Can you wash your car during the coronavirus lockdown?

16 April 2020, 13:47

Can you wash your car during the coronavirus lockdown?
Can you wash your car during the coronavirus lockdown? Picture: Getty

By Adrian Sherling

With car washes closed, many people have asked if they are allowed to wash their cars during the lockdown. Here's the key guidance.

There are four reasons you are allowed to leave your house during the coronavirus lockdown:
- work, if you absolutely can't work from home
- medical reasons
- one form of exercise per day
- shopping for food or other essentials

The question people have had is that does car washing fit into any of those categories?

This car wash in Bristol is closed during the lockdown
This car wash in Bristol is closed during the lockdown. Picture: PA

Is car washing an essential action?

There are two separate elements to this. Firstly, if your car is on a driveway and you can easily be more than 2m from people outside of your household, then it's fine.

The issue comes when your car is parked on the street.

Officially, washing your car would not be considered an essential activity and therefore you should avoid doing it.

The exception to that is if you are a key worker and need the car to travel to and from work, then cleaning the car to the extent that it is safe to drive and clean from germs is obviously extremely important.

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The issue came to the fore when Piers Morgan asked a doctor if he could wash his Aston Martin during the lockdown while on Good Morning Britain.

Dr Jones told him: "Washing your car is non-essential, apart from being able to see through the windscreen for safety."

Which parts of my car should I wash to avoid coronavirus?

If you still need to use your car regularly, then cleaning the most-touched parts of it is important.

According to the RAC, places you should clean thoroughly are the steering wheel, buttons and controls and the key or start button.

Washing the door handles and window controls is also important.

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