Gransnet forums


Driving during lockdown

(25 Posts)
Nvella Sat 11-Apr-20 16:17:32

Which had an article about maintaining your car if you are not using it in lockdown. Apparently you should drive it for about 15 mins every couple of weeks, not just to keep the. battery going but other things like oil, air conditioning and tyres can be damaged if the car is not driven. I live in a city in walking distance of all shops and open spaces so have no reason to use the car but I am worried I will do it permanent damage if I leave it. Don’t want to be stopped by police and fined! What are other people doing?

AGAA4 Sat 11-Apr-20 16:23:14

Thanks Nvella. I took my car for a 20 minute run yesterday but wasn't sure it was enough. It had been standing for over 3 weeks so was getting worried about the battery etc.
I was a bit concerned that I may be stopped but 2 police cars passed by not even glancing at me.

M0nica Sat 11-Apr-20 16:27:13

I would be more worried about the deterioration f everyone's driving skills if they do not drive for 3,6,9 months. The accident rate will rocket. I live in a busy rural area. I manage to crank in a 10 mile journey every week by using the scenic route to and from the supermarket. Good for my driving skills and the car.

To what extent are the police stopping cars other than on motorways and heading for scenic routes or unless you have canoes or surf boards on the roof.

Is there not a really big supermarket a couple of miles from you that you need to get to once a week? Remember if you are over 70 you are only ment to go shopping once a week. No sneaking into the corner shop when taking daily exercise.

M0nica Sat 11-Apr-20 16:28:14

Not scenic routes, I meant beauty spots

Nvella Sat 11-Apr-20 16:38:23

I had wondered about going to a big Sainsbury’s about 10 mins away. Unfortunately (at the moment at least) there is a largish M & S I can practically see from the front door so I would have to come up with a reason not to use it. I have heard of police stopping some people driving in London where I am.

Eglantine21 Sat 11-Apr-20 16:52:35

Oh, I’ve been away for three months and more with my car sitting on the driveway. It started first time, no other problems.

I don’t think my driving skills deteriorated, but I am a confident driver.

Cabbie21 Sat 11-Apr-20 16:59:08

I have just run my car for the first time in over three weeks. It started first time. I ran the engine for a few minutes, tested the electric windows, mirrors etc. Then I drove for about four miles to recycle glass. No they weren’t all wine bottles!

I don’t think the police are interested in this sort of thing. They have plenty more important concerns eg street parties, incursions into tourist areas, barbecues on beaches.

It is important to move a car even a few inches to change the section of tyre which it is resting on.

Charleygirl5 Sat 11-Apr-20 17:09:24

I try to drive my car the long route around the streets to one of the supermarkets once a week- I doubt if the police will stop me- they are too busy breaking up cricket matches in a local park.

Under normal circumstances, I no longer drive very far these days but I would normally drive further to keep the battery working.

Gummie Sat 11-Apr-20 17:23:34

Just take it out for a drive to a big supermarket and then home.

SueDonim Sat 11-Apr-20 17:33:28

I’d take the car to a supermarket a bit further away. Surely we haven’t been told we must only shop at our nearest shops? Some things I like I can’t get at certain shops.

We have two cars so we alternate which one we go out in, once every week or ten days.

Franbern Sat 11-Apr-20 17:43:32

My Supermarket of choice is three miles away along easy route, about five miles along main road into WsM. I am still doing a weekly shop there, go the easy route, but once shopping in car go up to motorway and drive to next junction, then back again and return home on long way round main road. This gives my little car a run out of about 3 miles there and then about 15 miles for the return journey. Hopefully, this will be enough to keep it in reasonable condition.

M0nica Sat 11-Apr-20 20:00:55

DH is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and when he couldn't drive for two months he had the perception and knowledge to recognise that his skills would have deteriorated in that time.

Missfoodlove Sat 11-Apr-20 20:05:20

My car has been stationary for 4 weeks. My husbands car used 3 times in 4 weeks and a vintage car we have is mothballed.
The cars will be fine, it’s the people we need to worry about.

M0nica Sun 12-Apr-20 10:35:21

Exactly, especially those people who may be killed or injured as thousands of drivers come back on the roads with driving skills and visual judgements rusty from a long lay-off

Daisymae Sun 12-Apr-20 14:35:29

I was told by a mechanic that you should run it on the drive for 20 minutes every 2 - 3 weeks, with the handbrake off and out of gear if possible. Only if not going to be used for a long period

craftyone Sun 12-Apr-20 14:58:19

I think I will take mine for a run tomorrow, I did top the battery up via a trickle charger but I forgot about the handbrake, I don`t want various parts seizing up, anyway a change of scenery will be nice. 30 mile round trip should do it, no shopping

25Avalon Sun 12-Apr-20 15:03:54

I read that taking your car for short journeys is actually bad for the battery life and what you should be doing is just start the car up and let it run for 15 minutes and then switch the engine off. Just make sure this is not in an enclosed garage!!

M0nica Sun 12-Apr-20 15:30:33

I am more worried about the drivers than the car.

Guineagirl Sun 12-Apr-20 15:34:04

I drive mine to the supermarket via back streets and give it a run, it needs to be maintained in case of emergency, I did the tyres too, I used it yesterday for this purpose and police stop me there’s no law to actually stop me doing this. Start stop is a pain as it only comes on on full charge anyway.

Tuppence15 Sun 12-Apr-20 16:06:38

Our nearest supermarket is 15 miles away. That gives the car a good run every fortnight. I think the police would have great difficulty in stopping people if they are traveling for shopping.

SueDonim Sun 12-Apr-20 16:29:24

I’ve had long spells (3+ months) of not driving due to having had a driver but it really hasn’t taken long to get back into it. By the time I’ve pottered down the road into town I’m back in the saddle, as it were.

M0nica Sun 12-Apr-20 23:08:28

In that potter down the road you could misjudge something and have an accident that leaves someone dead or disabled. My sister was knocked off her bike and killed by a lorry travelling at walking pace.

I think too many people are far too confident about their driving skills and how quickly their judgement of speed and movement will be back to normal. This is what causes accidents. I have never had a period of not driving but, in my late 70s, I am very determined not to be over confident. That way accidents lie.

SueDonim Mon 13-Apr-20 00:31:42

I don’t think I’m overconfident. confused I had the self-awareness to know that I needed to reskill but ime, it comes back very quickly. I have to drive a lot, 15,000k miles last year, as I live in a very rural area, but maybe it’s different if you only do a few thousand miles a year.

We’ve had road deaths in our family, too, btw.

M0nica Mon 13-Apr-20 08:47:06

I will take this discussion no further as it is clear we will not agree.

dragonfly46 Mon 13-Apr-20 09:02:28

Our cars will have to stay unmoved as we are shielded and not allowed out. My parents used to go away for 4 months leaving the car and it was fine. Hopefully it won’t be that long.