Tip of the Week: Buying a Loaner Car

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Should you consider buying a loaner vehicle?

The short answer is yes. You can usually save thousands on a nearly brand new car. Dealerships often offer hefty discounts and many manufacturers now offer factory rebates on loaner cars and sometimes even 0% financing like you’d normally find on a brand new car.

But before you get caught up in the savings, you have to do your homework, just as you would with any other car purchase.

#1: Make sure you verify the car’s driving history.

You want to know if the car has a normal driving history or if there is anything unusual about it. You never know who the vehicle is being loaned out to during its dealership service. Plus, always check accident history as you would when buying any vehicle.

#2: Inspect it for damage.

Check it out carefully in good light. You’re looking for dents, chips in the windshield and uneven tire wear.  

 #3: Look at the odometer.

Pay close attention to mileage. Loaner cars are usually in service 90 days before they can qualify to be sold. During that time, they can rack up very different mileage, some more than others. So go with the one with the lowest mileage that meets your needs.

#4:  Ask about the vehicle’s factory warranty.

Ask how the factory warranty is affected since there are miles already on the car. Make sure you know when the original factory warranty was dated. Try to get an extension if some of the warranty time is up, otherwise, you may end up losing months of warranty service.

#5: Do a price comparison.

Finally, ask for a quote on a brand new model of the same car. Compare prices to see how good of a deal you’re being offered for the loaner.

By following these tips you can make an informed decision on whether a loaner is the right vehicle for you.

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