How to buy used rental cars. Purchasing a rental car may sound risky. With so many previous drivers, will it be reliable? Well, used-car shoppers have nothing to worry about. Used rental cars tend to be well-maintained, easy to buy, and competitively priced. The major rental agencies inspect their vehicles before the sale, offer warranties, and accommodate an extended test drive. It also allows you to trade in your current vehicle. It is just like you’re buying from a used car dealership.
A car is a must-have for many people in Canada and elsewhere, whether you need it for family duties, work, or a combination of both. But before you commit, let’s look at a few pros and cons of buying a rental car. There are some special considerations when buying a used rental car. Keep on reading to know more.
Why are Rental Companies Selling Their Rental Cars?
Rental companies sell their rental cars to add newer ones to their fleet. Rental cars deal with lots of wear and tear due to time spent on the road. So companies try to offload them after some time (2-4 years). It does not necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with the vehicles they currently have. They usually offload their cars often because cars put up for rentals must be fresh and in optimal condition.
To summarize, rental companies often replace cars to keep the vehicles fresh, attractive, and low mileage. After all, no renter wants a smoky, high-mileage jalopy for a rental car-especially not when you have company or family with you.
Pros of Buying a Rental Cars
- No-Haggle Pricing. Rental companies don’t want to waste time negotiating the price of a used car, so they set fixed prices.
- Long Test Drives. A dealership test drive is usually a quick 15-minute trip around the block. The rental companies offer much more comprehensive options.
- Lower Prices. Rental companies purchase their vehicles in volume and at a discounted rate. In turn, they can sell them at lower prices than a traditional dealership would.
- Newer Vehicle for Less Money. It is not uncommon to find 1- to 2-year-old vehicles. That could get you the latest body style or safety features. These vehicles would cost thousands more at a franchise dealership’s used car lot.
- Easy Purchase Process. Buying a used rental car is easy. Most of the buying process is done online. You may only need to go to the rental office for test drives or paperwork.
- Limited Warranty. Most major rental companies will give buyers a 12-month or 12,000-mile limited powertrain warranty. This coverage is more than you’d get at an independent used car lot, where most vehicles are sold as-is. Either place, you will inherit any remaining balance on the vehicle’s factory warranty.
- No Upsell. Cars are what you see is what you get, so there won’t be any upsell for deluxe stereos or tinted windows.
- Well-maintained Vehicles. Rental agencies are diligent about maintaining their vehicles. All the scheduled maintenance is performed at manufacturer-recommended intervals. Ensuring all vehicles are in good condition.
Cons of Buying a Rental Cars
- No Upgrades. The flip side of no upsell is no upgrades. Rental cars are bought on an as-is basis, with no option to add a feature like a backup camera or tinted windows.
- Uncertain History. It’s difficult to determine how hard a rental car was driven before. While some people might be careful with a rental, others may drive the vehicle more aggressively since it isn’t theirs.
- Higher-mileage Inventory. Used rentals tend to have more mileage than cars of the same age. The mileage might be high based on how often and far certain vehicles have been driven.
- Limited Inventory. Compared to a car dealership that will have a massive inventory of cars. A rental company may only have select makes and models of certain vehicles.
- Potential to be out of Warranty. Because of the higher mileage, you might find that the vehicle is past its factory warranty coverage. Any repairs required will likely have to be paid out of pocket.
- Forever Branded a Rental Car. If you buy a rental car, Carfax will always include that it was once registered as a rental car, even years later. If you decide to sell the vehicle at some point, this could turn off some buyers.
Where Can You Buy a Used Rental Car?
Used rental cars can be purchased directly through rental car companies, as most of these firms have sales divisions that deal with these transactions. Car rental companies like Hertz, Avis, and Enterprise usually have a separate fleet available for purchase.
How to Buy Used Rental Cars
- Get Online. Just go online to get started. Enterprise, Avis, and Hertz all have sites you can visit. You can view inventory by price, body style, and location.
- Understand your Budget. Before you even start shopping, take some time to figure out what you can afford. Fire up a loan calculator to input your payment range, approximate APR, and loan term.
- Know what vehicle you want and need. This one is essential. It’s much easier to narrow your search down by body style and the number of seats when you have an idea to start. Do you want a compact car or a hatchback? A truck or SUV? All-wheel drive? How much cargo do you realistically haul in the trunk? Do you want something more luxurious, or is that not a priority? These are things to think about before you start shopping.
- Get pre-approved for your loan. Typically, rental car companies do offer financing on their own. But it can be a good idea to shop your loan around and have a pre-approval before buying a car. It’s crucial if your credit score isn’t ideal, and your APR could vary hugely from one bank to another.
- Get the vehicle history report. Services such as Carfax provide vehicle history reports. It’s a reservoir of all sorts of helpful information about cars. You’ll be able to see the car’s previous owners, odometer readings, accidents or repairs, and damage and open recalls. Getting a vehicle history report isn’t mandatory, but it’s highly recommended.
- Use the rent-to-buy feature. When you buy a car, you should always get a test drive. Test drives are where you can get a feel of the car and see how it makes you feel. Most importantly, evaluate whether there are any red flags. Shopping for a used rental car offers a unique opportunity. That you don’t get when you’re shopping with a traditional dealer or used car lot; the rent-to-buy feature. It’s always advisable to test drive a car before you buy it. But often, rental car agencies will allow you to rent that vehicle for a few days so you can see if it works for you or not.
- Understand the “no-haggle” pricing. No-haggle can translate to stress- and negotiation-free. 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. Typically, used rental vehicles are priced below similar cars on the market.
- Check out the warranty. Sometimes the car you’re looking at is new enough that it’s still covered under a factory warranty. But rental car companies also offer their warranties and special perks.
- Get your car inspected. If you successfully found a vehicle you like that works for your needs and you bought it at its no-haggle price. Get it inspected. Even though rental companies follow strict maintenance schedules, it’s still extensive to ensure everything is in good working and mechanical condition.
Shop with Edmonton Auto Loans
Are you having second thoughts about purchasing a used rental car from the rental company itself? No worries. Many used car retailers supplement their inventory with rental vehicles. With their expertise, these retailers can select the best quality vehicles for reconditioning.
Edmonton Auto Loans can help you with your used rental car purchase. Our inventory includes a selection of used rental cars available for online purchase in Edmonton and all across Alberta, Canada. All vehicles in our inventory are certified pre-owned.
Certified used vehicles give you a sense of security. It’s thoroughly inspected and has met strict mechanical guidelines. Browse our quality vehicles here! Regardless of the status of your credit. We can get your financing set up and approved. Apply here and get pre-approved today! For immediate assistance, you can contact us here at 1-855-227-1669. We’ll be delighted to assist you every step of the way.