Easing coronavirus restrictions as part of Victoria’s four-step path out of lockdown stage 4 are now permitting car owners to have routine servicing performed on their vehicles.
When introduced at the start of August, the strictest lockdown rules imposed for the Melbourne metropolitan area prevented anyone leaving their home for any purpose other than the ‘four reasons’ - including car care - but as of September 16, vehicle maintenance is now allowed.
Previous restrictions had been a cause of confusion for some car owners with the rules stating that ‘essential and critical repair work’ was authorised, leading to uncertainty over what constituted the most important maintenance.
It was also causing headaches for owners of vehicles requiring servicing work to maintain a new vehicle warranty. In those cases, adhering to coronavirus lockdown restrictions might have meant defaulting on a scheduled service and voiding their warranty.
However, lobbying by the VACC and other automotive bodies has clarified and eased the situation with the more relaxed car maintenance policy coming into effect from September 16.
Owners will still need to comply with the longer curfew which now extends from 5am to 9pm as well as the 5km radius limit of travel, unless the relevant authorised service centre does not fall within the catchment.
In which case, the owner will need to book the service at the next nearest dealership or authorised service centre. They are not permitted to travel to a dealership of their choice.
Dealerships and service centres will not appear to be functioning as normal with strict physical distancing, the use of PPE including masks, and contactless booking and handover implemented wherever possible. This may include key drop boxes to reduce contact.
The rules regarding general use of cars and driving remain in place, however.
Until Step 3 is introduced (tentatively planned for October 23) travelling in your car is generally only allowed to fulfil one of the four reasons. If in doubt, check with the relevant government website.
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