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Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

Old Jul 4th 2012, 2:23 am
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Question Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

Hi,

A google and a search of the forums isn't helping, so I hope you can help me with a quick question.

My car is showing symptoms of needing fairly immediate attention from a mechanic. It's still within warranty, so I'm reasonably confident it will be fixed by the original dealership without an eye-watering bill, but I don't know the custom over here regarding courtesy cars.

In the UK, if I took a car in to a dealership for a major service or repair, I would usually get a courtesy car for the day to get me to and from work. Granted I'd have to book in advance to get it, but scheduling was the only issue. Are courtesy/loan cars common here?

The obvious question would be to ask the garage, but the fault appeared after hours and they are shut tomorrow for the holiday. Plus it would be useful to know if they loan cars as standard, or only if you kick up a fuss about a warranty repair etc.....

Thanks in advance for any advice! If it helps, it's a Mini and I'll be going back to the Mini/BMW dealership where she came from...
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 2:33 am
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Default Re: Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

We've always been given courtesy cars whilst ours are being serviced/repaired. Saying that I think we've usually booked it.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 2:35 am
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Default Re: Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

Personally I have never got a courtesy car but BMW may be more upmarket? They will usually give you a ride somewhere or when I have had it in for accident repairs I have hired a car.

edit: yes I see the more upmarket places do

another edit: actually I did get a courtesy car once, it was an ancient bloody death-trap must have been blocking out the memory.

Last edited by Sally Redux; Jul 4th 2012 at 2:40 am.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 2:38 am
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Default Re: Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

With independent places, it varies (but I'd had a courtesy car from a one-man place). With a major dealer, you should be able to expect a courtesy car. You could always call the dealer in advance, but you should be alright.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 2:42 am
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Default Re: Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

"Loaners" are common at dealerships and some larger car repair places, but you should schedule in advance. You'll also need to provide proof of insurance.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 2:47 am
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Default Re: Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

Originally Posted by yellowroom View Post
Hi,

A google and a search of the forums isn't helping, so I hope you can help me with a quick question.

My car is showing symptoms of needing fairly immediate attention from a mechanic. It's still within warranty, so I'm reasonably confident it will be fixed by the original dealership without an eye-watering bill, but I don't know the custom over here regarding courtesy cars.

In the UK, if I took a car in to a dealership for a major service or repair, I would usually get a courtesy car for the day to get me to and from work. Granted I'd have to book in advance to get it, but scheduling was the only issue. Are courtesy/loan cars common here?

The obvious question would be to ask the garage, but the fault appeared after hours and they are shut tomorrow for the holiday. Plus it would be useful to know if they loan cars as standard, or only if you kick up a fuss about a warranty repair etc.....

Thanks in advance for any advice! If it helps, it's a Mini and I'll be going back to the Mini/BMW dealership where she came from...
If I had a Mini and it broke down, I would mention it on the internet, and expect faultless service. Ohhh.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 2:55 am
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Default Re: Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

Entirely depends on the place and how much notice you give them.

I've had loaners from second hand dealers if they've had plates spare, one time another nice car, another time it was a right beater and then at our last garage, they usually always had a few if you needed a car for a day or two. Only had to fill the tank up when you returned it. That place was a petrol station garage and they had 3 old beaters, saying that, the Oldsmobile they kept giving me was awesome, those massive bucket seats and AC that was arctic cold, lovely stuff...way more comfy than our Saab

If you got a car from a dealer and it's in warranty and they don't have a loaner, ask them to get and stump for a rental. That might depend on the state, but we managed that and ended up with a F-150 for a few days as it was the only one the local rental had at that moment, that was great fun too
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 3:39 am
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Default Re: Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Entirely depends on the place and how much notice you give them.
Exactly. We've never been offered a courtesy car. The dealers/mechanics we've gone to don't offer those services. But I think some of more up market dealers might. I think Lexus has offered those services to my mom before, but Honda never has offered that to us.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

Originally Posted by Bluegrass Lass View Post
Exactly. We've never been offered a courtesy car. The dealers/mechanics we've gone to don't offer those services. But I think some of more up market dealers might. I think Lexus has offered those services to my mom before, but Honda never has offered that to us.
I've so never gone to a up market garage

Also it's being polite to call some of these cars a courtesy

Never hurts to ask though as a lot have at least one or two old beaters they'd hand out as a loaner car for the day.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 1:31 pm
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Default Re: Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

Oddly, the biggest BMW dealership in America (Classic BMW in Plano, TX) doesn't offer courtesy cars.

But then they're a total bunch of stupid, lying, cheating, inept, incompetent, disdainful, condescending wankers... so they may not be a good example.

All other BMW dealerships I've been to offer courtesy cars. Some offer brand-new BMWs, others offer BMWs from the used inventory.

The Chrysler dealership we also use doesn't have courtesy cars, but it has a shuttle bus that will take you anywhere within 15 miles, and pick you up when your car is ready.

The VW dealership I used to use also had a very efficient shuttle bus service.

The Volvo dealership before that offered Toyota Camrys for some unknown reason - possibly as a reminder of why you should never buy a Camry?

[EDIT: Sorry, Camry drivers!]

Last edited by dbj1000; Jul 4th 2012 at 1:34 pm.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 3:33 pm
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Default Re: Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

Originally Posted by dbj1000 View Post
Oddly, the biggest BMW dealership in America (Classic BMW in Plano, TX) doesn't offer courtesy cars.

But then they're a total bunch of stupid, lying, cheating, inept, incompetent, disdainful, condescending wankers... so they may not be a good example.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

Thanks to you all for the feedback - it seems like courtesy/loaner cars are not an unknown concept so I will have to see what the dealership policy is and whether they are as good with customer service as they said they were when they flogged me the car in the first place.

I don't know, finding a garage I can trust is about as traumatic as finding a new hairdresser!
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

It can depend. By the way, you do not mention if you have a Mini or a BMW -- it may very well make a difference.

The two times I've been given a "loaner" was for a BMW recall -- one time I had an X-3 and the other time, they rented a car from Enterprise. Most dealerships here in LA have shuttle service where they will drop you off and pick you up from work.

As for the BMW dealers, the one I know of that is remote from public transportation has a fleet of loaners, but they go quick.
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 6:10 am
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Default Re: Quick question regarding car servicing and courtesy cars

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
The two times I've been given a "loaner" was for a BMW recall -- one time I had an X-3 and the other time, they rented a car from Enterprise.
My local Audi dealership gives you a rental from Enterprise too - who then start selling you additional insurance... The coffee is fine, the marble counters shiny and restrooms clean, but I'd be much more impressed if they could troubleshoot their way out of a paper bag.

At least here in SoCal some form of alternative transport seems to be pretty standard - rental, shuttle, etc - which makes sense given how car-centric everything is. It's worth calling the dealership in advance though.
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