to Consider When Buying Used Rental Vehicles
Pros | The Cons |
The Bottom Line |
Used Rental Car Sales
February 23, 2013
There are several
things to consider if you're thinking of buying a used car versus a new
one, especially a used rental car. For one, used cars arenít as expensive as
new ones. Used cars donít depreciate in value at the same rate a new car does. Once you drive a
brand new car off the lot the value decreases substantially
a Used Rental Car?
far as buying a used car rental, since the major national brand car rental companies usually replace their fleet every year, you're usually assured of getting a late model
vehicle that is less than two years old, and with low mileage to boot. Lots of used rental
vehicles have very low mileage,
less than 10,000 miles, but some may have as much as 50,000 miles. Of course the sale price will reflect this.
- The Advantages of Buying a Used Rental Car:
Maintained and Certified:
The major brand agencies will only sell certified second hand vehicles because they have a brand name to uphold in the process. The key to buying a used
automobile is to make sure itís been well maintained and certified. A certified used car is guaranteed to be well maintained, inspected properly and repaired properly if and when itís necessary. Certified used cars are in the best possible condition before they are put up for sale. Rentals are mandated by company policy to be maintained on a regular basis. In a lot of cases, they are better maintained than if they were owned by a private party. If you want to make doubly sure the
used automobile you're thinking of buying has been well maintained, insist on a copy of all the maintenance records. Oddly enough, some major brand companies will not provide the maintenance records to you.
The process of getting a used car certified is comprehensive. The inspection itself calls for 100 points or more in the process. This includes checking the steering, brakes, transmission, A/C and heating, any electrical parts and even the suspension to see if itís in tip top shape. It's always a good idea to take the
vehicle you're thinking of buying to your own mechanic to check out.
Rental companies offer their rentals up for second hand buying but it doesn't mean these
automobiles are being sold because they have problems. In fact the opposite is true. As you know, most
vehicles have been driven by many drivers, but some have been leased and were only driven by one person. Many
auto rental companies wholesale the bulk of their vehicles to dealerships or used car lots and keep only the best of the bunch to sell themselves. That way, they aren't selling problematic vehicles.
When youíre looking for a second hand rental vehicle to purchase itís important to make sure thereís at least a seven day repurchase agreement in case you change your mind or donít like how the
automobile is handling. Most repurchase agreements require that customers do not go over 1,000 miles during these seven days.
Itís a good idea to make sure the used automobile has some type of warranty before you purchase it. Most do. Some original factory warranties may still be in effect in
vehicles. Extended warranties can be purchased on top of that as an option. Some resale dealers will throw in one-year roadside assistance in the sales package along with the free warranty. If you buy any used vehicle without a warranty and then experience a break down, of course you have no recourse but to pay for the repairs yourself.
Rent Before You Buy:
Some company programs allow you to rent before you buy the vehicle you have in mind. Of course you'll be charged a rental fee, but the good thing is, it will be refunded if you purchase the
Car rental used car lots do offer financing so you can make monthly payments. When purchasing a used
rental car, they companies do not accept credit cards or debit cards as a form of payment of the purchase price.
Many times rental companies will negotiate with buyers with their trade-ins for the purchase of a second hand vehicle. Other companies will not accept your used
automobile as a trade-in. Itís important to get the most out of your trade-in, so do your research. Check Kelley Blue Book and the NADA Official Used Car Guide to find not only what youíre trade in is worth, but what the second hand vehicle youíre looking at is worth.
Itís also important to shop around with different rental companies and dealerships to find what the potential best deal will be and which company is willing to give you the most for your trade-in. This can make a big difference in how much youíll potentially have to pay for your purchase. Most company fleets are now
smoke free, so you're assured of getting a vehicle that is clean and fresh smelling.
- The Disadvantages of Buying a Used Rental Car:
Some rental cars may have as much as 40,000 or 50,000 miles on
them. But if that's a turn off to you, buy a low mileage one.
You have no way of knowing how many people rented the automobile or how
they treated it. After all, they probably didn't treat it the same
was they would their own. Or is that just a myth?
Cold Weather - Take it from someone who is an accredited
trade school and factory
trained auto mechanic (that's me folks) who worked on cars for
several years in Minnesota. Every year I lived there it got
down to at least -40F (40 below zero). I saw and repaired many
cold weather related problems. So something to consider is if
the auto you're thinking of buying was fleeted in a very
cold northern state (or parts of Canada), there could be issues
pertaining to very cold temperature wear and tear. If sub zero
temperatures are a factor, so is lubrication. After all, grease
and heavy oil gets so stiff in sub zero temperatures, it is
basically "frozen" and no longer lubricates until it
warms up by either outside temperature or friction. In the
meantime, there can be little to no lubrication. Some mechanical
items that are at risk are wheel bearings, differential gears and
bearings, alternator bearings and of course the engine. Also,
because a very cold engine can be difficult to start sometimes,
starter motors become overworked cranking for so long. This wears
out the brushes as well as the bearings. Years down the line
certain mechanical parts could fail due to lack of lubrication in
the past. **As a point of interest - if any car has been parked
for a while, of course it is totally normal in all temperatures
for the tires be a little flat where they are touching the
pavement because that is obviously a flat surface. But in
extremely cold temperatures, an automobile has to be driven a little ways
before the tires will become flexible and round again. In the meantime, it's
bumpity bump until they have rounded themselves. This is not a problem,
it's just one of the oddities of cold weather driving.
Weather - Newer automobiles are so technologically superior to
vehicles of the past, they don't usually have overheating problems like
they used to. But in extremely hot weather states, particularly
the desert southwest, hot weather can be a factor as far as
prematurely aging the tires, vinyl, rubber, upholstery and paint.
Because they have a reputation to maintain and protect, you can
probably trust that the major national brand companies
have maintained their fleet of vehicles. But it's possibly a guess as
to whether the small lesser known localized brands did. Always ask
for the maintenance records. Some companies won't provide this to
you, but in this age of computers, it's unimaginable these records
cannot readily be accessed and given to you.
the Bottom Line? What's Our Opinion:
all things considered, it is our
opinion that purchasing a used rental car from one of the
major nations brand agencies would be a good
choice. But the thing is, very few people have purchased or
will purchase a used rental. We think they're missing out
because of those who have actually bought a used rental car,
they were very pleased, thought they got a great deal, thought
they got a very nice automobile and would certainly do it
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