Is Car Washing Allowed During Lockdown?

Representational image - Sakshi Post

HYDERABAD: With the COVID-19 lockdown continuing across many parts of the world, people are not entirely sure about the rules surrounding car washing. With many local car washes temporarily closed, car owners are turning to coin-fed jet washer machines found at local garages to clean dirt build-up from their cars. But there is still widespread confusion on whether you are allowed to be outside using these alternative cleaning machines.

Different countries have set out different guidelines, which are changing often, depending on the current situation. The UK for example, has been quite clear – “avoid all no-essential travel”. This means you are only allowed to be outside your home to exercise, travel to and from work, to shop for essential foods, or to collect medicines.

Your weekly trip to the car wash would now be deemed a “no-essential” activity. In the UK, fixed penalty fines for being outside without good reason start at £100, and police have the power to arrest anyone not following social distancing orders.

It might be tempting to give your car a quick clean with a jetwash when you are at the garage filling up with petrol, but the fines and potential charges imposed makes it a very risky call. I personally have taken the chance and managed to clean my car with a jet wash machine, had a police car drove into the garage and found me washing my car, it could have been a different story, like this man in Australia found out when he was hit with a whopping $1,652 fine for washing his car.

At most petrol stations, the use of disposable gloves while using the petrol pump is compulsory. But there are no notices on jet washes. Of course, you do not know who has touched the jet wash handle before you, and contamination is a very real danger. It would make more sense for garages to turn these machines off and there would be no issue.

So, the hand car wash is closed, and you may risk a fine if you are caught using a garage jet wash, depending on the government’s guidance in your area. Now is probably the best time to invest in a home pressure washer machine so you can wash your car safely on the grounds of your own home. Thus, avoiding the risk of contaminating yourself with the dangerous Covid-19 virus, or getting yourself into trouble with the law.

Al lot of car owners have taken the leap already, which is reflected in the fact that so many online retailers have sold out of pressure washers. In fact, the Kingfisher home improvement group who own top DIY stores B&Q and Screwfix reported a surge in sales of leading electric pressure washers and other outdoor product lines.

Car cleaning is arguably an “essential” activity for safe driving, as you need clean windows to have clear driving visibility, and lights such as breaks, indicators, and headlights need to be clean at all times. Also, by cleaning the steering wheel, gear stick, door handles, controls, and interior, you can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses as set out in the recent guide issued by the RAC.

Bottom line - cars need to be cleaned for them to be operated safely on the road and by cleaning interiors with antibacterial wipes, you can help stop the spread of Covid-19. The problem is, different countries have different guidelines when it comes to allowing you to drive to, and use, a car wash. The best solution is to join the many motorists who have purchased a high power electric pressure washer and clean your car at home. And if you can’t afford one at the moment or you find that they’re sold out everywhere, then do it the old way, with buckets of water and a cloth.

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