The Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) said it welcomes the news that Victoria’s Stage 4 restrictions on logbook and scheduled vehicle servicing have been eased in Melbourne, after a long and collaborative discussion with the state government.
The VACC said it applauds the government’s move to review the servicing restriction placed on motorists and the automotive industry, saying it will continue to support decisions made to protect the safety of all Victorians. The VACC added that 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.
Any vehicle can now have a routine service or scheduled service performed, regardless of whether it is for a permitted industry or a member of the public.
“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 Geoff Gwilym, CEO of the VACC.
As the VACC points out, previously under Stage 4 conditions, motorists living in the metropolitan Melbourne area were not permitted to book routine servicing (logbook or scheduled maintenance) for their vehicle 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, the VACC says many metropolitan 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,” said Gwilym. “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.”
The VACC says the automotive industry is ready to safely provide their services to metropolitan Melbourne motorists once again. Business owners have adapted quickly 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), and emailing of invoices and work authorisation via SMS or email.