Navigating the used car market can bring up many different options and avenues to look into. One such avenue is the ex-rental car market. While your first impression may be general mass-produced white fleet cars that have been treated poorly by multiple drivers, you may be surprised at what is available, and the good deals you can get for a recent used vehicle.
The Pros of Buying a Used Rental Car
* Newer Makes and Models
Everyone has a budget when it comes to buying a used car. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be looking at used cars in the first place. Looking at an ex-rental car gives you the option of buying a newer car which would otherwise cost thousands of dollars more from a private seller or a late-model dealer. If you’re in the market for a used electric car, then the BMW i4, Tesla model 3 or Tesla model Y could be within your sights, and there are more to come with the Polestar 2 being added to their rental portfolios.
If you love the latest in high-tech gadgetry, then it makes sense to purchase a late-model vehicle. Everything from infotainment, upgraded GPS features and built-in cameras to advanced safety features, driver-assist, and adaptive cruise control are on offer when you opt for a late-model ex-rental car.
* Up-to-Date Inspections and Maintenance
Car rental companies inspect each car after it has been leased out, and perform regular services with the same mechanics over the time it has been with them. The cars they have in stock are from new, so you can be assured that all maintenance records are on hand, and if there has been any previous damage, they should have all the information available.
* Regular Detailing
Quite often ex-rental cars have been looked after better than a regular owner who may wash their car once a month. The average rental period for a car is around ten days which means they are detailed inside and out every ten days. This in turn gives car rental companies the ability to keep their cars looking and smelling the best that they can throughout their rental life.
* Regular Rotation
Rental cars usually have a shelf life before they are put up for sale. While most firms sell off their stock between two and five years old, some companies will sell off older cars up to a staggering fifteen years old. Fleet cars are usually the first to go once they hit 35,000 to 40,000 miles. These cars usually come with one-year warranty or 12,000 mile protection policy. Some companies including Avis offer ‘Certified Pre-Owned Cars’ (CPO) which are, according to them, strictly maintained to manufacturers’ standards, come with extensive reports and other incentives such as roadside assistance. To learn more about CPO’s, check out https://rearviewreview.com/what-are-certified-pre-owned-cars/
* Try Before You Buy
Some car rental companies offer a ‘Comprehensive Test Drive’ scheme where you can hire the used car at a reduced cost, some for 3 days, others for 7 days to see if you like the car. If you like the car, then the rental fee is waived and you pay the price they are asking. If not, you pay the reduced rental fee for those days you tested it.
The Cons of Buying a Used Rental Car
* Multiple Drivers
Multiple drivers can affect the performance of any car, whether it’s an ex-rental or private sale. The fact remains that many people have driven these cars, and while car-rental companies keep on top of maintenance, they can’t ensure how the cars have been driven. While many people buy online, it’s worth either inspecting the car yourself, or if you live interstate, get a sales agent to do a video walk-around highlighting the seats, floors and pedals for wear and tear, as well as around the door frames, undercarriage if possible, and under the bonnet.
* Higher Mileage
Often the cars offered for sale have higher mileage than similar privately owned examples from the same year. However, with that said, a car with 40,000 miles on the odometer is still a low-mileage vehicle in the used car market, no matter how old it is.
* Trim Levels
Most fleet cars will be the base model or perhaps slightly higher, so don’t go expecting a top-of-the-range model with color-coded dashboards and side mirrors, super spoilers, and 20 inch low-profile alloy wheels thrown in. The range of colors may not excite you either with white making up most fleet cars being sold off.
* Resale Value
When the day comes to sell your ex-rental car, you will have to face the fact that the resale value will be lower than one that hasn’t been. Some people will avoid such cars while others will want a drastic price reduction. This is something to remember if and when you want to sell. The bottom line is that if you can afford an ex-rental car, they are well worth checking out. Rental companies also have unique high-end sports or luxury cars that they sell off from time to time. However, these are usually in short supply as not many are offered by the companies to rent in the first place, so you have to be vigilant in your quest to find one. Check out the main companies such as Enterprise, Hertz, and Avis as well as lesser known firms – you might just snap up a bargain someone else hasn’t seen yet. Armed with the above knowledge, you should be confident in finding the right late-model car for you.