As far as insurance is concerned, we've created some FAQ's:
- Is my car insured if I drive it at the moment? The simple answer is YES. However, the government rules state that journeys should be for essential trips only and whilst we appreciate that it's frustrating not to be able to get out there for a drive, we must follow these rules to ensure that we all remain healthy during this period.
- Can I reduce the mileage if I have a limited mileage policy? Of course. Just speak to your usual contact to discuss any change to mileage limits
- Should I reduce my cover to “laid up” while my car remains garaged? This is an option although it's impossible to say at this point how long the lockdown might last. The situation is changing daily and it's unlikely that your premium would alter very much were this to change in a matter of weeks.
- Will my car still be insured while it's kept in my garage for an extended period? Absolutely. In insurance-speak, the current situation is similar to the winter months, when many cars are taken off the road. Your policy conditions remain unchanged as regards your car also being in a state of lockdown.
- Will my insurer's financial position be impacted by this situation? We can't at this stage provide any definitive answers. However, Lockton carefully monitor the financial strength and stability of every insurer with whom we work. Axa are an exceptionally stable insurer and we have no hesitation in continuing to work with to provide the best insurance solutions for your car.
Will I remain insured if my MOT expires? The government announced an extension to any MOT which runs out during the current lockdown period, of up to 6 months. Your insurance policy states that your vehicle must be kept in a roadworthy condition at all times so you will continue to be insured, providing that this condition can be satisfied. If you are in any doubt as to whether your vehicle meets this condition, then you must not drive it until it can be assessed by a suitable garage and an MOT issued, once the lockdown situation is relaxed.
During this period of lockdown it is worth considering how best to look after your cars. V Management is a UK leading car storage facility, and here are their top tips:
General good practice for car storage
- Keep your cars in a dry, well-ventilated garage. Check for evidence of rodents
- Spread a newspaper under the car so you can easily identify any fluid leaks
- Keep the car on a trickle charger/battery conditioner
- Prevent tyre flattening by either over-inflation to the manufacturer's recommended storage pressures (generally around + 20%), or use a tyre cradle. If over-inflating, it is imperative you remember to reset the tyre to the correct pressure before driving the car again.
Cars do not like remaining undriven for long periods. A variety of problems can ensue including dry bearings and seals, perished hoses and seized brake calliper pistons. Until lockdown restrictions are relaxed allowing you to take your cars out on the open road for a proper drive, you can follow the procedures we use here at V Management for cars on our 6-weekly warm-up programme:
- On a dry day take the car outside and start it up, allowing it to warm up for 2 minutes
- If you have sufficient space, drive slowly in tight circles to the left, then to the right, in 1st gear and then in reverse. 3 or 4 minutes in total is fine
- While you do this, gently apply the brakes, on and off repeatedly
- Park the car with the engine running. For 30 secs gently rev the engine to around 3,500 revs, up and down from idle
- Leave the engine running at idle for 15 – 20 minutes, allowing the water to come up to normal operating temperature (note – never leave the car unattended while idling, even on private property. At V Management we always lock our outer gates during this procedure, and have eyes on the cars at all times).
- While the engine runs up to temperature, operate all the electrics: windows, roof, aerial, seat adjustors, heater fan etc
- Turn on the air-conditioning and let it run on full cold for 3 minutes
- Return the car to the garage and either plug it back into its charger/conditioner, or switch on the battery isolator
V Management is a UK leading car storage facility – www.v-management.com