Coronavirus: Servicing permitted

16 SEPTEMBER 2020

Stage 4 restrictions pertaining to logbook and scheduled vehicle servicing have been eased, after a long and collaborative discussion between VACC and the Victorian Government.

Any vehicle, be it for a permitted industry or a member of the public, can now have a routine service or scheduled service performed.

This advice is confirmed on the Business Victoria website, under Frequently Asked Questions:

Routine maintenance (i.e. logbook or scheduled maintenance) is permitted as a standalone service for safety purposes only, including for repairs and product recalls. Under the current guidance, automotive, machinery and equipment repair and maintenance are permitted to operate:

  • where service providers are providing support to a permitted service or industry or
  • where it is required to maintain the health and safety of Victorians at home or at work (e.g. routine maintenance, vehicle repairs and critical maintenance including disinfection).

“VACC has been in constant dialogue with the Victorian Government and is pleased that the government has listened to our reasoned arguments and put the safety of motorists first,” said VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym.

Previously under Stage 4 conditions, motorists living in the metro Melbourne area were not permitted to book routine servicing (logbook or scheduled maintenance) for their vehicle/s as a standalone service. Additional service work to a vehicle was only lawful when urgent vehicle repairs were being undertaken – in those cases, maintenance and servicing could then be completed at the same time, to keep the vehicle roadworthy. As a result, many metro Melbourne motorists were left vulnerable.

“VACC research indicates that Victorian new car dealers saw an 81.1 percent drop in vehicles presented for service between June and August. This, when factoring in motorcycles and trucks, could have led to half a million vehicles missing their regular service ‘window’ by December – if the government had not listened to industry feedback and insight. Critical repairs may have been missed. This is not only dangerous but would have produced a backlog that was unlikely to be cleared in time for the end-of-year holiday period,” said VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym.

The automotive industry is ready to safely provide their services to metro Melbourne motorists once again. Business owners have adapted quickly in order to adhere to government COVID-19 safety advice, with many businesses adopting a contactless service model and implementing options such as key drop-off box facilities, contactless payment (‘tap and go’, online banking or over the phone payments), emailing of invoices and work authorisation via SMS or email.

The servicing announcement reflects the government’s commitment to maintaining motorist safety and recognises the essential role that the automotive industry plays in the community and the economy.