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International Automotive Technicians Network
Re: Loaner Vehicle
Posted to Shop Management Forum on 12/5/2015 10 Replies

Never, EVER, call them "Loaner Vehicles". First the obvious, then the not-so-obvious. The term "loaner" implies no responsibility, no cost. What do you think when you send in an air tool for repairs and the tool guy gives you a "loaner" until yours if fixed? Do you expect to pay him something for the loaner, or if it breaks, or gets stolen?

In a court of law, there is a WORLD OF DIFFERENCE between a loaner car and a rental car. Naming it a rental car reduces your liability.

Although I'm sure there's going to be those who disagree with me, but... it has been my experience that there's no such thing as rental car insurance. I have not been able to find an insurance company in Texas or Utah who will let me rent a car to any customer without knowing their driving record, insurance policy, and fully insure them. Every insurance person I've spoken to tells me it's a myth.

They also tell me that's why all of the car rental companies are self-insured.

Early in my career, I did loaner cars. After I got smart (or so I thought) I switched to rental cars. I had nothing but a bad experience with both. I rate providing substitute transportation (by any name you want to call it) right up there with financing work. It's a loss center as far as I'm concerned.

Yes, I've read articles in trade magazines where some successful shop somewhere in B.F.E. is having great success with loaner vehicles, it's a profit center, and it brings in tons of business. That's about as close as I've ever been to it... just read about it. Never met anybody, though.

One thing I did notice. When I quit providing substitute transportation, my clientèle seemed to improve.

Larry Bloodworth
Technical Information Specialist/Technician
Tanner Transmissions
Draper, Utah, USA

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