I get this question all the time and unfortunately the answer is no, you are not entitled to a free rental car when you take your car in for warranty repairs. I believe the source of confusion here is that we as consumers are used to good old fashioned customer service. We’re used to taking our car in for repairs during the warranty period and being provided a free rental car.
Unfortunately, the terms of most manufacturer’s warranties only cover the warranty repairs themselves and not any type of alternate transportation. On the dealership side of things, they have the choice to provide that service to their customers or not. Even before COVID hit I was hearing about a lot of dealerships not providing rentals to their customers so this isn’t anything new but it is getting worse.
Now with COVID a lot of dealerships are changing their policies so I’ve seen anything from dealerships no longer offering rental cars at all to them having a significantly limited inventory of rental cars they’re renting out. I’ve even had some clients get on waitlists to be able to get a rental car when they take their car in for repairs. This is the new world we’re living in so be aware that if you do take your car in for repairs, warranty or not, there is a chance you might have to pay out of pocket for a rental car.
However, there is good news. If you end up with a lemon, you are entitled to all reasonable rental expenses by law. So keep all of your rental car receipts in a safe place just in case you need to provide them to your lemon law attorney in the future.
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