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Clarification On Dealership Operating Hours

May 21, 2020

Over the past two months, Governor Murphy has issued various Executive and Administrative Orders imposing limitations on retail businesses in New Jersey in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several of those Orders imposed restrictions on the operations of new car and truck dealerships. NJ CAR’s consistent advocacy resulted in dealers being allowed to conduct in-person vehicle service, online or remote retail sales activity, and limited test drives. To maintain customer and employee safety, all such activities remain subject to strict social mitigation and public health practices as spelled out in the Governor’s Orders.

On May 19, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Administrative Order No. 2020-13 in response to NJ CAR’s months-long lobbying effort for in-person sales. This new Order allowed in-person sales by appointment only but still required the strict social mitigation and public health practices of prior Orders. NJ CAR understands that this Order has produced some confusion among dealers about permissible hours of operation for retail showrooms.

Please note that Administrative Order 2020-13 makes no express changes to the Governor’s prior Orders regarding permissible hours of operation. Rather, retail showrooms (again, open by appointment only) and service departments are now both considered essential retail businesses, which are not subject to specific limitations on their operating hours.

The only condition regarding hours of operation for vehicle service and appointment-only sales is the requirement that dealers establish some special hours of operation, wherever possible, that permit access solely to high-risk individuals, as defined by the CDC.

NJ CAR is committed to keeping its member-dealers updated regarding any further requirements imposed on dealerships during the COVID-19 crisis. As these requirements change, NJ CAR will keep you informed.