Here’s some of the most common questions you posted on Twitter.
Hi Jessica; most of us will still need to travel but the virus has put a lot of people off public transport... 56pc of drivers who don't own a car are now thinking about buying one when lockdown lifts! Demand for cars may outstrip supply— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
Free Trader UK’s recent survey found that 56% of drivers who don’t currently own a car are now thinking of buying one when lockdown lifts. They shouldn’t be harder to sell – if anything we may see demand outstrip supply in the short-term. We’d recommend that those looking to privately sell their car thoroughly clean and disinfect it before handing it over or allowing any test drives.
Hi Flora, smart q. No, I think we'll see the reverse: the pandemic has made people wary about public transport; 56pc of drivers who don't currently own a car are now thinking about buying one when this lifts. We've also seen more interest in motorbikes and scooters on the site.— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
Hi Sandra. Best solution is a trickle charger but not many people have those and you need a drive/garage. Once a week is fine, 30 mins is good - need to get the car nice and warm, especially it it's diesel, or something called the DPF will eventually clog, which is not so good.— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
Ideally, line your car trip up with some essential travel – like going for a weekly shop.
Hi Jenna, yes. Critical factor (always, not just during lockdown), is not just to pop to the shops/work/school/doctors/station in it, because a diesel engine needs to get properly warm. One round trip of 20 miles a week, is better than five trips of four miles a week.— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
Hi Anne, yes it's called a flat spot and you don't want them. But it'll be worse for your car if you start it, drive a metre and stop again. You need to take it for a little jaunt to ease pressure on tyres, brakes and engine. Once a week will do. 20-30 mins. Bob's your uncle— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
Hey Charlotte, you might see some rust on the brake discs (the metal you see between the wheel spokes), and there's a small chance the handbrake can seize. Drive the car on your next essential trip and the first braking you do should scrub off the rust..good luck!— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
Hi Victoria, the good news is insurers are starting to offer partial refunds (shout out to @AdmiralUK for being 1st) on April and May premiums (based on lower mileage) but you'll need to ask. To save on car tax, you'll need to SORN the car with the DVLA and not drive it at all..— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
As for tax, the only way to claim money back is to SORN the car with the DVLA. This’ll have to be done online as the DVLA aren’t currently dealing with paper applications. Just remember that you can’t drive the car once it’s been declared SORN. If you’ve any questions about what the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown means for you as a driver, check out our coronavirus FAQ page.
Hi Sam, I love a Mini, but there are some cheaper alternatives out there for that budget for your family, like a Ford Focus, Dacia Sandero, Hyundai i30, Vauxhall Corsa, Kia Rio. I'd go for reliability over style 👍— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
Well, it's the Lamborghini Aventador partly because it really is and partly coz I sit on their female advisory board so they'd shoot me if I said anything else! In orange, please.— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
Hi Nigel. Most SUVs score max NCAP safety rating these days. What splits them is whether they have 4WD, and aids like blind-spot warning, pedestrian alert etc on low trim levels. For good value plus good safety rating, I'd go Seat Tarraco. Pure safety? Volvo XC60 or XC90.— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
Personally I'm bored of SUVs so I hope we do see that - return to the humble estate would be nice - same space and handles better! Defo predict more electric searches - heading that way anyway and now we all appreciate the planet a little more...— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
Hi Layla, the last new diesel will be sold in 2035 (or is it 2032 - the govt keeps changing its mind), so a few more years. In practice though, they're increasingly banned from city centres, so depending on where you live, they're already so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-fish.— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
Hi Adeola, the big change happens in 2035, when sale of new petrol or diesel cars are banned. But lots of cities are starting to charge diesel drivers to enter. Best way to future-proof is to buy plug-in hybrid or pure electric next time round...— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
Hi, Kent to Devon is on the limit of most ranges. I say stay in the comfort zone and go plug-in hybrid, so you can do most daily drives on electric (approx 30 miles) but long journeys with fuel back-up. My pick? BMW X5, Volvo XC40 or Kia Nero hybrids, depending on budget— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
Hi Rebecca. At the low end of budget you've got the likes of Renault Zoe, Vauxhall Corsa Electric and Nissan Leaf, then likes of Hyundai Kona, Mini E, BMW i3 and VW ID3. Then premium include Audi Etron, Tesla Model 3, S or X, and Jaguar IPace. I'd go Leaf, Mini E, Tesla3. 🙂— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
You can also learn more about Erin’s suggested models here: Lower budget: • Renault Zoe • Vauxhall Corsa Electric • Nissan Leaf • Hyundai Kona • Mini E • BMW i3 • Volkswagen ID3 Premium: • Audi e-Tron • Tesla Model 3 • Tesla Model S • Tesla Model X • Jaguar iPace
Hi Ellie, good question! The DVLA has now said customers can do solo test drives on trade plates but the problem is most dealers' insurance requires the dealer to sit as a passenger in car. Not many are offering it. Call and get one teed up though for when this lifts!— Free Trader UK (@Free Trader UK_UK) May 6, 2020
As Erin says, the DVLA allow you take a solo test drive on trade plates provided the dealer’s insurance covers you — so this is something to check with dealers near you when lockdown lifts.