During these unusual times, many of us may not have driven our vehicles for some time. When you do return to driving, it's important that you carry out some checks to ensure your vehicle is safe.
Our partners at Kwik-Fit have remained open during the pandemic and are reporting steady increase in the amount for drivers needing assistance following extended periods of vehicles not being used. Kwik-Fit are currently operating reduced operating hours but have told us that they have a health tyre pipeline.
Performing regular checks on your vehicle helps ensure that it doesn't let you down when you need it the most.
Check for obvious signs of damage and if your tyres are under-inflated. It's also important to check the tread depth of your tyres, you can do this with a 20p coin - Learn more.
When left unused for periods of time it is not unusual for a car battery to go flat, which could leave you unable to start it again. Click here for tips and advice on how to prevent a flat battery during lockdown.
With vehicles being left stationary for longer periods than normal it is possible that corrosion will start to form. If you experience any juddering when braking or hear any squealing, they my need to be replaced. Learn more.
Water / Coolant
Many modern vehicles have a dashboard warning light if engine coolant or washer fluid is low. Check your vehicles handbook for details on how to top up your washer fluid or visit your nearest Kwik-Fit centre for a full safety check.
Similar to coolant, many modern vehicles alert you to low oil levels with a warning light on the dashboard. Check your vehicle handbook for more information and should you need to top-up, it's essential that you use the correct oil.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, MOT's due from 30th March have been given a 6 month extension but we recommend that you have this carried out as soon as possible.Your nearest Kwik-Fit centre can do this out for you.
If you're comfortable carrying out some vehicle safety checks yourself, our partners at Kwik-Fit have provided us with this handy checklist. If you encounter any concerns, you can show the checklist to one of the team at Kwik-Fit.
Your safety is paramount to us. Please check government advice and if you are using your car, please ensure your vehicle is well maintained. If in doubt, please visit your nearest Kwik-Fit centre for a free safety check.
The HMRC has issued guidance on how to treat Benefit in Kind (BiK) tax during the COVID-19 lockdown. The new guidance clarifies the situation for company car drivers that are currently furloughed or working from home.
The HMRC states that employers should treat the car as being made ‘available for private use’ during this period even if your employee is instructed to not use the car or unable to physically to return the car.
The HMRC will accept that a company car is unavailable in the following circumstances:
Where the contract has terminated and the keys returned to the employer or third party.
Where the contract has not been terminated – 30 days after the keys have been returned to the employer or to a third party as instructed by the employer
The return of keys means that a car cannot be driven in any circumstances even if it is still in the possession of your employee. As long as your employee continues to have no access to the keys until the car is collected from them, HMRC will still regard the car as being unavailable.
CAZ (Clean Air Zones) are areas in the UK where the government have, or are planning to, implement a scheme to reduce air pollution. Frequently these are located in city centres where pollution levels are at their highest.
Some CAZ will charge drivers if their vehicles do not meet emission standards. In some locations, vehicles failing to meet the minimum standard will be banned.
Confusingly for drivers, permitted vehicles and charges do vary by area, we will try to keep the information below current but developments change regularly and the COVID-19 virus has delayed implementation in many areas.
Following government advice, our offices are temporarily closed, with the majority of staff working from home.
We are still working with all suppliers to assist essential workers across the UK.
No vehicles collections will be made until we have further government updates. If you were due to have a vehicle collected, a member of our customer service team will contact you.
Many dealerships have now reopened. Increased cleaning and COVID-19 safety precautions are likely to mean we can deliver fewer vehicles each day. Please contact our Customer Services Team for the latest information.
Most manufacturers have reopened production facilities though this has had an impact on lead times. Please speak to us about lead times before placing an order.
If your MOT was due between 30th March 2020 and 31st July 2020, you will have received an automatic 6 month extension. Despite this, we recommend that you have your vehicle MOT'd as soon as you can to ensure it is roadworthy. Any vehicles with MOT's expiring on or after 1st August will not receive an extension, you should arrange to have the MOT carried out before this date.
Don't forget, it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure the vehicle is safe to use. With this in mind it is worthwhile ensuring all your tyres are above the 1.6mm legal minimum and that all your lights, front & rear, are working correctly.
Service and Repairs
Many dealerships are reopening but are likely to have reduced capacity. Please contact your local vehicle repairer for more information or book online.