What are my rights if an auto body shop provided an illegal loaner vehicle to me?

About, 2 weeks ago, I brought my car to a body shop. Their website claims free towing service and free car loaner service as well. They provided me an older vehicle and told me to come by next week to switch it out with a newer vehicle. Today I was pulled over by a police officer. The officer got my information and had notified me that the tag on the car does not belong on this

car. Informed my situation. Later the officer pulls the VIN, tag of the vehicle and it shows up in their database as unregistered and the name does not state that the body shop has ownership of it. Since I drove this vehicle, I got cited for 3 misdemeanors for wrong tag, no insurance and not registered. I have a court date in 45 days. I want to know if I have a solid case against my body shop’s negligence.

Asked on April 19, 2016 under Accident Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) While you'll need to go to court, you should have a good defense to the ticket based on the facts: you are not responsible for making sure the vehicle is registered, is insured, etc. Bring any and all documentation to court, including print outs of emails and text messages, confirming this was the shop's vehicle provided to you as a loaner.
2) You should also have grounds to sue the bodyshop for any costs, any fees  or fines (if you get any assessed), and any lost wages (if you miss work) arising out of this; if they won't pay voluntarily, you could sue them (e.g. in small claims court) for their negligence, or unreasonable carelessness.

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