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Hello all!! I'm a new member here and was looking for some advice. We are looking into trying to provide our customers a free rental car during major repairs. Does anyone here do this and how do you go about it. Do you own the cars or have an agreement with a rental company. Also how do you handle the liability that goes along with it. Thanks!!

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Personally we have only been in business for a little over a year. I didn't want to add the cost and liability of having loaners for customers so I tried something else to see if it would work out. I called the local Hertz and Enterprise to see what they could do for me. After talking to them a bit, I was able to negotiate a group rate for my customers that is extremely cost effective and is only a very small fraction of the price they would have received if they just walked in. If I have a major job (Engine, Transmission) I sometimes roll it into the price or just offer to give them a discount for so many days they are in the rental to help supplement it for them. I have not received one complaint and all my customers like the idea that they get to drive a newish car for a few days for a couple of bucks out of pocket.

 

Best part is that they will come to the shop to pick them up, and will drop them back off when the car is complete. Saves me from having to pull one of my guys to run and get the customer.

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I wen't out and bought a car. It was a car on a used car lot. I was out handing business cards and the salesman said they had a car in the back that would barely run, but the interior and body was in great shape. I took a look at it, and saw the repairs that were necessary were mostly labor intensive. I bought it for under 2 grand, spent a weekend on it, and now I have a loan car.

 

I get a copy of driver's license, insurance, and have them sign a little loan car form I typed up 'will not smoke, responsible for damage, etc'. I loan it out to cars that are having a lot of work done, or spending a lot of money at least. Can't tell ya how many t-belts and water pumps I've done because I have a free loan car.

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I am currently in the same boat. I actually just picked up a 1997 Toyota Camry for $150. Was a great customer who has come to me for years. The oil pump seal is leaking and its due for a timing belt. He decided he just wanted a new car and wanted to give me the car. I talked him in to letting me give him $150. Have decided I am just going to use it as a loaner car, would work perfectly. Definitely get insurance info and license copied. I would personally get with a lawyer and have them write up a form for anyone to sign stating their insurance covers the vehicle and they are liable for any damage they cause to others or the vehicle themselves. Oh and how about they MUST fill the vehicle back up or suffer the wrath of $8.29 a gallon fill up service! :angry: We can do it too Enterprise......

Edited by ATSAutomotive
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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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