Washing your car during lockdown - what you can and can't do

As the UK lockdown continues and the Government expected to extend restrictions on movement for another three weeks there is still a lot of confusion around what people can and can’t do.

Using your car for non-essential travel is forbidden and many car-related services have shut down, including car washes.

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That has left many drivers questioning whether they can still wash their car during lockdown, either to keep it in good condition or simply to keep themselves occupied.

Can you wash your car during lockdown?

Following the Government’s instructions precisely means that you should not be washing your car.

It states simply that you should “only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)”. So spending an hour or two outside polishing your car doesn’t count.

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Addressing the issue on Good Morning Britain, Dr Hilary Jones told presenter Piers Morgan that car owners should not be thinking about cleaning their vehicles at the moment except for safety reasons.

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Morgan asked: “Can I wash my Aston Martin in the street? The windows are all getting filthy, and I have to drive myself to work. And I can imagine there are a lot of people out there who are driving, not an Aston Martin, but vans, lorries, whatever.

"What is the rule, there are no car washes open, are you allowed, under Government guidelines, to wash your car?"

Essential use only

Dr Jones said: "Washing your car is non-essential, apart from being able to see through the windscreen for safety."

So if you have to use your car to carry out essential trips to the shop or to get to work, you can and should ensure all the glass areas and lights are clear. However, pampering your car with a full wash, wax and detail isn’t necessary during the current climate.

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If you need to use your car, especially if you are a key worker reliant on it for getting to work, you should also ensure that the car is kept germ-free by cleaning all the common touch points inside and out. Follow our guide here for all the spots to focus on.

This article first appeared on The Scotsman