The Beauty of the Service Loaner Sales Tactic

2013 Mercedes GLK-Class

Drive a $50,000 car around for a day or two, and you’re going to wind up wanting it. You’ll be seduced by the scent of the plush leather, the smooth ride and the impressive tech toys. Maybe it’ll be the push-button start that gets your engine going as quickly as the car’s motor fires up.

Then there’s that moment… maybe you’re stopped  at a red light, taking in the sensory input this beautiful new car provides, when you say, “What if? What if it were possible to own this car? What would it take?”

Soon a top-of-the line service loaner becomes the newest accessory in your garage.

One of the great things about service departments at dealers is the loaner car provided during service. Bring in your 10-year-old vehicle for some repairs or maintenance, and drive out for the day in a brand-new loaded version of the same vehicle.

By the time your car is ready to be picked up, the last thing in the world you’ll want to do is give up your fortress of peace and solitude. Sure, it’s $50K, but it’s SO worth it! The peace of mind of a new warranty, of knowing all the parts and pieces are new and not worn down, of not worrying about a transmission going out or a blown head gasket while cruising an empty highway…

You begin to calculate and compare the potential costs of monthly maintenance with the monthly cost of a new car payment. It begins to make sense, and pretty soon you’ve justified it in your mind.

For your convenience, the dealer may have even examined your current car while they’ve had it and might present you with an offer to trade it in. Since they’ve recently had people shopping for your exact year, model and trim, they may even give you a better trade-in value than what someone off the street might get. The payments might not even be that far off from what you’re currently paying.

The stars just seem to align, and the reality that the new car could actually be yours begins to settle in. So does the excitement of a potential impulse buy.

You didn’t even know this day would involve a new-versus-used car debate, but at this point you have a decision to make: Pay your repair bill and go home in your “used” car, or take on a new loan and go home in the brand-new one you fell in love with.

Have you ever been tempted to buy a brand-new service loaner car?


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1 Comment

  1. Before getting too tempted, remind yourself that there is nothing you can find on that 50K vehicle (leather, climate control, heated seats, nav, etc.) that you can’t get on one that is much cheaper, and you’ll won’t be faced with $25000 in depreciation after three years and a loan balance higher than the car is worth. Face it, luxury cars aren’t good values and buying one really doesn’t impress anyone.

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