Should You Buy Rental Cars? The Inside Scoop

Want to save money on your next used car purchase? Rental car agencies sell older vehicles from of their fleet when they purchase newer models. They often list their vehicles at less than market price to move inventory quickly. This translates to no-haggle bargains on vehicles that have as little as 25,000 miles on the odometer. Many smart shoppers buy rental cars that have been well-maintained and save money and aggravation. Here’s the inside scoop on buying rental cars.

What Cars are Available?

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Rental cars are often pulled out of rotation after one to three years. You can expect newer vehicles with anywhere from 25,000 to 75,000 miles on them. Some rental cars still come with their original factory warranty. In many cases, the rental company includes a limited warranty for the first 12 months. Although the cars are driven a lot over a short period of time, they’ll safely work for many more miles without needing major maintenance.

The cars usually aren’t fancy. Expect economy cars with basic features. Most cars for sale will have an AM/FM stereo, electric windows, and other standard amenities. Rental car companies usually buy fleets of the same model from a manufacturer, so there may be a lot of identical cars with similar miles to choose from. It’s likely they’ll have basic sedans, SUVs, and compact cars.

What Condition Are The Cars In?

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When you think used rental car, it’s easy to imagine a high-mileage clunker that’s been treated poorly by countless customers. The reality is a lot more appealing. When you buy rental cars, expect a few more stains on the interior, dings in the paint, and button wear than a privately-owned vehicle. However, the overall condition of the interior will be better. Rental cars are cleaned between clients, so dirt and grime don’t build up and spoil a customer’s experience.

The internal parts are a similar story. The vehicles are purchased new and maintained at regular intervals by professionals. You’re guaranteed a detailed maintenance record, which is a big plus. Changing the fluids regularly and replacing worn-out parts immediately extends the useful life of the vehicle. This is standard practice for car rental companies. Even if there are a lot of miles, the car will still have a lot of life left.

Can I Buy Rental Cars for Cheap?

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Rental car companies often sell their vehicles below market price. This is so they can recoup the residual value of the car quickly. The rental car company makes its money from renting vehicles, not selling them. This allows them to offer a streamlined buying experience. It’s in the rental company’s best interest to sell old inventory en masse. Used car dealerships often purchase used rental cars for their lots wholesale because they get at a steep discount. Dealerships can also rely on the cleanliness and mechanical reliability of rental cars. This keeps their customers happy, too.

What Should I Know Before I Buy A Car?

It’s important do your due diligence when buying any car. Ask if the seller has complete maintenance records. Read up on any potential recalls the vehicle may still have. Any recalled parts will be replaced for free at an authorized dealership. A vehicle history report is a good way to verify a car’s past. You can get a report about any previous accidents, the number of owners, other history yourself at Carfax.

Even if the price seems good, it’s important to check yourself. You can use Kelly Blue Book (KBB) to check the car’s value against a database of similar transactions in your area. KBB is the industry standard resource for checking a vehicle’s private or trade-in price.

Looking for Affordable Los Angeles Car Rentals?

At Value Rental Car we want to help you get to your destination quickly and safely. We offer clean and affordable rental cars for local driving in LA and Pasadena, with complimentary pickup and drop off service within seven miles of our two locations. If you’re a college student, we want to help you get on the road. We rent to drivers under the age of 21, and we offer cash and debit card car rentals. Check out some of our other articles to learn more about how car rental works!

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