With COVID-19 prompting Melbourne into harsh Stage 4 lockdown, driving in Australia’s second largest city won’t be easy. Most of the city’s five million residents who are affected by the lockdown will see their cars doing very little driving. Melbounians must stay at home and wear masks when outside the house or risk being fined.
With strict guidelines as to where residents can travel, we’ve made a definitive guide based off the government’s guidelines letting you know what you can, and can’t do.
Note: These guidelines should not be treated as legal advice and if you need head to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) COVID-19 website for further clarification.
When and where can I drive my car?
Residents of metropolitan Melbourne are only allowed to leave their house between the hours of 5:00am and 8:00pm due to the curfew, and can only leave for one of four reasons: medical care, caregiving, to get food/necessary supplies or work/study. Anyone travelling to work must have an Essential Worker Permit.
Melbournians can only drive up to 5km from their home with food/necessary supplies including collecting take-away food, refuelling your vehicle, grocery shopping or medical supplies. You’ll have to be back within the hour however as that is the time limit for each outing.
There are however a few permissible reasons to drive beyond the 5km radius from your home, including to visit an intimate partner or in situations where parents have shared-custody arrangements, In all cases the however, the curfew from 8:00pm to 5:00am must be strictly followed, apart from in the case of an emergency.
Any breach of these laws will be met with an on-the-spot fine of $1652 per person.
Can I go just for a recreational drive?
Sadly, no, unlike in Stage 3 previously. For the next few weeks you will no longer be permitted to leave home to go for a drive.
Can I buy a new car?
Surprisingly, yes! But this does come with a few caveats. Whilst Melbourne’s car dealerships, car yards and showrooms must all remain closed during Stage 4 restrictions leading to poor sales figures as seen last month, you are allowed to purchase a car online and then have it delivered to you.
Can I get my car serviced or repaired?
Whilst the service departments of dealerships are allowed to remain open, logbook and scheduled servicing are not permitted. This means that only emergency repairs and servicing can be performed, provided that your service centre is within 5km of your home. That next oil change or service will have to sadly wait a few more weeks.
Some car parts stores have remained open for click and collect purchase options.
Can I wash my car?
You’ll have to wash your car on your own property. All public car washes were required to close as part of the lockdown.
We really are living in unprecedented times, and the more we stay home, the sooner we’ll be able to experience the joy of travel and have our freedom to travel. Stay posted for our further COVID-19 articles as we navigate these tough times!