Coronavirus: How do I safely fill my car up at a petrol station?

Coronavirus: How do I safely fill my car up at a petrol station?

Here are the precautions you can take when filling up your vehicle

During the coronavirus pandemic, there is only a need to use our cars when it’s absolutely essential.

While this means many of us should be retiring our vehicles for the next few weeks, plenty of people will still need their cars for essential travel to work, and to get food and medical supplies.

This means you’ll still be needing to use fuel, and therefore will have to visit a petrol station at some point. The trouble is that petrol pumps gather germs, as hundreds of people may have been using it before you.

Here’s how you can still safely fuel your car…

Pay using contactless

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At these times, you should have as little face-to-face contact as possible, which is why paying at the pump is a much better option during these times, where it’s offered.

Many supermarket filling stations and Shell and BP offer contactless payments (something you should do where possible, rather than entering your pin), while some providers also let you pay for fuel using the smartphone app, which is an even better solution. Either way, you should be sure to follow social distancing guidelines while fuelling your car.

Wear gloves

Plenty of petrol stations already offered gloves at petrol stations, though few people probably used them before this virus started to rapidly spread.

However, petrol stations are now urging members of the public to use these provided gloves, which should be found at every pump. This helps to avoid you having to touch the pump, which is somewhere germs can easily build up from hundreds of hands. Consider bringing your own disposable gloves with, just in case.

Fill your tank to the max

While you might usually only put £15 of fuel into your car while filling it up, during this pandemic you should try to fill your car’s tank to the brim – meaning you won’t have to stop for petrol or diesel quite so often.

Just be aware that this could mean you spend over the accepted rate for contactless payments, though this is being increased from £30 to £45, as of April 1.

Take your own hand sanitiser

While hand sanitiser has been absolutely flying off the shelves in the past month, if you’ve been able to find some, make sure you bring it with you to the petrol station. Apply it beforehand to ensure your hands are clean, even before you put on gloves, and then continue filling up.

Once done, dispose of the gloves and then use anti-bacterial wipes (something you should keep in your car at present) to clean any areas of the pump you’ve touched. This ensures you’re being considerate of other people, as well as yourself. Bin any gloves and wipes after this, and then use the hand sanitiser once again before touching the steering wheel.

It might sound rather tedious, but during the current pandemic, you can only be too cautious.

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