California Lemon Law News + Info

Can I get a rental car or loaner at my dealership while my car is getting repaired?

When getting a repair on your car, you may sometimes not know if your car will be in the shop for a matter of hours or a matter of days.

Perhaps the repair takes less than a day and you can afford to wait. Alternatively, your car may be in the shop for days or even a few weeks. If you’ve learned that your car may be undergoing repairs for days or weeks at a time, you may wonder if your dealership is required to offer you a rental car in the meantime.

The answer is: not always. You may have to pay for a rental car out of pocket.

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Are dealerships required to offer a rental car while my car is being repaired?

Dealerships are not required to give rental cars or loaners while your car is being repaired. Instead, it is left up to individual dealerships. Some dealerships may have programs that loan you a temporary car as a complimentary service while your car is being repaired.

If your dealership does not have such a loaner program, you may have to rent a car from a rental car service out of pocket.

What are the requirements to get a rental or loaner car at a dealership?

If your dealership has a rental or loan service available, you will need to show your driver’s license and proof of insurance that covers a loaner car. The dealerships may place an age requirement on who is eligible for a rental or loaner car.

How do I know if my dealership has a rental or loaner car program?

The best way to find out is to ask a representative at the dealership or garage if they offer loaner cars. You may do this either at the dealership itself, or call ahead of time before you bring your vehicle in for a repair.

How do I get a loaner car from a dealership?

If you anticipate your car being stuck in the dealership’s repair shop for a while, you may want to confirm if you can get a rental or loaner car from your local dealership. First, contact your car insurance to confirm that your insurance policy covers a loaner or rental car. Your insurance may only cover loaner cars from approved dealerships or garages. If this is the case with your insurance, contact the approved dealerships ahead of time to confirm that they loan cars to people getting repairs at their location. You can do this by contacting a representative at the dealership. You may also ask the dealership’s manager or owner for more information when you are at the dealership.

If your chosen dealership does offer to loan a car while your vehicle is getting repaired, ask about their requirements. Read any offered paperwork carefully and ask questions about anything you don’t understand. Make sure to note how long you’re allowed to keep the loaner car, who (else) is authorized to drive the car, and if you have to refill the gas before returning it.

What if I can’t get a loaner or rental car from a dealership?

Dealerships are not legally required to loan you a car while your car is getting repaired. If your local dealership does not offer loaner cars, we recommend setting up alternate means of transportation while your car is in the shop.

If you incurred costs for alternate transportation during repairs and you suspect that your vehicle is a lemon, contact a lemon law attorney to discuss your situation.

Lemon Law Help by Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation. Model year restrictions apply: 2017–Present vehicle models only.

However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states.

To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our guides on the California Lemon Law and Used Car Lemon Law for more information.

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