You probably wouldn’t think a body shop would loan out a Mercedes Benz as a loaner car, but you’d be surprised.
When you’ve been in an accident and you take your car in for repairs, oftentimes you’ll get something generic like a Toyota Corolla or Hyundai Elantra as a loaner car. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with these cars, you might not even think you could ask for something nicer like a Mercedes Benz without having to pay any extra fees. Of course there are a few conditions and situations that may or may not allow you to take advantage of this perk, and we’ll discuss some of them in this blog.
If your vehicle is insured through ICBC, take a look at your insurance policy to check if you have “loss of use coverage” (Roadside Plus). If you have this coverage, it doesn’t matter whether or not you are at fault in a car accident, by contract, all ICBC Valet shops are required to meet a customer’s alternative transportation needs. That means if you request for a loaner car, they must provide you with a loaner car and meet your alternative transportation needs. Keep in mind that this doesn’t just limit you to a loaner car. If you’ve been involved in a serious accident and might be too traumatized to drive another vehicle, you can request for a ride home or even a bus pass if that is what you prefer.
Under this coverage you are also entitled to the same level replacement vehicle that you have. So if the SUV that you normally drive is in the shop for repairs, then you can ask for an SUV loaner vehicle. Or if you normally drive a Mercedes Benz, you can also request for another Mercedes Benz loaner if that is what you want. However, don’t let that stop you from requesting a loaner car upgrade if your car is not quite on the same level as the car you wish to drive. Generally, when you are at fault in a car accident, and have Roadside Plus coverage, you are covered up to $750 for the total cost of the rental duration. If you are not at fault then there is no cap limit for the cost of the rental, but it must stay within reason.
With all this being said, only some body shops will be nice enough to upgrade your loaner vehicle if it is at all possible for them to do so. However, when body shops do this, they are usually losing money on the transaction and are primarily doing this out of their own generosity. It never hurts to ask for an upgrade but don’t be disappointed if they turn you down.