No, you won't be able to buy (or service) a car just yet

Motor dealers have to wait for level 3 to open their doors, but automotive factories may start producing vehicles again from May 1

25 April 2020 - 18:04 By Denis Droppa
Regular car servicing will only resume under level 2 of the newly-announced lockdown conditions.
Regular car servicing will only resume under level 2 of the newly-announced lockdown conditions.
Image: Supplied

Local car factories will be able to start assembling vehicles again in a limited manner when level 4 restrictions are implemented from May 1, but motor dealerships will only be allowed to start selling cars again under level 3.

Emergency motor repairs will be allowed under level 4 but general repairs and servicing will only be allowed under level 2.

This is according to the detailed Covid-19 Risk Adjusted Strategy announced by government on Saturday. President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced that from May 1 there will be a phased approach to lifting the hard lockdown and easing its rules which were implemented in March.

The new regulations mean that only emergency vehicle repairs may take place under level 4. Some owners therefore won't be able to service their vehicles in the time frame stipulated by their warranty conditions.

It is usually mandatory to have a vehicle serviced according to the recommended service intervals, which must be adhered to inside of a 2,000km or one month window either side of the interval, but a number of car companies have extended their service and maintenance plans to ensure customers are not negatively affected by the lockdown. And should a service plan expire during this time, they will also allow some leeway.

Here is how the phased relaxing of lockdown conditions will affect the motor industry and motorised travel in SA:


* Interprovincial travel is not permitted except to return to work with proof of employment, in exceptional circumstances such as funerals or essential services.

* Automotive manufacturing, including components, will be allowed, scaling up in phases to 50% employment.

* Components for vehicles undergoing emergency repairs where such vehicle is used by a person engaged in essential services work.

* Rental of motor vehicles to support other level 4 services.

* Public rail, minibus taxi and bus services resume at levels and on terms as will be set out in Directions, based on the progressive increase in commuter numbers during the various phases.

* E-hailing services subject to restrictions on capacity and times, and for permitted activities only.

* Emergency automobile repairs for all people.


* Automotive manufacturing, including components, scaling up in phases to 100% employment.

* Motor vehicle sales, subject to Directions.


* All automobile repairs.

* Interprovincial travel is permitted.

* Recreational, cultural and sporting activities and facilities, reopening subject to Directions [motor racing, car shows and so on].

* No limitation on personal movement but people are encouraged to limit movement to essential travel.

Full details on Coronavirus Risk-Adjusted strategy here