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How Will The New Lockdown Affect Drivers?

29 Jan 2021

So, how exactly will the new lockdown affect drivers? We have gathered everything we know so far on how drivers will be affected by the third national lockdown.

A new year brings a new lockdown and unfortunately, the entire nation has been affected once again. The third national lockdown is just like the one we faced last March and means we could see drivers unsure on how the new restrictions will affect vehicle usage and whether potential car buyers should delay their car search until at least spring-time. So, how exactly will the new lockdown affect drivers? We have gathered and put together everything we know so far on how drivers will be affected by the third national lockdown.

Can I Buy a New Car In The New Lockdown?

Depending on what tier your area was in before the third national lockdown came into play on 6th January 2021, some retailers were allowed to still be open or might have only been allowed to offer a click and collect service. But, now we have entered another lockdown which is technically classed as “tier 5”, car dealers and now only allowed to offer click and collect services or contactless delivery services. 
 
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t buy a new car during the national lockdown. You can still collect a pre-purchased car but the car dealer is permitted to fully sanitise the vehicle and its keys before you can take it away and they can only offer walk-through demonstrations via video, rather than in person. Due to the new lockdown restrictions, this also means that vehicle showrooms have no choice but to close their doors until lockdown restrictions are eased. Test drives are also currently not permitted as travel restrictions have been tightened.

Can I Buy a Used Car During Lockdown?

Luckily, if you are planning on purchasing a used car during the third national lockdown, the same rules apply for old car dealerships as they do for new ones. There aren’t any set rules on whether you can collect a used car from someone else's household, but bare in mind that the current national lockdown rules mean that you must socially distance at all times and you can’t share a car with someone that doesn’t live in the same household as you.

What If I Need To Visit The Garage During Lockdown?

During the very first Coronavirus lockdown back in March 2020, the government allowed a sixth month extension on all MOTs so driving and social contact could be kept to a minimum. However, as we enter the third national lockdown, it looks like garages are not going to be closing this time. Therefore, you should be able to take a visit to the garage as normal for MOTs and essential vehicle repairs, as long as you adhere to the social distancing rules. If your trip to the garage is for a non-essential vehicle repair, we suggest you leave this until lockdown restrictions ease as this wouldn’t be classed as an essential reason to leave your home.

Am I Allowed To Go For a Drive During The New Lockdown?

Unfortunately, as the national lockdown rules state you should only leave home for essential reasons, you technically aren’t allowed to go for a leisurely drive. The only main reasons that you are permitted to drive are if you need to travel to work (if you can’t work from home), to go to the shop for essential items, to attend an urgent medical appointment, to take care of vulnerable relatives or if you are a key worker and need to drop your child at school.
 
If you are wondering whether you can still get your car washed, most automated car washes will still be open, but hand car washes will be closed.

Will Driving Lessons/Tests Be Cancelled During Lockdown?

As there has been a large increase in social distancing and travel restrictions, this means both theory and practical driving tests have been cancelled for the time being. The same applies to motorcycle tests (CBT) and driving instructor courses (ADI parts two and three). 
 
However, this means you will still be first in line for a driving test so The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will be in contact with you in order to reschedule your theory or driving test as soon as possible.

I Would Like To Purchase a Car With Contactless Collection

At Cars2buy we can showcase to you a huge variety of car leasing and purchase deals from a range of different retailers. So, if you are still interested in finding a new car during the national lockdown but want to collect it contact-free, take a look here at what deals are currently suitable for you. If you would like more information, don’t hesitate to contact us here.