Rental Processes in Automotive Warranty

At AWN, we see more money lost in the area of loaner cars and/or rentals than in any other area.  I wanted to cover a couple processes that could help alleviate this problem.  To do that first I want to share what we see happening, then share a couple processes that could stop the loss or inaccurate collections going to the manufacturer.

NEGLECTING TO VERIFY COVERAGE BEFORE GIVING A RENTAL TO A CUSTOMER.

The customer assumes his rental is covered under warranty. After checking coverage the advisor finds the repair is not covered or is not eligible for a rental. The best time to address this is, of course, before putting the customer in a car. The advisor should put that information on the repair order.

Authorize the rental and the number of days allowed right on a Purchase Order slip. Say what kind of vehicle is allowed, for what amount, and for how long. Give the customer a copy. I understand that the proper make vehicle is not always available from the rental agency, but that does not mean that your dealership has to lose money.

"I am sorry Mr. Smith; there are no vehicles available from the rental agency that is covered by your warranty at this time.  If you would like I can reschedule your appointment when one is available, or the cost of the rental or the difference of what warranty covers will have to be your responsibility."

Missing out on these opportunities means missing out on pure profit.

RENTALS GOING BEYOND THE DATE OF THE LAST PUNCH (THE FINISHED DATE OF THE REPAIR).

This leads to a couple results when you submit the repair to the manufacturer.

  1. It slips by and gets approved and you are doing the “hallelujah dance.”
  2. It gets partially paid because they see that the customer kept the vehicle after the repairs were completed, and now you will eat the cost.

If you authorize the number of days the dealership and/or warranty will pay for in advance, and let the customer know that additional days will be their responsibility. They will usually turn in the rental in when their vehicle is ready.  Set it up with the rental company to bill the customer directly once it exceeds the approved number of days, or if the customer “upgrades” the rental.

MAKING NEW TICKETS ONCE SOMEONE DISCOVERS A MISSED RENTAL BILL.

Often times the repair order is opened with a new date which does not correspond to the actual repair.

This leads to a couple results when you submit the repair to the manufacturer.

  1. It slips by and gets approved and you are doing the “hallelujah dance.”
  2. It gets denied because it is past the submission date and you get to eat another rental.

It is the advisor’s responsibility to build a line for a rental, issue the PO, and add the charges in before closing the RO. A couple dealership policies can make this happen smoothly. Once the PO gets added to the repair order, then set it up so that the repair order cannot be printed without entering the number of days and charges. The rental VIN gets added then as well. The easiest way to make that happen is to set it up with the rental company that they print out 2 invoices when the customer drops off the vehicle, 1 for the Customer and 1 for the Dealer.  The invoice will have the number of days, the rate, and the rental VIN number printed on it.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES FOR SHUTTLE, UBER, AND ALTERNATE TRANSPORTATION.

There are quite a few manufacturers that allow for other transportation to get the customer home or to work.  In fact, many luxury brands will even allow for pickup and delivery. At AWN we process for over 500 dealerships and yet we see very little of this claimed. I have been on site for dealerships that are providing this service,  yet are not collecting for it. This is usually the Service Advisor’s responsibility, and this is money that was not collected. As soon as the Advisor knows the customer’s car is being picked up, or they are being given a ride, he should open a line on the RO for this. Then whoever is booking will see the line and apply the applicable charges.

These mistakes are common, but they don’t have to be. If you need extra help, contact our Warranty Trainers so they can come out to your store and give you these and other tricks to make sure you’re collecting every penny you deserve. Or if your warranty is a complete disaster, you can join more than 450 other dealerships and let our Warranty Administrators process for you.

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