Driving after lockdown | Wilson Organisation


June 12, 2020

Driving after lockdown

Driving after lockdown

Following the COVID-19 lockdown across the UK, road travel decreased significantly. Now the restrictions are lifting, people are returning to the roads. However, with cars having sat unused, in some cases for more than ten weeks, what do you need to do to ensure you can start driving again safely?

Here we share ten tips to help you get back on the road safely.

1) Make sure you are ready and fit to drive

This has been a real time of stress and uncertainty for many people which can have a big impact on health. Whether it’s sleep deprivation, stress or anxiety all of these can take a toll. Before you starting driving again it’s worth taking the time to check you’re feeling well enough to do so and also consider a couple of shorter drives before long-distance journeys. Barnard Castle, anyone?

2) Arrange an MOT (if needed)

In a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 the government arranged for MOTs to be extended by six months if they expired on or before 30 March 2020. The full details of what car owners need to do can be found here. It is important to keep the vehicle roadworthy regardless of this extension and your clients may want to look into arranging an MOT when restrictions lift and allow them to do so.

3) Check your car insurance

If you contacted us to cancell or suspended your car insurance for the lockdown period, you will need to get in touch to make sure that this is set up again before driving anywhere to ensure you’re covered. It is also worth considering whether or not breakdown cover is currently included as having not been used for a while, the chances of a vehicle breaking down may have increased.

4) Make sure there is enough fuel in the vehicle

Before setting off on a journey make sure you have enough fuel to get you there. Often after having not driven for a long time or having only done lots of small journeys it’s easy to have lost track of how much fuel was left. Don’t wait until you see the fuel warning light.

5) Check the tyres

Tyres are more likely to have lost pressure slightly if a car has been unused for a long period of time. Before setting out or as soon as you are able to get to a petrol station, check the tyre pressure and inflate if necessary. It’s also important to check the tyres for any obvious signs of wear or damage and ensure they meet road legal requirements – especially is you have postponed your MOT.

6) Check the lights

The lights both front and back should be checked before setting out on a journey – even if it is in daylight. Ensure that front, back, indicator and brake lights are all working effectively.

7) Check oil and water levels

Many new cars will let you know if your oil or water levels are running low, however this is a good opportunity for drivers to check that levels are safe before setting out. The vehicle manual will provide instructions on how to safely do this for the specific model.

8) Take a hand sanitiser with you on your journey or keep one in the car

It’s important to still remain cautious as restrictions begin to be lifted. A good habit to get into is having a hand sanitiser in the car and/or taking one every time you leave the house. Youccan then clean you hands when getting in and out of the car to prevent spreading the virus onto the inside of their car. It’s important as well to remember this when refuelling; wear gloves if possible, maintain a safe distance and wash or sanitise hands as soon as possible. Sanitiser wipes are also a good idea to wipe down your keys, handles and steering wheel.

9) Be prepared for busier roads

As the country starts to move again we can expect to see many people continuing to avoid public transport, which may lead to busier roads and more bikes or pedestrians. Allow extra time for journeys to avoid any rushing and avoid distractions while driving. Also be more cautios as many other drivers haven’t been on the roads for weeks either!

10) Keep in contact

Before your set out on a journey make sure you have your mobile phone and that it is fully charged. If you run into any difficulties with your car or break down, you need to be able to get in touch to ask for help. It’s also important at the moment to take the time before a journey to check that the destination is open and has somewhere to park to save any wasted or unnecessary journeys. Remember – in the case of an accident you can also use the camera on your phone to document the incident.


It is also important to continue listen to Government advice and follow the guidance provided.

Over 100 years of innovation

  • 1914

    A successful launch! The Wilson Organisation was founded in Nottingham by Harold Wilson and became the first company in the East Midlands to offer a comprehensive insurance policy to the region’s fast-growing band of automobile drivers. Innovation from day one.

  • 1920s

    During the 1920’s, Wilsons developed its commercial insurance offering under the stewardship of Harold Wilson. Hopping forwards 80 years, Wilsons has developed a number of industry specialisms including a particular expertise in the food and drink sector. We created a unique insurance offering called “FoodProtect” and, through this service, have been able to deliver intelligence and cost-effective insurance programmes to a broad spread of leading food producers. The best thing since sliced bread? Maybe not, but we’re working on it.

  • 1949

    John Prow joined Harold Wilson in the business, marking the first generation of the Prow family’s involvement in The Wilson Organisation. Wilsons’ clients included leading Nottingham firm Boots The Chemist plus a number of operators in the burgeoning railway sector. With post-war regeneration beginning apace, the firm’s fledgling construction expertise quickly developed into one of our leading offerings and this continues through to the present day, with clients including national and regional builders, developers, contractors, sub-contractors and architects.

  • 1960s

    The 1960s were the start of a new era for The Wilson Organisation. Harold Wilson and John Prow died on the same day in 1963, Harold of illness and John in a car crash. This left John’s son, John J Prow, to run the growing business at the age of 27. Under his youthful direction, Wilsons benefited from a new energy and direction. John J Prow, who had joined in 1960 in a new business role, led the move into our current premises at Wilson House in 1964 and then launched the financial services division in the following year.

  • 1990s

    The late 1990s heralded the start of the third generation of the Prow family’s involvement in the business. Managing Director Charlotte Prow joined in 1998, to be followed by the firm’s Chief Executive, Annabel Prow, in 2002. Product and service innovation continued apace with the launch of a corporate finance specialism in 1997, which continues to deliver valuable cost-savings and insights to the region’s dealmakers.

  • 2000s

    Now century on from the launch of The Wilson Organisation in 1914, the company continues to encourage innovation and reward good ideas. Within the financial services team, 2008 marked the launch of “Flex”, a powerful employee benefit programme and the development of “WRAP”, an investment tool with a unique level of investor control and transparency. Meanwhile, our insurance advisers worked quickly to bring to market a specialist insurance policy for insolvency practitioners.

  • 2010s

    2010 saw the launch of the Midlands Family Business Awards by Wilsons, the UK’s only independent not-for-profit Awards for family businesses. Now in their fifth year, the Awards have raised almost £20,000 for charities supporting families and young people. In 2014 we are celebrating Wilsons’ centenary, a significant milestone in Wilsons’ history.

Registered Office:
Wilson House, 1/3 Waverley Street, Nottingham, NG7 4HG

Registered in England Number 862690 - Members of British Insurance Brokers Association

Harold Wilson (Insurances) Ltd. and Harold Wilson Financial Services Ltd. are authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)