Thinking of buying a used car and wondering if you should go in the rental car direction? Well considering the negative reputation for being “abused cars”, it’s understandable that you’re in doubt. While it’s true that rental cars have short but tough careers, retired rental cars could make for a compelling used car value – with a little compromise here and there. And, if we are being honest, what used car doesn’t require such compromises.
You never know, the rental route might just be the preferable option for you. Besides, rental cars are increasingly growing on people. In 2017, about 900,000 used rental cars were sold to used car dealers and retail customers. Here you will find the benefits of buying a rental car and things to look out for before buying.
Advantages of Buying a Rental Car
Rental Cars are Relatively New
Rental companies in a bid to attract customers strive to keep their fleet of cars up to date. They opt for new makes and models after using their vehicles for a couple of years. That’s why if a fairly new car is your aim, it makes a lot of sense to buy a rental car. This way you’d likely get the latest body style, recent technology, or upgraded safety features at a reasonable price.
Rental Cars are Regularly Maintained
Bad reviews are a business killer and that’s why rental companies invest plenty of time and effort into the cleaning and maintenance of their vehicle. Most decent agencies adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions on servicing schedules righteously to ensure their customers get the best value for their money’s worth.
Big agencies even hire in-house mechanics to keep their vehicles in top condition while smaller ones outsource the responsibility.
Buying a Rental Car is Cost-Effective
Rental companies buy their cars in bulk and at a discounted rate. This means they can afford to sell off their fleets at lower prices than a traditional dealership would. You can often even get a luxury rental car at a fraction of the price.
These companies aren’t looking to make too much profit from selling, because they already made enough from running those cars through their services. On average, you could enjoy a 10% discount or more depending on the car you opt for.
Stressless Sales Process
Unlike buying a used car from a dealership or sales lot, buying a rental car is pretty convenient in terms of negotiations. To enable cash flow, rental car companies always prefer to liquidate their fleet as fast as possible.
Therefore, they offer no-haggle pricing. This means you’d be getting a vehicle with a vast maintenance history at a steal price. Some rental companies even offer a rent-to-buy option. This means you rent for 1 to 3 days and they refund your rental fee if or when you decide to buy.
You could inherit the factory warranty of some rental cars because they were still less than 18 months old before they were retired. Even if that’s not the case, established rental companies offer a limited warranty to avoid unexpected expenses during the period of warranty.
Tips On What To Look Out For Before Buying a Rental Car
Check For High Mileage on Rental Cars
Since rental cars pass through multiple drivers within a short time, they usually have more mileage on them than most single-owner vehicles. In the U.S. the average number of miles driven per year is about 13,400. But rental cars might have up to 40,000 miles driven on them per year. So if mileage is of importance to you, you have to be careful to choose a car with less mileage on it.
Be Mindful of The Vehicle’s History
Although dealers are required to tell that the vehicle was a rental car, you might want to get a CARFAX report. This report contains information about previous breakdowns, accidents, or if the vehicle was a crash survivor. This process might save you from ending up with a money pit of a car.
Don’t Forget About Warranty Protection
As discussed earlier some rental vehicles still have their factory warranty, confirm to see if that’s the case. If not, inquire about an extended warranty, some dealers offer a 30-day warranty just enough to cover you for a few weeks in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Go For a Test-own Option
Test-own is designed to allow you as a buyer enough time with the car to decide whether you’re buying or not. From a buyer’s perspective, this is a much better alternative to the 15 minutes test run you would normally get. The test-own options also allow you to have your mechanic access the car for any shortcomings. Per adventure the car falls short of your expectations; you could return it and get your money back.
Lower Resale Value – If It’s a Temporary Buy
If you intend to buy a car just for a short period before switching it to another, the rental option might be less ideal for you. While it is true that you will be getting it at a cheaper price, it is also true that it is almost impossible to receive full resale value. This is so because of the preconceived notion of shoppers about rental cars.
Rental Cars Might be Right for You
Rental cars get a lot of stick but they can be pretty decent. The benefits enumerated above present a strong case for choosing a rental car. Depending on the purpose you want the car to fulfill and your financial status, rental cars may or may not be a good option for you. So, consider all your options and pick your poison.
You may also read: How to Pay for Your Car Repairs