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Daniel Konstantinov
Daniel Konstantinov

Buying A Used Car From A Rental Agency

Mention that you are thinking of buying a former rental car and the response is predictable: Rental cars have been abused and you'd be crazy to buy one. But should you really steer clear of these vehicles? Or could a former rental car be solid, dependable transportation?

buying a used car from a rental agency

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EDMUNDS SAYS: Consider shopping at a rental car lot the next time you're in need of a good used car. The streamlined sales process and lower prices may be enough to offset the downsides of high mileage and history of many drivers.

But you're also aware that this might be the time to potentially snap up a used rental car, especially if you're fortunate and have some money to spend. Industry experts, according to CNN Business, estimate rental companies to offload 1.5 million cars in their US fleets over the course of the coming weeks and months, thus inflating the already bloated supply to potentially overwhelm the currently weak demand. Translation: You as the consumer might be about to receive even more buying options.

And despite commonly held public beliefs, Business Insider reported that rental cars aren't always minefields chock-full of quality and maintenance nightmares. In fact, they might be an option for you to pick up a used car at a discount, provided you do the proper research.

How does one go about actually buying a rental car? Do you just pull up to the desk at your closest airport location and demand to buy something off the lot? How do test drives work? What about financing?

Hertz has something called a Rent2Buy program. With it, you're able to test out a car that's for sale over a three-day rental period for a small fee. If you wind up buying the car, Hertz will waive the fee. Just be sure the program is available in your area.

Rental car companies such as Enterprise, Avis, and Hertz all advertise no-haggle pricing for their sales. It means the price you see is the price you pay. Don't get turned off by the "no haggle" aspect, though. Typically, used rental cars are priced below similar cars on the market.

"One of the upsides to the [rental car]-buying process is they don't have any bogus charges like 'reconditioning fees' or inflated 'dealer fees' as some dealers do," says McParland. "Usually, it's just the price of the car, plus your tax rate, and reasonable charge for DMV and paperwork."

The tradeoff to that low, no-haggle price and all the other promotional accouterments is that the rental car you've just picked up will almost always come with way more miles from many people driving it. Though rental companies do follow strict maintenance schedules, it's still important to make sure everything is in good working and mechanical condition.

While it's recommended to get an independent inspection anyway when you're shopping for a regular used car, you can perform your inspection after you've bought the rental car because you get that extra window of time to return it if the results don't come back the way you'd like.

In fact, many rental car companies take such good care of their cars that they are willing to offer their own warranty on car sales, as well as other types of coverage to sweeten the deal. This sets them apart from most used car lots, where you may have to haggle for any extras. Hertz and Enterprise both offer a 12-month/12,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, and Avis has a variety of extended warranty options. All three companies also note that many of their sale vehicles are still under the original factory warranty.

Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz all have easy-to-use websites where consumers can sort through the used vehicle offerings in their area. All three also list no-haggle pricing: the no-haggle price means you'll know upfront what you can expect to pay (financing options will depend on your credit score, of course). Both Avis and Hertz offer a three-day test drive where the customer pays the rental fee up front, but that fee gets refunded if the driver buys the vehicle. Enterprise extends that trial period to seven days.

A former rental may cost less money up front, but it will also return less money down the road. Getting maximum resale value for a used rental car is difficult, because many shoppers are wary of buying former rental vehicles, so much so that some states have passed laws allowing car dealerships to call rental cars "program cars" in hopes of avoiding the stigma. The value for former rentals is also impacted by the fact that these vehicles are sold in such high volume. When the market gets flooded with thousands of cars of the same make and model, all at more or less the same time and with similar mileage, the price for that make and model gets driven down.

On CarGurus, all rental cars are marked as "Fleet," but not all cars marked "Fleet" are former rentals. To find out if a CarGurus "Fleet" vehicle was a rental, check the vehicle's history report. Of course, purchasing a vehicle history report and asking for service history documentation are steps every customer should take when buying a used car, but it's especially important when looking at a former rental. Taking a former rental to a trusted mechanic before purchasing it is also recommended. Keeping all these pros and cons in mind, a former rental car can provide relatively new tech and safety features at an affordable price.

When you buy from a car dealership, the buying process is mostly on the lot. Buying a used rental is much different. Most of the buying process is done online, and you may only need to go to the rental office for test drives or paperwork.

Above Average Mileage. Used rentals tend to have more mileage than other cars of the same age. A two-year-old former rental typically will have about 51,000 miles on it, compared to the average used car at the same age, or 24,000 miles.

Purchasing a rental car used to be considered a bad idea because of the wear and tear renters may put on them. But over the years, people have realized that the benefits can far outweigh the downsides. Strict maintenance, lower prices, "no haggle" sales, rent-to-buy options, extended warranties, and seven-day return policies can help make buying a car from a rental company a good idea.

Used rental cars are often 1-2 years old, but they come with mileage that's more often double what an average car that age would have. If you're hoping to buy a car you can keep driving for as long as possible, you'll have to determine whether the benefits outweigh a car's potentially shorter lifespan. Learn more about mileage on used cars.

Because they're newer, another benefit of buying rental cars is that they're usually more up to date with the latest safety features. That said, you should check the vehicle history report, ask about recalls and get an inspection to help ensure that buying a rental fleet car is perfectly safe for you and your family.

Because of the potential for more significant wear and tear on the car's parts, you can have the used car inspected by a mechanic, before you buy. Since rental car companies often have seven-day return policies, you can buy it right away and then have it inspected. If the inspection shows something wrong, you can return the car for a full refund.

Purchasing a rental car used to be considered a bad idea because of the wear and tear renters may put on them. But over the years, people have realized that the benefits can far outweigh the downsides. Strict maintenance, lower prices, \"no haggle\" sales, rent-to-buy options, extended warranties, and seven-day return policies can help make buying a car from a rental company a good idea.

Well-known car rental brands like Avis, Enterprise and Hertz provide a couple of ways to find rental cars for sale. You can typically browse and shop their inventories online or head to each rental agency in person to check out available vehicles. In some states, Hertz Car Sales even delivers your new car to your home.

As for finding government vehicles for sale, GovPlanet lists thousands of used cars and trucks, from cruisers and sedans to vans and pickup trucks. Municibid lists passenger vehicles as well as trailers, parts and construction equipment. Since these sites are mostly auction-based, interested buyers will have to find local auctions or listings for live auctions through the site.

Still, Enterprise rental cars are fleet vehicles, which means they were previously owned by a business and driven by an unknown number of drivers. When a rental fleet car is deemed too old for business purposes, companies like Enterprise list their used rental cars for sale. For most car rental companies, this begins to happen once the vehicle is one-to-two years old.

These two companies offer similar services when it comes to buying a rental car. Hertz fleet sales also include no-haggle pricing, a free vehicle history report, and financing through partner lenders. Hertz also covers car purchases with a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty, the same coverage as the Enterprise car sales warranty.

With over 75 used car dealerships across the United States and Canada, Hertz Car Sales is one of the top used car sales dealers in the nation. No matter the location, Hertz Car Sales is dedicated to providing consumers the best experience when buying a quality rental car for sale. In order to be part of the Hertz certified inventory, carefully selected vehicles must pass a rigorous multi-point inspection process. In addition, Hertz Car Sales features many flexible finance options that fit almost any budget. This allows us to help our customers get into the vehicles they truly want. 041b061a72


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