What consumers want from courtesy cars
Courtesy cars can be such a lifeline, offering people the ability to carry on day-to-day life with minimal disruption. They are lent to consumers as a courtesy and the expectation is that they're returned in good condition. By ensuring the car is clean, tidy and easy to use, you'll maximise your chances of keeping consumers happy and ensuring the car is returned as it was lent out. Here's a look at what consumers want from a courtesy car.
Before they drive away
A clean, tidy car
It's important that a courtesy car is provided in good condition. The interior should be hoovered and thoroughly cleaned and the exterior should be washed. Allow the consumer to have a proper look inside before they drive away and make it clear that you expect the car to be returned in a similar condition to how it was lent out.
A similar car to their own
Consumers often expect a courtesy car to be similar to their own. This means that if they have a large family-sized car, they will expect similar proportions in a courtesy car. Of course, this is also dependent on their specific insurance policy, so it's important to understand what their expectations are.
Make life easy by fully briefing the consumer on how to operate their car. Let them know the type of fuel it uses and how to open the fuel tank. Show them how to open the boot and the bonnet, how to refill the washer fluid and what pressure the tyres should be. Check all the lights are working and ensure there's an instruction manual to hand.
Check for damage
Any damage at all, even just a small bump or scratch, should be communicated to the consumer. This will ensure there's no confusion when they come to return the vehicle.
Check their policy
Double check the consumer's insurance policy to ensure they're definitely covered to drive the vehicle.
On the road
Discourage messy food and drink
If you hand over a spotless car, you're much more likely to receive one back! Discourage messy food and drink and ensure you make it clear that you expect the car to be returned in tip top condition.
Provide contact details
It's wise to provide clear contact details to consumers, so it's really easy for them to get in touch if they have any difficulties. This can prevent a lot of guesswork which can quickly result in damage to the car.
Discourage visible belongings
Courtesy cars are often beautifully shiny and new, making them an alluring target for theft. Encourage consumers not to leave valuables on display in the car and to ensure it's locked when unattended. You might consider providing them with a brief leaflet on car safety measures.
Have a no smoking policy
It's sensible to have a no smoking policy for courtesy cars. Cigarette smoke not only leaves a strong smell that can be hard to remove, it's also a safety hazard.
Returning the car
Return it with a full tank
It's normal for courtesy cars to be returned with a full tank but not everyone will know this. Make this clear from the outset to avoid any confusion.
Give the car a good once over as soon as it's returned and while the consumer is still with you. This ensures you can quickly chat to them should anything be amiss.