How to Use and Clean Your Shuttle in the Age of Social Distancing

For car dealerships, shuttles have long been an essential part of the business to satisfy customers’ needs. However, currently the coronavirus pandemic is reshaping how dealership customers are utilizing their time at a dealership. Many dealerships have decided to reduce shuttle usage to comply with social distancing restrictions and to help combat the spread for the virus. 

Here are some ways that your dealership can continue to manage the shuttle in the age of social distancing and beyond.

Social Distancing 

According to the CDC on their topic “Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation,” here is why we need to practice social distancing: “COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.”                            Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation

In this environment, dealerships need to ensure they are adhering to the latest safety protocol in the running and maintenance of their shuttles. 

Potential Social Distancing Solutions for Your Shuttle

  1. Limit passengers to 1 party at a time.
  2. Have customers sit in the opposite corner from the driver or in the 3rd row if it is available.
  3. Provide your drivers and passengers with masks and hand sanitizer.
  4. Avoid hand-shaking when greeting a passenger.


According to the CDC on their topic, “Cleaning and Disinfection for Non-emergency Transport Vehicles”: “The use of larger vehicles such as vans is recommended when feasible to allow greater social (physical) distance between vehicle occupants. Additionally, drivers should practice regular hand hygiene, avoid touching their nose, mouth, or eyes, and avoid picking up multiple passengers who would not otherwise be riding together on the same route. CDC recommends that individuals wear cloth face coverings in settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas with significant community transmission. Cloth face coverings may prevent people who don’t know they have the virus from transmitting it to others.”                                                                                                                                        Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Cleaning and Disinfection for Non-emergency Transport Vehicles

In addition to social distancing, it is crucial that your shuttles are properly and thoroughly sanitized when a driver returns to the dealership. 

Top 5 Vehicle Surfaces Where Viruses Gather

  1. Car keys and holder
  2. Steering wheel and gear shifts
  3. Exterior and interior door handles
  4. All vehicle switches, buttons, and dials
  5. Seat belts, seat belt buckles, car seats, and booster seats

Cleaning & Sanitizing Tips for Your Shuttle

When cleaning the shuttle, be sure to use the proper cleaning solutions and materials. Some tips:

  1. Clean and sanitize your vehicle after every trip.
  2. Wash the vehicle’s exteriors and interiors with soap and water. Soap, when the correct amount is used and it is applied for the recommended time, kills viruses.
  3. Don’t use solvents like alcohol, acetone, kerosene, etc. because they can damage the vehicle and they don’t kill viruses.
  4. Avoid using any cleaning solution that contains bleach.
  5. For leather surfaces, apply a leather conditioner after cleaning to prevent the leather from drying out.
  6. Don’t leave the vehicle’s interior to dry on its own. Instead wipe it dry to prevent damage.
  7. Make sure to clean the surfaces that are frequently touched (see above list).

Tips for Passengers & Drivers

Drivers and passengers alike need to take steps before, after, and while sharing the shuttle space to make sure they are physically protected. Some tips:

  1. Wash hands with soap and water as often as possible. If soap and water are not immediately available, use hand sanitizers with at least a 70% alcohol content.
  2. Wear a face mask at all times for added protection.
  3. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.