HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CAR AND CAR INSURANCE DURING THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
If you are still using your car, you may not need an MOT but you will need to check if your car is roadworthy
Even if you are not using your car, you still need insurance unless it is declared off-road
Cars can only be declared off-road if they are kept in a private parking space
10 April 2020 – comparethemarket.com has laid out some key considerations that drivers need to think about when looking after their car, and its insurance, during the COVID-19 lockdown.
For many people around the UK, their car is the only form of transport available for essential activities such as going to buy groceries or going to the pharmacy. However, it is important to remember that your responsibilities as a driver haven’t changed.
The Government recently introduced a postponement of all MOTs for six months while people are practising social distancing. However, you are still responsible for ensuring that your car is roadworthy. This means checking to see that all the lights and brakes work, and ensuring your windscreen, windows and mirrors are clean. In addition, you need to check the levels of things like brake fluid and engine oil as well as tyre tread. A full list of required checks can be found here. Falling foul of these checks could result in fines or other penalties from the authorities.
For a lot of people, particularly those in towns and cities, their car will go unused during the lockdown. However, if your car is on the street, then you still need to maintain your insurance policy. It is still a legal requirement to have insurance if you have your car parked on the road, even if you are not driving it.
However, if you have no intention to drive and have a private parking space or an off-road area you could keep your vehicle, then you could consider getting a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) from DVLA. This declares your vehicle as officially off-road and means that it cannot be driven anywhere. As a result, you won’t have to pay taxes on the car and you will be able to cancel your insurance.
For those still driving or unable to secure a SORN, it is worth remembering that loyalty to an insurance provider doesn’t usually pay. You can save a significant amount on your bills by shopping around for cheaper deals on the market. Assuming your driving frequency has fallen significantly since the lockdown, you could also talk with your insurer about reducing the average mileage on the policy, which could bring costs down.
Dan Hutson, Head of Motor Insurance at comparethemarket.com, said:
“This lockdown is creating new financial challenges for many people around the UK. Many will be looking at ways to save money while they are stuck in their homes. However, it is important to remember that it's illegal not to have car insurance if your vehicle is, or will remain, on the road. In addition, while people may be saving money on the deferral of MOTs, they are still responsible for ensuring that their car is road worthy. For those with access to a place to park their car off the road, they could consider declaring their car off-road by getting a SORN from the DVLA, which means that you won’t have to pay any tax or insurance provided you are not driving the car and it is legally off road.”