Should You Consider Buying a Loaner Car?

February 27th, 2024 by

New Subaru Forester

There are many categories of used cars. Privately sold, trade-ins, off-lease, and Certified Pre-Owned (CPO). A subset of CPO cars may be the rarest and most like-new of them all. These are dealer loaner cars, in which the only previous owner is the dealer itself. These usually come to the used car market wearing the same model year as the new cars and with low mileage. Because of that, they may be priced higher than other used cars but are still priced below new cars. Should you buy a loaner car? Subaru of Plano offers some info and answers. 

What are Loaner Cars?

Loaner cars have likely been owned only by the dealer. If the manufacturer has a local presence, it may also have been the previous owner. They may have been “demonstrators” cars for test drives. Most commonly, they are models loaned to service customers. They are often sold before they reach 10,000 miles, and it is not unusual to find them with as little as 3,000 miles. In any case, the mileage will be too high to be considered new. So, they are like-new and have low mileage. Is there a downside?

The biggest concern with a loaner car is that it was driven primarily by people who don’t own it, which is a bit like a rental vehicle. If it was used for test drives, you can expect that full acceleration and brakes have been tested a few times. Service loaner cars likely took people to work and back like any other used car, just by several different people across its lifetime. On the other hand, it is likely these cars have been well-maintained. Test cars must be in good shape since they exist to help showcase the new models. Service loaners often have a similar role by presenting the manufacturer’s latest features to a prospective future customer. Obviously, it is in the dealer’s interest that these cars are in the best condition.

New Subaru Impreza

What is a Branded Title?

It is possible that a loaner vehicle may be classified as a fleet vehicle and thus have a branded title. A branded title indicates anything other than the standard transfer from one owner-driver to another for individual use. A branded title isn’t a black mark but is intended to inform the buyer that the car’s previous use was for something other than private owner use. 

Is a Loaner Car For You?

A loaner car will likely be the closest thing to purchasing a new vehicle at a used vehicle price. To be considered, you must be comfortable with the idea that multiple people have driven the car in the past, knowing it was not their own. However, its welfare was essential to its owner, which is most likely the dealer itself. 

Should I Buy a Loaner car from Subaru?

A challenge in seeking a loaner car is that they usually aren’t labeled as such. You will likely find them in the CPO inventory as a car of the current or very recent model year with reasonably low mileage. Subaru of Plano’s online inventory listing makes filtering to show just CPO models easy. Our dealer sales staff can often point you to a loaner car as well. They may even be very familiar with it.

Of course, as a Subaru CPO vehicle, it will have the following features:

    • Factory-backed 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage, $0 deductible
    • Additional coverage available
  • 152-Point Inspection
  • 24/7 Roadside Assistance
  • $500 Owner Loyalty Coupon
  • CARFAX Vehicle History Report
  • SiriusXM 3-Month Trial Subscription
  • One-year Trial Subscription to STARLINK Safety Plus Package with Automatic Collision Notification

We invite you to review our online CPO inventory and visit Subaru of Plano to see all our Pre-Owned vehicle choices. If you encounter one of our former loaner cars, you will now better understand the benefits of owning one for yourself.