January 2021


We’ve all read the news stories of drivers being pulled over by police for visiting beauty spots 200 miles away, or fines being dished out for driving to a location for exercise.

But what are the rules for driving here in England? Let’s take a look at the most common questions.

Am I allowed to drive my car?

The rules state that you should only leave your house for shopping for essential supplies, work if you can’t work from home, seeking medical assistance avoid to injury, illness or risk of harm, education or childcare where eligible, or to meet your support bubble.

So the answer is yes, you are allowed to drive your car, but only in very limited circumstances.

What does 'stay local' mean?

The law is a little fuzzy on this one as local isn’t clearly defined. Some define it as within a 5 mile radius, and some as within the same town or village. The spirit of the ‘stay local’ message is that we shouldn’t be travelling unnecessarily.​

Can I have passengers in my car?

Other people from the same household or support bubble can share your car, but other passengers are not allowed under current restrictions.

Can I just go for a drive?

Nobody should leave the house except for under very limited circumstances. Although you may have no intention of leaving the car until you return home, it could still attract an unfavourable outcome if you were pulled over.​

Can I still buy a car?

Yes! It’s perfectly within the lockdown rules to buy and sell cars, whether that’s from private individuals or businesses such as Thame Cars as long as social distancing precautions are observed. 

Some private buyers stretching the rules to the limits have found themselves in hot water, such as this chap who was taken to court for a breach after driving 100 miles at 10pm to buy a car.

We have a well tried and tested Covid-secure touch-free Click & Collect system in place for our car sales and we invite you to take a look at this article for more information on this.

Covid-secure Click & Collect system

Can I still get my car MOT'd and Serviced?

Once again this is a ‘yes’ - as long as the work is carried out in a Covid-safe facility this is still allowed and in fact you are still obligated by law to keep your MOT up to date.

If you are shielding, self-isolating or otherwise unable to bring your car in for a service, MOT or repairs please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thame Cars are able to come to your home and safely collect your vehicle and return it after any agreed work has been complete. We will always fully sanitise your car before returning it to you.

Contact-Free Collection and Delivery procedure

Can I still Hire a Car or Van?

Yes… but the rules about staying local still apply. Many of our hire cars are used for longer distance business or leisure travel, but current rules stipulate that we should stay local so please keep this in mind when considering hiring. 

Our vans are frequently being hired by home movers, as this is still regarded as a legitimate essential use. 

Touch-Free Car and Van Hire procedure