown, motorists are wondering what the legitimate reasons are that will allow them to legally drive their car. That uncertainty is understandable given the fluid implementation and understanding of coronavirus restrictions over the past year.

So, to help ease confusion, I’ve answered a few of the main questions which will hopefully help you understand what you can, and can’t do under this latest lockdown. Worth highlighting the majority of the rules are applicable for both for Scotland and England.

Can I still drive during Lockdown 3.0?

The simple answer across both countries is ‘yes’. Across both Scotland and England, the primary message is that people should stay at home unless their journeys are absolutely essential.

Key reasons which permit you to drive are: * For work if you can’t work from home.

  • Travelling for work and education is still permitted in all levels.

  • For education, healthcare or childcare, including shared parenting responsibilities.

  • Attending medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health.

  • For essential shopping.

  • For local exercise.

  • Attending a life event such as a funeral or wedding.

  • Moving house.

  • To avoid injury, illness or to escape a risk of harm.

  • To fulfil a legal obligation such as a court appearance.

Can I drive to my second home?

No. Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays.

Why not?

The understanding in both countries is that driving when you don’t need to puts you at risk of being stranded should your car break down, or forces a recovery service to come out to deal with you. Hence, it’s much better not to drive unless you have no other option.

Can I drive from Scotland into England?

People in Scotland have been told by the Scottish Government it is illegal to drive to England or other parts of the UK for anything other than essential purposes. Motorists in England are being advised by the Scottish Government not to drive across the border into Scotland.

Can I drive to exercise somewhere during lockdown?

While advice in both Scotland and England states people should stay local for their exercise, permission has been granted to drive somewhere further afield if you don’t have a suitable space nearby.

This is qualified by the fact that you should ‘travel no further than you need to reach to a safe, non-crowded place to exercise in a socially distanced way’.

Have roads and motorways been closed?

No. All roads and motorways remain open. But of course, you should only be driving if it is absolutely necessary.

Are filling stations open?

Filling stations are deemed as being essential businesses, so will remain open. Those at supermarkets are also open. They will all continue to offer services as required. Petrol and/or diesel purchases should, where possible, be made by contactless payment.

Is it still possible to purchase a car from Arnold Clark? And can I still collect it?

Yes on both counts. Under current government guidelines, you can still buy a car online, then choose to Click & Collect in an outdoor area at your local branch or we’ll deliver to your home.

To protect the wellbeing of our customers and employees, our branches operate on an appointment only basis and are adhering to sanitisation and social distancing guidelines with contactless processes in place. Find out more.

Can I still get a service and MOT Arnold Clark?

Yes, all our branches remain open for MOTs and servicing — visits by appointment only — with contactless and sanitised processes in place to keep you safe.

Can I still hire a car from Arnold Clark?

Yes. Our Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental branches are still open. We have introduced additional safety measures to allow these services to continue. Dual control cars are temporarily unavailable for hire.

Can I car share?

The guidance in both Scotland and England is the same. You must avoid sharing a vehicle with people from outside your household/social bubble unless it is absolutely necessary for an essential purpose such as going to work.

If you must share a car with someone from outside your household, you should limit it to the same people every time, sit as far apart as possible, wear face coverings, keep the vehicle well ventilated and make sure touchpoints in the vehicle – such as door handles and seat belts – are cleaned before and after every trip.

About the Author

Jim McGill

Follow award-winning journalist Jim McGill on Twitter and Instagram.