Covid-19: Motoring Update – speeding increase, fuel prices and car maintenance tips

Using your car again   

With lockdown rules being gradually relaxed, many people will be hoping to use their cars for the first time in a while.  

Unfortunately when your car is not being used, electrical devices such as your security system, can drain the battery. Unsurprisingly, Kwik Fit has reported that it has seen a huge jump in the number of people buying new batteries. To help prevent the problem we recommend starting the car at least once a week and keeping the engine ticking over for at least 15 minutes. Remember to turn on the air-con at the same time; if air-con goes without use for long periods there is the risk of seals drying out and causing leaks. 

Common tyre troubles during lockdown include flat spots and deflations. You should keep your tyres pumped up to the correct level to ensure they meet legal requirements and are at a safe level for your return to the road. This will also help prevent flat spots. Another tip to prevent flat spots is to move the car forwards or backwards at least once a week. On top of preventing flat spots, this will also help prevent your brakes from seizing up. 

Remember to not neglect your paintwork! Bird droppings in particular can eat into your paintwork very quickly. Try to remove as soon as possible and ensure you soak the dirt in warm water first to help prevent scratches. Keeping a cover over your car could save you the trouble in the first place. 

Speeding on the rise

If you are using your car again for the first time in a while, it is important to be extra vigilant on the roads. 

Information released by the police reports that speeding offences are currently an incredible 8 times higher. Considering we are in lockdown, this suggests that some motorists are taking advantage of quieter roads. Perhaps more worryingly there has been a 75% increase in ‘extreme speeding’ since the lockdown came into force. In these cases, guilty motorists are send straight to court. 

Meanwhile offenders are being offered online speed awareness courses, as opposed to class-room based courses, currently suspended until at least June. 

Fuel Prices 

We advised in a previous blog that it is important to keep your car topped up with petrol, particularly when it is being left unused for long periods.  

With plummeting oil prices, now could be a good opportunity to venture out for a top-up. Oil prices have in fact reached an 18 year low. Consequently, many forecourts have not cut prices to below below £1 a litre. 

Despite the reductions, many people argue that the savings are still not enough. They certainly don’t reflect the dramatic slump in oil prices which have not been fully passed on to motorists. On the other hand, smaller forecourts are experiencing a significant drop in business and cannot afford to drop much lower.  

For further advice please call us on 0345 017 9795 and one of our friendly advisors will be on hand ready to help. 

To find out about our different levels of breakdown cover please click here

Cars on road

Cars on road