Can I Drive in Lockdown now

What are the lockdown driving rules?

Find out when you can drive and other lockdown rules and regulations

Updated: 9am on Wednesday 4 November


Whether you're still on the road every day or only using your vehicle for essential journeys, it's important to know what the rules are.

We've pulled together the facts, so you can be as confident and safe as possible whenever you're driving.

Driving rules and regulations during lockdown

Under the Government's rules and regulations, you're allowed to drive for essential journeys. These rules, and what is "essential", differ depending where you are in the UK.

Here are the rules and regulations on what you can and can't do in England. Find out more about the regulations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Can I drive to exercise?

You can drive as far as you like to any open space, providing you observe social distancing.

Can I drive to walk my dog?

You can travel to any open space as long as you stay at least 2 metres apart from people outside your household.

Can I drive for leisure, recreation or a day trip?

You're advised not to leave your house for any reason other than:

  • To exercise or spend time outside
  • To go to work
  • To visit the shops that are open
  • To take care of a vulnerable person, or for an essential journey.

However, you can drive as far as you like to do these things. Day trips are allowed, but you aren't allowed to stay with friends or family outside your household overnight.

Can I drive with anyone not in my household?

You can drive with someone from outside your household if it's necessary to get to work. You should do your best to reduce the risk of transmission, for example by avoiding physical contact, facing away from each other, and opening the windows to help with ventilation.

Can I drive to buy a car?

Along with some non-essential retail outlets, car dealers and showrooms are now open, with social distancing measures in place, after a change in the rules on 1 June.

While precautions and cleaning measures are in place at forecourts, you can buy a car more safely by following a few simple guidelines from AA CarsShowrooms in Northern Ireland are also allowed to open from 8 June.

Driver confidence

What if I feel nervous about driving again?

Since 1 in 6 people in the UK don't drive at all during a lockdown, according to a study by AA Driving School, chances are you'll have been driving less than normal in 2020.

If you feel uneasy about getting back behind the wheel, when the time comes, and want some more support, it might be possible to organise refresher driving lessons, or driver confidence lessons through our charitable trust.

Think about easing into driving again by planning a short, familiar trip, which you can take at your own pace, and double-check the route beforehand – just in case anything has changed since you last made that journey.

What if my car doesn't start?

You can keep your car running smoothly by running it for around 15 minutes, or going for a short drive, to keep the battery charged. Take a look at our quick video for 3 simple checks.

We've got other top tips and advice to look after your car and what you should check before driving it again.

How is the AA here to help?

Your safety is our priority, and as always, we're here to help. If you've broken down, you can still let us know online or with our app, or get in touch with us if you have symptoms or are self-isolating on 0800 88 77 66.

You can find full details on how we've responded to coronavirus (COVID-19) on our general guidance page.

Car maintenance tips

3 car care tips from Ben, Patrol of the Year