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Buying a car privately during lockdown - does it break the law?


Over most of the last 12 months, the UK has been in some form of 'lockdown'. The lastest lockdown began on 5th January 2021, where Over most of the last 12 months, the UK has been in some form of 'lockdown'. The lastest period began on 5th January 2021. Again, people have been asked to stay at home unless they leave for a specified, permissible reason. 


Car dealers have been allowed to conduct business on a 'click and collect' basis. Many dealers have processes in place now that keep both themselves safe, as well as their customers. This is in contrast to the first lockdown in 2020, where many motor dealers were forced to shut. 


But, what is the situation if you buy a car privately?  does private car buying break lockdown rules?


Officers from the Central Motorway Police Group reported a driver of a Volkswagen Golf. The driver was returning from a buying the vehicle in a private transaction. 


The CMPG confirmed in a tweet:

"A 100-mile round trip to pick up a car in a private car swap deal isn't a good or lawful reason to be out at 10 pm."


The CMPG went on to comment to Car Dealer Magazine "While it is not necessarily a breach of Covid-19 rules to buy a replacement vehicle if required for essential travel, a car swap is not deemed appropriate during the current lockdown restrictions."


Nona Bowkis, of legal experts Lawgistics, confirmed that whilst 'click and collect' arrangements through motor dealers are allowed, buying a car from a private individual may break the law. 


She pointed out that you can leave home to collect goods purchased 'from a business' but collecting from a private individual was not in the rules. 


So if you are tempted to buy a vehicle privately from eBay, the Autotrader of Gumtree then you might need to think again.