Motoring

Victoria’s lockdown: What you can and can’t do with your car

We explore when you’re allowed to drive your car in Victoria under the current restrictions.

Victorian residents are enduring yet another lockdown, in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus through the community.

The snap seven-day lockdown began on 11:59pm on Thursday 28 May 2021, with those within Victoria permitted to leave their house for five reasons only:

  • Food and essential supplies
  • Authorised work
  • Care and caregiving
  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccination
  • Exercising for a maximum of two hours per day, with one other person

While it is mandatory to wear a mask when not at home, both indoors and outdoors, you are not required to wear a mask in your own personal car.

Gatherings, functions, and visitors are not permitted at your premises, though your intimate partner is allowed at your residence. Single parents and those who live alone can nominate someone to be of their ‘single social bubble’, allowing that person to visit your home.

The lockdown brings a return to the five-kilometre rule, which stipulates Victorians must stay within a 5km radius of their residence for exercise or to buy food and shopping, unless it is otherwise impractical to do so (for example, if your property is more than 5km from a supermarket).

If you are leaving your house for any of the five reasons, you may use your car, provided you are within the 5km boundary or have a lawful reason which exempts you from that rule.

It’s worth noting that permitted work, care and caregiving, and vaccinations are exempt from the 5km restriction.

If you don’t have a driver’s licence, you may accept a lift with someone from within your household in order to carry out one of the five reasons.

According to the State Government’s own Stay at Home Directions, it says you may leave your premises “for the purpose of driving a person with whom they ordinarily reside where it is not otherwise reasonably practicable for that person to leave their premises for a purpose permitted under, and provided they comply with, these directions”.

For example, “driving a household member who is an authorised worker or works for an authorised provider, and who does not have a driver’s licence, to or from work”. 

Under the Stay at Home Directions, simply taking your car for a drive is not a valid excuse, even if it is within the 5km radius of your home. You may stop to get fuel if you’re driving as part of one of the five reasons to leave your premises.

Breaking the rules can attract fines of up to $19,826.40 for individuals. As an organisation, failure to comply could attract fines of up to $99,132.

The current lockdown will remain in place until 11:59pm on 3 June 2021, but the government may end it sooner or extend it, depending on case numbers and expert advice.

For more information, you can read the full coverage at 9News.

Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than 15 years. Ben was previously an interstate truck driver and completed his MBA in 2021.

Ben began publishing car reviews and opinion pieces before being appointed Motoring Editor for an online lifestyle magazine. Working throughout the automotive industry in various marketing and communications roles over the past 15 years, he has written freelance on the topics of cars and watches for a number of publications. Ben is considered an expert in the area of classic car investment, which combines his love of finance, macroeconomics, and all things automotive. Ben lives in Melbourne and enjoys music, road trips, and the outdoors. 

See all of Ben’s articles

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