Thankfully, the government is easing up on lockdown restrictions, we’re even going to be able to hug this month and the summer ahead looks very promising. Hopefully, there’ll be trips to the beach, perhaps a UK getaway or, if it’s a Green List country, a drive over to France to enjoy some French sunshine but if you haven’t used your car much at all over the last year, it’s important to get back on the road and re-familiarise yourself with driving. As almost all car-owners haven’t used their cars as much as “normal” road use, over the past 15 months, keeping your car safe is paramount. The same applies to vans, if you haven’t been working as much then your van also needs looking after. Don’t put it off, give your car or van the once over, especially if you’re planning on a long journey. UKCarMovement is the number one car scrapping service in North London, Hertfordshire and Essex, if your car no longer works, we’ll scrap your car in Herts and give you the best price. Meanwhile, here are our best tips for post-lockdown driving.
Power Up Your Car
If your car hasn’t moved much then without a doubt, the battery will need some TLC. Make sure that your car or van starts up with ease and don’t ignore the warning signs. If it takes a few goes to get the ignition moving, your battery needs charging – if it’s completely flat, you could try jump leads but don’t drive for long distances without checking out your battery power. Leaving your car stationary for weeks on end won’t do it any favours, get it ready by taking it for daily drives (especially if you’re going to be in a van all day) and do a motorway run for a good half an hour.
Top Up the Petrol
You might have left your car or van with hardly any petrol in it and that won’t help if you’ve got a flat battery too because every time you try and turn on your car, you use up petrol. So, if your car or van hasn’t done much mileage lately and you know you’re not likely to do many journeys, top it up with plenty of petrol and follow point one so you don’t breakdown.
Quite a few people stopped their car breakdown cover over lockdown because they weren’t travelling much – and we understand that, why pay when you don’t use something. Don’t forget to reinstate yours if you did stop it – especially if you haven’t driven much, you won’t want to be stranded on a motorway for hours on end on your way to the seaside. Check out the AA, Green Flag and the RAC to see what deals they’re offering.
Clean Your Car Up
Coronavirus has made us a more hygienic country which has to be a plus point (and there aren’t many benefits to COVID!). However, if you haven’t used your car or van much then it probably needs an overhaul and it’s another place that needs to be cleaned very regularly. Give it a good polish and keep hand sanitizer and masks in the glove compartment. Now shops are open, you don’t want to be caught short!
Check the Air Con
Air vents get clogged up when they aren’t in use and need a good blow-through, doing these small checks before journeying out will save discomfort. You won’t want to be stuck in traffic on a stifling day with the window down breathing in fumes.
Boost Your Tyres
Give your tyres the once over too. Check for holes or flat tyres and take your car to your local petrol garage and pump them up so you’re extra-safe. If you notice a hole or that one tyre loses air, it’s time to get a replacement. While on that topic, make sure you have a spare ready in your boot. You may have changed a tyre over a year ago and because of the pandemic, simply forgot to replace the spare.
Get someone to check your brake lights are working as well as indicators and headlights. If they’re not, you risk being pulled over and it’s dangerous. Bulbs go quickly but they’re easy to replace – just check your handbook.
Check Your Fluids
As well as oil, brake fluid and petrol (mentioned early in the piece) – do you have enough screen-wash? While it’s not necessarily a safety issue, driving on a motorway means lots of squashed flies! Top it up, keep a bottle of screen-wash at home so it’s always to hand.
Your brakes are obviously essential to your safety so check they’re not squeaking or taking too long to react to you putting the foot on your pedal. Other signs to watch out for are vibration, or your car pulling to the side when you put your foot on the brake pedal. If this happens, you need to take your car to a garage to replace your brake pads. If your car or van hasn’t moved for a long while, you could place bricks at the front and back wheels and release your handbrake (but only if you’re on flat ground).
Take Your Car or Van on a Test Run
When you haven’t done something for a while, and suddenly you get back in the saddle, you can lose confidence. Especially if you haven’t driven – and you were never a particularly confident driver. Start slowly, use roads you know well and take your car out when it’s quiet to build confidence again. Taking your car out every day for a week will help to banish any nerves and before you know it, you’ll be whizzing round London, Essex or Herts without worry!
Fed Up with the Car?
Perhaps your car or van has a number of problems – especially post lockdown, it won’t start properly, the brakes are worn, the steering doesn’t feel right, and you’ve taken it to the garage but it’s going to cost a fortune! Maybe you’ve found you no longer need the car as much as you did before, you’re working from home most of the time, you’ve become reliant on the brilliant public transport or you’ve already got another family car. Then why even bother with keeping your car or van? Don’t pay road tax and get some extra cash – use it for that longed for family holiday and scrap your car with UKCarMovement, the biggest car scrapping service in North London and Herts. Even better than that, we offer same-day van scrapping in Herts and North London (cars and motorbikes too). We’ll come and collect your car, organise contactless collection (for free), take it to our own scrap yard and deposit the money into your bank account on the very same day. That’s what we call a quality car scrapping service in Essex, London and Herts.
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