THE social distancing measures introduced by the Government to combat Covid-19 have caused significant challenges for businesses.

As these measures are eased, greater numbers of company cars, vans, passenger vehicles and trucks will be returning to the roads in the coming months.

Many vehicles will have not been used for a period of time. The following considerations will assist in ensuring that vehicles are returned to the roads in a roadworthy condition.

All fluid levels should be checked before starting the engine to ensure they are at the recommended levels and there have been no leaks.

Left unattended a vehicle battery will eventually lose its charge. If the battery cable has been disconnected, it will need to be reconnected making sure the battery terminals are clean.

Tyres can develop flat spots when left for too long. A visual inspection will be required, and tyre pressures will need to be inflated to the recommended specification.

Brake discs should be examined for a build-up of rust. This should disappear once the vehicle is driven but look out for scoring.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing for all cars, vans and motorcycles from March 30, 2020. Owners/ fleet managers will need to reschedule the testing of vehicles in accordance with the exemption. MOT tests for lorries, buses and trailers were suspended for three months from March 21, 2020.

Scaled back, or suspended operations may have led businesses to lay-up their vehicles by making a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN). This will need to be reversed before the vehicle can be driven or parked on a public road.

Owners and fleet managers should ensure that motor insurance is in place and reinstated for any vehicles that were laid-up. They should check that any insurance policy that required renewal during the lockdown period was renewed.