Buying a Used Rental Car

Conventional thinking suggest that it's a bad idea. However if you do your research, understand the true condition of the vehicle, and get a great price the transaction may work in your favor.

Should I Buy a Used Rental Car?

Conventional thinking would suggest that purchasing a car that has been driven by hundreds of different people with different driving habits would be a bad idea. However if you do your research, understand the true condition of the vehicle and get a great price the transaction may work in your favor.

When you’re buying a used car it’s important to remain skeptical and curious. Do your best to not be in a rush, do your research and vetting.

What Classifies As "Commercial Use" On Vehicle History

The commercial vehicle definition dictates that the various types of commercial vehicles are used for transporting goods and fare-paying passengers, like taxi-cabs or produce vans.

What to Consider When Buying Used Commercial Vehicles:
  • Rental car companies have to keep their vehicles maintained for rental purposes, which means the vehicle has been serviced frequently.
  • The vehicle is rented to hundreds of different people and one driver may slam on the brakes or go easy on the gas and another might not. This can cause pre-mature wear and tear.
  • Because rental car companies purchase their vehicles at a discount under a fleet agreement, they can be built to a lesser standard than regular cars (i.e. different configurations than what is available to the public).
  • Rental vehicles are usally purchased at specially discounted “fleet” prices directly from manufacturers, and so their resale prices can be lower.
  • Most rental vehicles are sold after one to two years in operation, so it’s possible that if the mileage is low they can still be under manufacturer warranty.
  • Prior accidents may not be disclosed because some rental companies have their own insurance.
  • Keep in mind that when you resell the vehicle, it will always garner a lower price than the same make/model that wasn’t a fleet vehicle, because it’s a rental.

Tips For Buying a Car with Rental History:
  • Get a pre-purchase inspection from a certified mechanic as they’re the only ones that can tell you the vehicle’s true condition.
  • Know the fair market value. Do your research and find a comparable model from a private seller as well as a dealer, check pricing websites to compare and keep in mind the vehicle will be worth less, because it was a rental.
  • Try to find a vehicle with the lowest mileage possible.
  • It helps if the vehicle was rented from within the same state you’re purchasing it in. Vehicles from out-of-state may suffer from more unknown circumstances, such as exposure to a different climate and the potential wear or rust that is associated.

Buying a used rental car can be an inexpensive option and as long as the vehicle is inspected it can prove to be a good choice for used car shoppers.

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