Coronavirus (COVID-19) and breakdown cover: Am I still covered and how can I use my car?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and breakdown cover: Am I still covered and how can I use my car?

There’s currently a lot of doubt in people’s minds about particular services, especially ones that threaten to break the current regulations of social distancing. But what happens if you break down on the roadside? Well your safety remains the priority of some of the major breakdown cover companies across the UK, so rest assured, you’re in good hands. 

How are breakdown companies managing? 

Workers operating out and about have been instructed to wear latex gloves, use hand sanitising gel regularly and to wipe surfaces they touch with antibacterial wipes. 

They are obviously adhering to the strict government regulations and are keeping the safe distance of two metres away from customers at all times, and customers should respect this and do the same where possible. 

If your vehicle cannot be fixed, patrols might not be able to transport customers in vehicles due to social distancing, so alternative arrangements might need to be made. 

The RAC are still rescuing customers who break down on the road and at home. 

What can you do to help them? 

If you need their assistance, you must respect the social distancing regulation as issued by the government, and remain two meters away from the operators at all times. 

If you or anyone in your household is self-isolating as they are displaying symptoms of coronavirus, you must let your breakdown cover company know as soon as you contact them asking for assistance. Your breakdown service will still be able to help you if people in your home are sick as long as you follow the latest NHS advice

How can I prevent problems happening with my car? 

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to call your breakdown cover, but with your car sat in the drive for an extended period of time without being driven regularly, it’s quite common for problems to occur. 

Every other day start your car’s engine and leave it running for 15 minutes. This will charge your car’s battery and ensure it doesn’t flatten before you need to use it for an essential journey, such as a food shop. 

Take this opportunity to check tyre pressures, engine oil levels and other factors that could go wrong with your car. To make things easier, read our guide: How to avoid the most common ways of breaking down.

If you stick to only using your car for essential journeys to the shops, pharmacies, work (where it cannot be done from home) and in order to provide care for vulnerable people, you’ll limit the need for breakdown cover assistance. 

How shouldn’t I use my car? 

The government has made it very clear that you should only use your cars for essential journeys, such as the ones mentioned above. You must not use your car for the following reasons: 

  • To drive and do exercise somewhere else
  • To go and see friends or family that are not in need of extra care
  • To go for a drive to get out of the house

You must also not go out at all - even for essential journeys - if you have or are showing symptoms of coronavirus. Shop online for food, or ask a close relative or friend for assistance by following the NHS guidelines linked above.