How to protect yourself against coronavirus when buying petrol

Smiling women filling car with fuel

Ordinarily, fuelling up our cars is something we do with our eyes shut. Open the cap, pump the petrol, pay and go all in one swift motion. That was before coronavirus. Now, we have to be vigilant for our own protection and others to make sure everyone has a safe experience. 

In this article we’ll cover how to handle petrol stops with caution against coronavirus. So, even if you drive an electric car which usually has a contactless approach, read on to learn how you can prevent the virus spreading the next time you charge up. 

Mental preparation checklist

Remember to get a full tank 

This will stop you having to return too often to fill up your car and can potentially minimise your exposure to the virus.

Prepare to be slightly anti-social

Even as the lockdown eases we all have to continue observing social distancing measures. This means staying wary of coming too closely with any individual you don’t live with such as other drivers or staff. 

It’s best to get yourself used to this idea before you go and avoid any guilt about distancing yourself from peers. Though of course, you can still say a friendly hello!

Do not touch your face

Resist the urge to scratch, itch, rub or fuss over your face (especially your eyes, nose and mouth) while you’re out in public as a general rule of thumb.

Stick to the essentials

For a completely contact-free experience try to avoid doing anything other than getting fuel when at the petrol station. 

Including treats such as cold drinks or snacks you would usually get at a petrol station, in your weekly shop instead, will not only stop you doubling down on virus exposure; it will likely save you money too! Plus, if you get a home-delivered grocery shop you get complete convenience with zero of the exposure.


“Safety work is today recognized as an economic necessity. It is the study of the right way to do things.” – Robert W. Campbell, first president of the National Safety Council

Physical preparation checklist

Contactless is Key

Remember to take your credit or debit card to avoid a cash payment and any possibility of viral contact. 

Go with the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Stay safe with a new or freshly washed pair of protective gloves to wear while filling up your tank. If you don’t have gloves, make sure you take some disposable paper towel to wrap around the pump as you use it. 

The government recommends that all individuals wear a non-surgical face covering when entering an enclosed or densely populated space. If you don’t have one, be sure to use a scarf instead. 

Keep your hands clean

It’s extremely important your hands are clean both before and after you fill up, so make sure you pack antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizer too. These should be used before you touch the pump, even if you’re wearing gloves and actively reapplied before you get back in the car.