Updated: 10am on Monday 11 January
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 during a lockdown situation.
Driving rules and regulations during a 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 during a lockdown in England. Check local restrictions to find out what restrictions apply to you depending on your area or tier for a more comprehensive guide. Find out more about the regulations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Can I drive to exercise?
Yes, you can drive to an outdoor place for exercise, as long as you follow social distancing rules. But how far you can drive depends on where you live. Check the restrictions for your area.
Can I drive to walk my dog?
You can travel to an 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.
Day trips are allowed, within your region. Whether you can travel out of your region depends on the local rules in your area. You aren't allowed to stay with friends or family outside your household or bubble 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?
Car dealers and showrooms are now open, with social distancing measures in place.
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 Cars.
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 03330 046 046.
You can find full details on how we've responded to coronavirus (COVID-19) on our general guidance page.