With the number of local COVID-19 infections continuing to rise, enhanced social-distancing measures are now in force.
From April 7 to May 4, everyone must work from home and avoid going out as much as possible. Only those who work in an essential industry should be going to their workplace.
That said, what does this “circuit-breaker” period mean for car owners?
YOUR VEHICLE INSPECTION IS DEFERRED.
If your car is due for inspection during this period, it is automatically deferred.
As for road tax, LTA will allow the road tax for such vehicles to be renewed for six months if they have valid insurance coverage. Hence, they can still be driven during this period.
However inspection remains mandatory for goods vehicles, private-hire vehicles, taxis, buses and motorcycles.
IF YOU DEREGISTER OR HAVE DEREGISTERED YOUR CAR…
If you have deregistered your car and must dispose of it within this period, you have another two months to do so.
For commercial vehicle owners who must scrap their vehicle during this time, you have another two months to register a replacement vehicle under the Early Turnover Scheme.
YOU MUST STILL PAY ROAD TAX AND INSURANCE.
COVID-19 or no COVID-19, road tax and motor insurance remain here to stay.
If your car is less than three years old, it doesn’t require inspection yet. Therefore, if the road tax and insurance is due during this period, you must still renew them.
HOORAY, NO ERP!
Yes, ERP will not be levied during this time. All the gantries will remain switched off. This is probably the only “advantage” COVID-19 has given drivers.
However, this is not the time to go joyriding. Drive out for groceries once a week. That should be enough to keep the car’s battery charged.
SERVICING YOUR CAR MIGHT BE INCONVENIENT.
According to the Government, servicing and emergency vehicle recovery is only available for emergency vehicles.
Authorised dealers have closed their showrooms and workshops. If want to service your vehicle there, you must wait until these measures are lifted.
What if you need to make a warranty claim during this time? The best thing to do is ask your dealer if they can extend your vehicle warranty. Torque understands that so far, only Kia has announced that it is doing this.
(Update: Renault, Hyundai and BMW have indicated that they will also extend warranties that end during this period. BMW owners must inform the authorised agent of their situation.)
However, if you really need to get your car serviced, several third-party independent workshops remain open.
SELLING YOUR CAR JUST GOT HARDER.
If you’ve been trying to or planning to sell your car, the enhanced social-distancing measures to fight COVID-19 just made it harder.
Even if you can get someone to check out and test-drive your car, you shouldn’t. Stay home and avoid contact with others!
BUYING A BRAND-NEW CAR IS TOUGH, TOO.
With the COVID-19 pandemic requiring “circuit-breaker” measures, car showrooms have been closed. COE bidding has also been suspended for this month.
Unofficially, you can still buy a brand-new car. If the dealership has the COE to register the vehicle and the salesperson can make the necessary arrangements, that is.
But even if you could, you shouldn’t. We all need to stay home and avoid contact with others as much as possible.
Car inspections and scrapping deferred from April 7 to May 4
COVID-19: COE bidding suspended due to enhanced social distancing measures