If you've ever rented a vehicle, you may have driven it more aggressively than you would have your own vehicle. And it's likely that many other renters were equally "respectful" of that car as you were. Therefore, it could be a little unsettling to consider owning the vehicle after the rental car company has returned it. But if you're on a tight budget and looking for a later-model used automobile, this is a route you might want to take. Regular fleet rotation by rental car businesses implies that they always have a supply of used vehicles that they want to sell. Numerous of these vehicles are sold at auctions, where dealers frequently purchase them and resell them on own lots.
However, some businesses, including Hertz and Enterprise, also offer previous rentals to consumers directly. Brian Cayle has years of expertise working with dealerships, auctions, and fleet management. He is an expert in buying and selling used cars through a variety of sources. According to him, you should exercise the same caution when negotiating a deal as when looking for a used rental car. There are advantages and disadvantages, claims Cayle. It has the potential to be both very, very good and very, very horrible.
Let's start by examining the benefits of purchasing a used rental car. The prices of rental automobiles are frequently lower than those of comparable used cars in order to make quick and easy sales, but you should still contrast these costs with those of your local dealership, private-party listings, and the Kelley Blue Book valuation reference. Rental businesses try to make the procedure as simple as they can because they have a lot of automobiles to sell. On their websites, complete inventories and no-bargain pricing are disclosed. Even overnight test drives are permitted with several rental car agencies, including Hertz and Budget. Additionally, many of the vehicles are only a few years old due to how frequently rental car firms switch up their fleets.
In most circumstances, the original manufacturer's warranty will still be in effect and will be transferred to the new owner. You may also be able to purchase an extended warranty in some situations for added security. You can check the automobile's history by running a Carfax report, as you would with any car purchase, or the dealership may be able to give one. Here, you want to make sure that the rental company is the only owner of the vehicle and that its record is clear of any incidents. While you're at it, investigate if the vehicle has any open recalls by visiting SaferCar.gov's recall database. You can be confident that the rental company likely maintained up with basic maintenance in addition to the high inventory and lower pricing. You are still at the mercy of what the rental car business tells you, just like in any other used automobile transaction, if you don't have a comprehensive and genuine service documents.
Let's now examine the drawbacks. For speed and cost savings, rental firms frequently order large quantities of new vehicles. These standard compact and midsize sedans will, in general, be as straightforward as feasible. As a result, there are less expensive and potentially more profitable components that customers can break. So keep in mind that a prior rental might not be the perfect choice for you if you desire the newest features or prestigious trim levels. Think about upkeep as well.
Even though the majority of rental companies keep their fleets up to date, lot managers frequently forego or postpone necessary maintenance because they lose money if the vehicles aren't in use. Additionally, the maintenance performed on the vehicles may not be of the highest caliber. According to Cayle, "the firms know they're only going to have the automobile for a short amount of time," so they frequently cut corners or choose less expensive options for supplies like oil. Cayle claims to have observed previously-rented vehicles that were being sold rolling on three identical name-brand tires and one off-brand tire. It's also typical to see poor body work.
They will not be taken to the best body shop since they are banged and bruised, he claims. Due to the fact that not all damage is reported and that some accidents might not appear on a Carfax check, it is very crucial to search for this. One of the greatest methods to prevent getting a lemon if you're set on purchasing a used rental is to get it inspected by a professional. Cayle advises taking it to a mechanic who doesn't stand to profit or lose financially from the outcome of the sale and paying a flat charge for the diagnostic.
And other purchasers simply cannot accept the reality that the vehicle has been around the block a few times. Simply said, purchasing a former rental automobile is similar to purchasing any old car in that it's up to you to protect yourself, even though there was only one owner and 400 drivers during that year, as Cayle states. The amount of information you can get about the vehicle and your degree of comfort with the remaining unknowns will determine whether you decide to purchase a used rental automobile.