To say that the coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives is an understatement. We already know that countless people have lost their jobs and even their lives. Our comfort zones have been disrupted at one point or another; not a few things have changed. The aspect of driving is one of those that have raised plenty of questions among Aussies.
In this article, we’re going to explore some frequently asked questions about driving and COVID-19. The odds are that at least one of these questions has crossed your mind by now. If you haven’t figured the answer to it yet, then you’ve clicked on the right article.
Let’s take a look at a few concerns that you and other people all over the world share regarding cars during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can I Still Get My Car Serviced and Fixed During The Coronavirus Pandemic?
I’ll be honest with you. This question was my top concern even from the earliest days of the pandemic in 2020.
Yes, you can (and should) get your car fixed during the coronavirus pandemic. Even in Aussie states and other countries that enter lockdowns, auto workshops are usually allowed to continue operating.
At most, you’d probably have to call your mechanic and set an appointment while following strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) when you’re at the workshop. Whatever the case may be, rest assured that you can still get your car fixed during the pandemic.
What about Roadside Assistance and Mobile Mechanics?
Yes, you can even get help if your car breaks down on the side of the road. Whether you rely on your car insurance company’s roadside assistance service or any other, they are still operating and will come to help you out if you need them.
Is It a Good Idea to Buy a Car Right Now?
Yes, it’s an excellent time to buy a car right now, assuming you’re going to use it regularly.
There are two sides to this question. Firstly, average car sales have dropped somewhat since the pandemic started in 2020. Those numbers will gradually recover, but not without the help of manufacturers and dealers. How are they going to help? By offering new buyers like you excellent deals and value-add offerings to sweeten the deal.
So, if you need a car and you plan on driving it regularly, sure, now’s a pretty good time to do that.
However, if you're working from home most of the time and don't need to move around a lot, my personal opinion is that you're better off waiting. Save your money and wait until you need a car, then purchase whichever model is newest at that time.
In my opinion, it may be wiser to continue using the car you already have or start relying on other forms of transportation for the time being.
Do I Need to Renew My License and Registration During the Pandemic?
Yes, you still need to renew your license and registration during the pandemic.
However, there are two reasons why you’ll want to check with the local authorities about this matter.
Firstly, the authorities might offer you some leeway when it comes to renewing licenses and car registrations, especially if you're in a location that's under some degree of lockdown.
Second, almost all government authorities have made changes to how they handle transactions. So before you show up at their office, it’s best to check their website or give them a call to see what their new SOPs might be.
Is It Safe to Drive My Car During the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Yes, it is indeed safe to drive your car during the pandemic. However, just like businesses have adopted strict SOPs, so should you when it comes to your vehicle.
Some places have rules stating that only members of the same household may travel in the same car. Stick to those rules.
For your safety and the family that you go home to, it's best to avoid transporting passengers who don't live in the same home as you. Besides that, you should also be much stricter about the hygiene inside your car.
Which brings us to our next question.
Should I Sanitise My Car?
Yes, you should sanitise your car. Some people sanitise it every time they come home after a drive to ensure that they don’t transfer any viruses from their vehicle to their homes. Others may only do so occasionally.
Either way, sanitising your car is a must. There are many ways to do it, but the easiest is probably to get a disinfectant spray or wipes for your vehicle and use it on the interior. You might also want to disinfect everything you touch on the exterior, such as the door handles.
Plus, many workshops and mechanics are offering disinfecting services and products these days. So, you might want to see what they have to offer you in this regard.
Do I Still Need to Maintain My Car Regularly During the Pandemic?
Yes, without a doubt, you should still maintain your car regularly during the pandemic. Many people make the mistake of assuming that a vehicle doesn’t need maintenance if they rarely drive it. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Remember: when the mechanic tells you about your next oil change, it’s not just a matter of how many kilometres you’ve driven. It’s also about how time has passed since your last regular maintenance.
When you don’t drive a car for a long time, the oils and fluids in your vehicle don’t get a chance to circulate correctly. So, those fluids can’t do their job of protecting the inside of your engine and other components.
So, even if you don’t drive much anymore, there are two things that you still need to do regularly. First, start your car up for 10-15 minutes every day or so just to let all of those fluids circulate and keep your car’s components well-lubricated.
Second, take your car in for its regular maintenance just the same as you usually would.
To find out more about driving and COVID-19 in Australia’s, check out the blog at Carpart.com.au. There, you’ll read updates and latest news to keep yourself well-informed!
By Ray Hasbollah