Normally it can take weeks to book in a car for a routine service but the lockdowns have made it easier to make an appointment.
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Anyone who has been putting off taking their car in for a routine service has been encouraged to take advantage of quiet workshops during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Car dealership service centres have reported a slowdown in traffic in the past few weeks but remain open as an “essential service” to carry out repairs, recalls and warranty fixes for emergency vehicles, essential service fleets and work cars.

However, the Australian Automotive Dealers Association (AADA) says there is still ample capacity for routine maintenance of privately owned cars.

“We actually saw a surge in service centres across Australia ahead of the lockdowns as many motorists anticipated more stringent measures might be in place,” said James Voortman, the CEO of the AADA. “But it has slowed in recent weeks and there is definitely capacity in the dealer network to accept more cars.

“Our message is: if anyone is delaying taking their car in for any kind of maintenance, now is a good time to get it done. Most workshops have the capacity to take more work and all workshops should have access to most routine parts.”

All car showrooms and service centres across Australia have adopted social distancing and sterilisation practices.

Earlier this week Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus offered a free pick-up and drop-off service – and supply a loan car – and will return owners’ cars having been thoroughly cleaned after a scheduled service.

Ford has a free loan car service at selected dealers. Outlets representing other brands from time to time provide a pick up and drop off service, but this is usually offered by individual dealers rather than a company-wide policy, so it might be worth asking if your nearest service centre can help.

Some car dealers have adopted new techology than enables them to send short videos outlining potential repairs beyond routine maintenance. The videos show damage or leaks so the customer knows the feedback is legitimate. See separate story here.