Car Loaner Rules
First off, car dealers do not have to provide a loaner vehicle to a customer if their vehicle is under repairs that could last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. When car dealers provide a loaner, it is typically a courtesy service. The only exception to this is if your car is relatively new and under a warranty agreement that stipulates a loaner will be provided by the dealer during repairs.
However, some dealerships will work with a car rental company and help facilitate a deal that will keep you on the road until your car is repaired. Keep in mind that you have to be sure of the terms and conditions of the rental since it will most likely be your responsibility and not the car dealer’s responsibility if you wind up scammed by the car rental company.
If you are fortunate, however, the dealership might have an extra vehicle on hand that they use as an occasional loaner. You are good to go then, but need to understand that there are certain rules you have to abide by such as:
• Possessing transferable insurance and driver’s license.
• Not exceeding mileage limits.
• Keeping the loaner within the state.
• No smoking or transportation of pets or livestock.
• Being subject to a rental charge if not returned when specified.
• Fees could be charged to the driver when upon return, the courtesy vehicle has a lower level of fuel than it did when it was checked out.
• Parking tickets, toll violations, etc. are the sole responsibility of the person signing for the loaner vehicle which will be charged to a credit card plus processing fee.
• No abusive driving (some loaners have GPS tracking and accelerometer devices to catch offenders)
Loaner Stories Involving Bad Customers and Accidents
Previously, we’ve discussed some car dealership scams and a variety of unsavory business practices done by dealerships. In all fairness, it bears mentioning that not all dealerships are bad or sketchy---there do exist dealerships that really play fair and care about their customers.
That said, here is when it’s the customer who acts badly or has an accident with a loaner vehicle where we learn of some of the problems car dealerships have to deal with whenever they take a chance and provide a customer with a loaner vehicle.
The following is a recent video from “The Car Care Nut” YouTube channel, hosted by a mechanic who has some entertaining insight in car loaner stories that might make you understand why a dealership might not offer loaner cars to its customers.
Crazy Dealership Stories from the Inside : Loaner Edition
If you have a car loaner story, be sure to let us know about it in the comments section below.
For additional articles related to the topic, be sure to check out the following linked articles “A Dealership Horror Story That Could Happen To You”; and, “Scam Alert: What Dealerships Don’t Want You to Know About Used Car Inspections.”
Timothy Boyer is Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily automotive-related news.
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash