Repair garage replacement cars – in which European countries are they offered more often?

22 Dec 2023

A driver returning a car for repair may face the dilemma of losing mobility. In large cities, where transport links are developed, the temporary absence of a car is not so much of a problem. In contrast, in towns where access to public transport is difficult, lack of access to transport can disrupt the rhythm of daily life.

Repair garages are increasingly meeting this problem by providing a replacement car.

We conducted a survey of garages in several European countries examining the popularity of the replacement car rental service.

Replacement cars in European garages

The approach of repair garages to this service varies from country to country. Number of garages offering replacement cars for customers prevails in the Czech Republic, while in Poland it is close to one half. A large impact on these statistics can be attributed to the activities of garages that service fleet companies. In other example countries, the service in question is less common. In addition, there is also a group of garages that do not currently offer this service but express a desire to introduce it in the future. Unfortunately, the survey does not show a clear distinction between garages that carry out maintenance repairs and those that carry out collision repairs, which may affect the percentage distribution of responses.

“A replacement car is increasingly seen by garages as an important part of their offering. However, it is worth mentioning that this solution is desired, or even required, in the first instance by business customers. For a company, a car is a working tool and any unscheduled downtime of a vehicle usually generates unnecessary costs and difficulties, hence companies, wishing to use their vehicles without any problems are most likely to take advantage of repair service centres that can offer a replacement vehicle for the duration of the repair. Also, the possible additional cost of hiring a replacement vehicle, which is simply another item on the invoice, is much more easily accepted in such a case than for a retail customer.” said Aleksander Ochęduszko, MaXserwis Network Manager, Auto Partner SA.

Replacement car – for free or for a fee?

From the perspective of garage customers, it is important whether additional fees are charged for providing a replacement car. For many of them, the possibility of using a replacement car with or without a fee may influence their choice of a particular garage.

It is worth noting that, on average in Europe, more than half of garages also do not offer a replacement vehicle service for free, which seems understandable. For example, in countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic or Hungary, most garages charge a fee for providing a replacement car. Although the average of the eight Central European countries where the study was carried out shows that only just over half of the garages charge for a replacement car.

However, one should bear in mind that the issue of a garage offering a replacement car is a product of a number of factors, such as, for example, the size of the company or its policies. Similarly, charging for this service is a complex issue. Some garages may offer replacement cars as part of the insurance contract or as an additional option in the policy. In such cases, the cost of hiring a replacement car may be part of the insurance arrangement, which may influence the decision to charge. Ultimately, the decision to offer a replacement car and the costs associated with this service depends on a number of factors that may be unique to each garage.

Research methodology

The survey which served as the source for the claims in this article was conducted by, in the form of an online interview among car repair shops. In total, over 1655 individuals took part in the survey.


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