You’re in an accident, and you need auto body repair services. Now, your car is out of commission for awhile. How are you going to get around without a vehicle? Uber? Lyft? Excellent alternatives, but you have a business trip to LA. The solution; an auto body shop loaner car.
Your Auto Body Shop Loaner Car
A loaner car is a replacement vehicle that is offered to a customer at an auto body shop if lengthy repairs or maintenance are needed to their vehicle. A loaner vehicle is often considered a selling point for most auto repair shops and can be convenient for customers who need their vehicle worked on but still need to go about their day. The loaner vehicle is essentially a rental car but is usually offered for free at most auto shops.
What kind of a car is used for a loaner car?
Available loaner will range depending on the auto body or repair shop. Most auto body shops will have options for all needs, including cars, SUVs, and truck options. The loaner car can essentially be any vehicle that the repair shop decides to use.
Often, loaner vehicles are purchased at auto auctions for a discounted cost.
The shop’s responsibility for a loaner car
The shop must provide working and well-maintained vehicles as options for loaners to ensure the driver’s safety on the road and the reliability of the vehicle while in the customer’s possession. Each loaner vehicle must be insured due to liability reasons. The shop will lay out a rental agreement with the customer that will define who is liable for damage to the vehicle.
The agreement will usually state that in the case of an accident, the customer’s insurance will have primary responsibility. However, the agreement can align to whatever the auto shop wants.
The driver’s responsibility for a loaner car
If you’re driving a loaner car given to you by an auto repair shop, the best practice is to check with your insurance company first before driving to make sure you’re covered for loaners. Most personal auto insurance policies will cover a loaner that is serving as a temporary replacement for your vehicle.
However, it’s always in your best interest to check and make sure. As the driver of a loaner car, you have to be cautious while driving the vehicle and remember your policy agreement.
You may be required to fill up the gas tank of the loaner as well, so keep that in mind.
Insurance company’s responsibility for a loaner car
Most personal insurance companies will cover the cost of a claim on a loaner vehicle, depending on the agreement at hand and the situation. In the case of an accident after a collision, the driver will file an insurance claim and will most likely have to cover the deductible if needed.
The claim will most likely cause the driver’s insurance rates to increase as most claims do. The auto shop’s insurance will usually only come into play if other costs are incurred that are not covered by the driver’s insurance policy.
A loaner vehicle can be a huge convenience to a customer who is having lengthy repairs completed on their vehicle and is without a car for a few days. However, it is entirely optional for an auto repair shop to have loaners, so it may not always be an option.
A rental car can also be acquired through a car rental agency such as Enterprise or Hertz if needed but can be costly at times. If a loaner car isn’t available, Uber or Lyft is always a good option for getting to and from where you need to be and will save you money.