COVID-19 has changed the way we approach everything, car repair is no different.
As the summer heats up so is the desire to travel. Especially since most of us have been under some sort of lockdown or quarantine for the last several months. With a bad case of cabin fever, we are ready to hit the road – in fact AAA forecasts that Americans will take nearly 700 car trips this summer – likely in vehicles that have been sitting idle for a while. It’s always important to have your car fully inspected before embarking on a long road trip but even more so now if you’ve been driving less. But, like everything else since COVID-19 has arrived, a trip to your local repair facility will be different than before. Here’s what you should expect:
- Encouraging customers to make appointments via phone, text or email. AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities offers online appointments for most shops through AAA’s Repair Central.
- Promoting contactless drop-off by asking customers to leave their vehicle in parking lot, placing keys in a sealed bag and placing in a secure night drop box.
- Relocating vehicle intake to the outside of the facility and placing keys in a sealed bag.
- Technicians required to use a seat cover, floor mat, steering wheel cover and bag over gearshift in each customer’s vehicle.
- Discontinuing courtesy shuttles for the time being and asking customers to drop off vehicle if possible versus waiting at the facility for service to be completed.
- Increased cleaning procedures for the facility including disinfecting high touch surfaces often and thorough sanitization of the entire facility daily.
- Reducing the number of seats in customer waiting area and removing communal beverage centers (coffee, water, etc.).
- Using digital inspection software to communicate repair information with customers.
- Taking secure payments over the phone or implementing touchless options such as Apple Pay, PayPal, Google Pay, Venmo, etc.
- Revising vehicle pick-up procedures by parking vehicle in a secure lot with invoice and keys in the visor or in a lock box for customers to retrieve.
- Providing personal protective equipment (face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer) to technicians, which they are required to wear.
- Posting handwashing procedures throughout the facility and advising staff to wash hands between every customer interaction and every time they enter or exit a vehicle.
Don’t let COVID-19 keep you from getting your car ready for your summer road trip. Not having your car in top shape can leave you stranded and cut your vacation short. Facilities that follow these guidelines are committed to keeping you and their employees safe.