Should You Buy a Loaner Car?

February 1st, 2024 by

Volkswagen Jetta Parked Front 3/4 View in Front of a Mountain Overlook

Nearly all used car shoppers strive for a vehicle as close to new as possible. This can be measured in miles, condition, or assurance. Certified Pre-owned vehicles are one step toward this like-new designation. But within the CPO inventory, one or more cars may even come closer to “new.” These vehicles never had another owner besides the dealer but have accrued enough miles to be designated as a used vehicle. 

Bud Brown Volkswagen Buy Smart Lifetime WarrantyWhat is a Loaner Car?

Most loaner cars have only been owned by the dealer or possibly the manufacturer themselves if they have a presence nearby. There are two common uses of these vehicles. They may be offered to our service customers if their vehicle will be with us for a few days. They also can serve as “demonstrators” for test drives. These cars are often sold before they reach 10,000 miles, and you may find them with as little as 3,000 miles. They are frequently of the current or just past model year. So, they are like-new and low mileage. So the question remains: should you consider a loaner car?

The most likely concern of a shopper regarding a loaner car is that it was primarily driven by people who don’t own it, as with a rental vehicle. If it was used for test drives, you can expect full acceleration and brakes to have been tested a few times. Service loaners carried out their temporary owner’s daily routine like other used cars, except that it was by multiple people. It is likely, though, that these cars have been well-maintained. The resources of our entire dealership are on hand with anything that needs to be done to maintain the loaner vehicle and will be put to use because test cars must make a good impression on shoppers.  Service loaner cars are also intended to present service customers with a manufacturer’s latest features since they will likely be future customers.

Volkswagen Atlas CrossSport Driving on a Forest Road Rear 3/4 View

What is a Branded Title?

A loaner car may be classified as a fleet vehicle, in which case it may have what is known as a branded title. A branded title indicates anything other than the standard transfer from one private party to another for individual use. It is intended to inform the buyer that the car’s previous use was for something other than private owner use. 

Bud Brown Volkswagen's Certified Pre-Owned Inventory

Should you consider it?

A loaner car will likely be the closest means of purchasing a new vehicle at a used vehicle price. You have to be comfortable with the idea that multiple people have driven the car in the past and may not have cared for its welfare. On the other hand, its welfare was quite important to its owner, the dealer.

A challenge in seeking a loaner car is that they usually aren’t designated as such. You will likely find them as part of our CPO inventory because they are relatively new, have low mileage, and are well-maintained. Bud Brown Volkswagen’s website navigation makes it easy to specify only CPO models. Our sales and service staff can also likely point you to a loaner car in inventory as they will likely be very familiar with it.

Of course, as a Volkswagen CPO vehicle, the car will have undergone a 100-point dealer inspection, have a 2-year/24,000-mile comprehensive warranty, as well as two years of roadside assistance, plus a Carfax® vehicle history and even a SiriusXM® Platinum plan trial subscription. And it is important to point out that just like our new models, CPO vehicles qualify for the Bud Brown Advantage Lifetime Warranty. 

We invite you to look at our online inventory and visit Bud Brown Volkswagen to see all of our Pre-Owned vehicle choices. If you encounter one of our former loaner cars, you can better evaluate if this could be the right car for you.