You can now get your car serviced and repaired

On any given day, a given vehicle will break down at the moment of maximum inconvenience to its owner. Or something like that.

Millions of vehicle owners around the world know this to be true. And if Albert Einstein hadn’t been so busy not combing his hair, he could probably have done the maths and explained precisely why this is so.

Having your car break down during lockdown is, of course, a moment of maximum inconvenience. No mechanics; no hire cars; few taxis; and few mates willing to risk the wrath of the law to give you a lift.

But, as the country has moved into Level 4 lockdown, some relief has arrived. Restrictions on auto repairs have been eased, albeit with limitations. Here are your options if you want to keep your wheels rolling.

Conditions for repair work under Level 4

According to information supplied by the Automobile Association (AA), among the conditions for repair work is that members of the public must make appointments before arriving at a workshop. In addition, the workshop must be in the municipal area in which the person lives.

When it comes to the servicing of vehicles, the regulations allow for routine servicing that is due, or overdue, in terms of the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals, whether due as a result of:

Mileage that has been done;The time interval since the last service;A recommendation for servicing by the vehicle’s  on-board computer;Requirement for urgent collision repairs;Recalls or warranty campaigns activated by the motor companies.Not all repairs have been classified as urgent

However, the AA points out that following are not classified as emergency repairs:

Cosmetic repairs, such as minor scratches and dents, or cosmetic enhancements;Voluntary or routine servicing that is not overdue in terms of manufacturer’s service intervals;Warranty campaigns of a cosmetic nature, unless the warranty is due to expire within 30 days of the intended repair date.Auto businesses that can now return to work

To complement the above, the government has also relaxed the restrictions on a number of auto business categories. The following may now open:

Auto electricians;Tyre fitment, windscreen replacement centres;Bond stores and parts distribution centres;Motor body repairers;Any other related business that can attend to the abovementioned repairs.

The AA has urged all motorists seeking repairs or routine servicing to first call the workshop to check if the work is permissible during Level 4 lockdown. It also reiterated that vehicles may only be accepted at workshops by prior appointment.

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