Driving in the UK during the Coronavirus lockdown

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Driving in the UK during the Coronavirus lockdown

Update: Boris Johnson announced some relaxations to the lockdown driving rules in his speech on Sunday 10th May:

“You can sit in the sun in your local park; you can drive to other destinations; you can even play sports but only with members of your own household.” Said the Prime Minister.

He also encouraged those who are unable to work from home, such as those in construction or manufacturing, to go to work, but avoiding public transport wherever possible, therefore allowing driving as a means of commuting.

The current Coronavirus lockdown status prohibits unnecessary travel and the police have been given powers to enforce this, with £60 fines (£30 if paid within14 days) or £120 for second offences, doubling on each subsequent offence.

The government website says you are only allowed to leave home for the following reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • one form of exercise a day - for example, a run, walk or cycle - alone or with members of their household
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work, but only where they cannot work from home

Driving is not yet prohibited so long as it is necessary for one of the above, however different police forces are currently taking different approaches to enforcement, with road blocks and even drones being used in some areas to check on the purpose of peoples’ journeys. The current measures are due for review in three weeks.

To help those for whom driving is a necessity the government has granted a 6 month exemption from MOT testing:

“All cars, vans and motorcycles which usually would require an MOT test will be exempted from needing a test from 30 March 2020. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.”

Check for updates here:

For legal assistance relating to all driving matters call NGP Driving Layers on 020 8309 5010 or use our contact form.