Is Buying a Rental Car a Good Idea?

Most rental agencies keep their vehicles very well-maintained, Bennett says. Our opinions are our own. During the coronavirus pandemic, prices initially dropped.

Have the car inspected by an independent mechanic you trust. Rental companies sell their cars with no-haggle prices that can include bargains. Hertz and Enterprise vehicles also come with limited power train warranties for 12 months or 12,000 miles. While there may be more wear and tear from numerous drivers, steps are taken to ensure all required maintenance is performed on rental vehicles. Buying a rental car may sound risky.

Rental cars tend to have more miles on the odometer than a typical used car of the same age — a concern for many buyers. He is the author of 10 books. You’ll need to pay a rental fee for this, but it’ll be refunded if you buy the car. If you decide to buy a rental car, you can complete much of the process online, over the phone or in person. The three big players all follow strict service schedules.

But Bennett stresses that mileage is “just one factor” in judging a vehicle. “You could have a very high-mileage car and it's been maintained very well, and the car is great,” he says. And indeed, compared with the Blue Book price of a 2020 Mazda CX-5, with 38,000 miles, it appears that a buyer could possibly save more than $4,000 by purchasing this vehicle from a rental-car lot. Then, they are thoroughly inspected before being sold. At the same time, drivers generally want to limit the damage they do to avoid being charged.

Then, to keep their inventory up-to-date and make room for newer models, they sell some of their cars every year at auctions, to dealerships or directly to consumers. Still, there are some special considerations when buying a used rental car. In fact, some people buy rental cars from used-car dealerships without realizing it. Renters “may not take as meticulous care of the vehicle that is not theirs,” he says. They use certified technicians and conduct their own multipoint inspections before putting their vehicles on the market.

Avis generally pulls its cars out of rotation after 12 to 18 months and 25,000 to 35,000 miles, according to Nierenberg. But if you don't immediately see the vehicle you want, it may be worth searching a broader area and having the car shipped to your location. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. Rental agencies say that they price their vehicles below retail values, using pricing guides like Kelley Blue Book. And this isn’t far off base, says David Bennett, manager of Automotive Programs at AAA.

Ask for a vehicle history report , which is often supplied for free. With so many previous drivers, will it be reliable? “We can't control how our customers drive our vehicles, but what we are very confident of is how we maintain the vehicle throughout its life,” says Gregg Nierenberg, senior vice president of fleet services at Avis Budget Group. Potential buyers might worry that a rental car has been beat up by countless drivers who don’t care about long-term maintenance. They sell cars directly to consumers through their car sales divisions, which you can find online Former rental cars tend to be well-maintained, easy to buy and competitively priced.

However, this does not influence our evaluations. Enterprise vehicles spend an average of 12 months as rentals before being put up for sale, and Hertz says many of its vehicles “are still 25,000 to 40,000 miles young.” Rental companies buy new vehicles to add to their fleet.

Is Buying a Rental Car a Good Idea?


p>buying-rental-car Read more According to the experts, used-car shoppers needn&#x27;t worry. However, rental car companies need to move cars out of their fleet quickly, which translates into lower prices for buyers. “We&#x27;re not looking to make a ton of money on our used cars,” Nierenberg notes. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. The biggest rental car companies in the U.S. are Enterprise Holdings, Hertz Global Holdings and Avis Budget Group, the parent companies of a number of rental agencies. About the author: Philip Reed is an automotive expert who writes a syndicated column for NerdWallet that has been carried by USA Today, Yahoo Finance and others.

This could be especially important if you want a unique color or combination of options. Later, as used car inventories shrunk, prices rose to market level or higher. When you find a good candidate, Avis and Hertz offer extended test drives, as opposed to the 15-minute spin around the block typically allowed at traditional dealerships.

Request maintenance records or a copy of the inspection report. Still, always check listed prices against online guides before buying. Plus, since rental companies sell relatively new cars, they may still be under the factory-included warranty. If you&#x27;re financing, it&#x27;s smart to shop around and get preapproved for an auto loan to get your best rate.

They inspect their vehicles before sale, offer warranties, allow an extended test drive and allow you to trade in your current vehicle . Remember to do all the usual research before buying a used car. In most cases, contracts can be signed at a rental location or even delivered to your home or office. Also, there may be a smaller variety of makes and models compared with a national auto chain, like CarMax. Here is a list of our partners and here&#x27;s how we make money. Buying a former rental car is a lot like buying from a used-car dealership.

Most rental cars don’t come with many options like upgraded luxury or performance packages.

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