With a large number of vehicles off the road as people quarantine, some definite benefits have emerged, both macro and micro. With less people driving, there has been less congestion (and less congestion related stress) and less pollution. For the individual driver, not getting behind the wheel every day inevitably means saving money on gas.
However, there are downsides for individual drivers to keeping your vehicle off the road for an extended period of time, as detailed by Eric Novak in MoneySense. He explains that vehicles actually benefit from being driven regularly and the longer a vehicle sits idle, the more maintenance and repairs may be required later on.
"Vehicles are a lot like the muscles in our body, in that if we don't use them, they'll begin to atrophy. So just as we take steps while sheltering in place to maintain our physical well-being... we should be doing things to ensure our vehicle stays in good working order as well."
There are a number of things that can occur when vehicle remain unused for long periods of time, from corroded brakes to drained batteries. However, by taking the right preventative measures to keep your vehicle maintained, you can avoid costly repairs later.
Novak spoke to a mechanic who dished out some solid advice for those who won't be driving much during this period. Some things you can do to keep your vehicle in good working order include keeping vehicles inside a parking garage as opposed to outside (when possible) and using a battery tender to keep your vehicle battery from draining.
The best remedy, however, is the most simple:
"... the best thing owners can do is to take their vehicles out frequently for a drive... it doesn't have to be for long periods of time, but they shouldn't be left unused for prolonged periods."
If you'd like to read more on how you can maintain your vehicle, check out the original article in MoneySense.