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Twitter Q&A with Erin Baker

Erin Baker, Auto Trader's Editorial Director, recently held a live Twitter Q&A on everything from looking after cars in lockdown to turning electric in the new normal. Here's some of your top questions, answered.

Erin Baker

Additional words by: Erin Baker

Published on 12 May 2020 | 0 min read

We recently held a Twitter Q&A with Erin Baker, Auto Trader’s Editorial Director, Lamborghini advisory board member and all-round car super brain.
Here’s some of the most common questions you posted on Twitter.
Will the pandemic change how we travel, and could it make cars harder to buy or sell?
Most of us will still need to travel but the virus has put a lot of people off public transport.
Auto Trader’s recent survey found that 56% of drivers who don’t currently own a car are now thinking of buying one when lockdown lifts. They shouldn’t be harder to sell – if anything we may see demand outstrip supply in the short-term. We’d recommend that those looking to privately sell their car thoroughly clean and disinfect it before handing it over or allowing any test drives.
How can I look after my car during lockdown?
We had quite a few questions on how best to look after your car during lockdown. We go into more detail in our article on keeping your car working and safe during lockdown but at a top level we’d recommend taking your car for a regular spin once a week to keep the engines, batteries, brakes and tyres in decent condition. If it’s a diesel, at least 30 minutes’ driving is recommended to get the engine warm and stop the filter blocking.
Ideally, line your car trip up with some essential travel – like going for a weekly shop.

Can I get a tax or insurance rebate while my car isn’t in use?
Some insurers are offering partial refunds so it’s worth checking in with yours to see what their plan is.
As for tax, the only way to claim money back is to SORN the car with the DVLA. This’ll have to be done online as the DVLA aren’t currently dealing with paper applications. Just remember that you can’t drive the car once it’s been declared SORN. If you’ve any questions about what the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown means for you as a driver, check out our coronavirus FAQ page.
It wasn’t all coronavirus-related though, and plenty were picking Erin’s brain on the best cars on the used and new car markets.
What’s the best family car?
You can see our top picks for best family car here.
Erin recommended families should opt for reliability over style, and keep an eye on warranties and the cost of servicing when making their decision. • Ford FocusDacia SanderiHyundai i30Vauxhall CorsaKia Rio
What’s the best car you’ve ever driven?
As a former race licence holder, perhaps it’s unsurprising that Erin opted for the performance weapon that is the Lamborghini Aventador.
What’s the best family SUV?
SUVs have been massively popular over the last few years. The added ground clearance gives a sense of safety on the road, and the choice means there’s a model for just about everyone – here are some of our top picks:
Best SUVs 2020Best small SUVsBest seven-seater SUVs
Others took a different view of where SUVs would be once we lift lockdown:
Similarly, a lot of people were asking about when the shift to electric would happen…
And what they should be looking for if they wanted to go electric…
You can learn more about electric cars here, or check out our guides to electric car range, batteries and charging.
You can also learn more about Erin’s suggested models here: Lower budget: • Renault ZoeVauxhall Corsa ElectricNissan LeafHyundai KonaMini EBMW i3Volkswagen ID3 Premium: • Audi e-TronTesla Model 3Tesla Model STesla Model XJaguar iPace
Can I take a car for a test drive during lockdown?
If you’re in the market for buying a car, we encourage you to check our guide to buying and selling during the coronavirus outbreak.
As Erin says, the DVLA allow you take a solo test drive on trade plates provided the dealer’s insurance covers you — so this is something to check with dealers near you when lockdown lifts.