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Garages allowed to stay open, government confirms

The Government has confirmed that garages – as well as rental firms – can stay open during the coronavirus outbreak, bringing essential support for key workers.

Garages have been included in the list of ‘exceptions’ in the retail sector which can stay open

It means that while dealership showrooms have closed their doors, garages have been included in the list of ‘exceptions’ in the retail sector which can stay open. These also include supermarkets, health shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, car rentals, amongst others.

The latest guidance, published on 23 March, aligns with the Government’s previous statement describing key workers in the transport sector as “those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.”

The announcement was welcomed by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK. Director Sue Robinson said: “Aftersales workshops and their technicians will play an important role in ensuring that critical vehicles can continue to operate safely and efficiently during these challenging times.”

However, the DVSA has since said that cars, motorcycles and vans will be granted MOT exemption during the coronavirus outbreak. The much-anticipated move will apply from 30 March 2020 and enables drivers to carry on with essential travel, including for work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or to shop for necessities, as laid out in government guidance. However, drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.