Restrictions placed on aftermarket businesses under new emergency measures

The latest restrictions appear to indicate that garages may still provide an emergency call out service, it may also be possible for garages to collect, repair and return a vehicle especially where it is the vehicle of an emergency or essential worker

The latest restrictions appear to indicate that garages may still provide an emergency call out service, it may also be possible for garages to collect, repair and return a vehicle especially where it is the vehicle of an emergency or essential worker

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The announcement of further emergency measures to combat the Covid 19 crisis by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has meant a change in the status of automotive aftermarket businesses.

The National Public Health Emergency Team has recommended that all non-essential retail outlets will close to members of the public and all other retail outlets are to implement physical distancing. Until Friday, retailers involved in the repair of motor vehicles were classed as essential, allowing garages, bodyshops and motor factors to remain open. However, under the new measures, the status of these businesses has changed and they may now offer emergency call-out or delivery services only.

This appears to indicate that the premises of garages need to be closed to the public, but the garage may still provide an emergency call out service. It may also be possible for garages to collect, repair and return a vehicle especially where it is the vehicle of an emergency or essential worker. 

The situation with regards to motor factors appears to indicate that they may still deliver goods but should not allow customers in-store to make general purchases, although they should still be allowed to sell personal protection and cleaning items.

Clearly it is important for a flow of parts to be maintained to facilitate the repair of vehicles for emergency services, food distribution and essential services and workers, so parts distributors and motor factors will be required to maintain at least some services over the next two weeks. 

This is obviously a fast moving situation and further clarity on how aftermarket businesses can continue to provide some services is likely to emerge in the coming days.