If you’re shopping for a used car, chances are you’ve already looked at some former rentals — used lots are full of them.
Buying an ex-rental car, just like buying any other used car, has its benefits and its drawbacks in terms of mileage, maintenance, model year, resale value, and more.
Here’s a look at both the pros and cons of buying a former rental in the wake of Hertz Global Holdings Inc, a car rental business more than a century old, filing last week for bankruptcy protection after its business all but vanished during the coronavirus pandemic and talks with creditors failed to result in needed relief.
In the fiscal year of 2019, Hertz's (HTZ) U.S. car rental segment had almost 535,000 vehicles in its fleet.
Con: Rental Cars Often Have High Mileage
A one- or two-year-old rental car will likely have more miles on it than a similar privately owned car. The big rental companies usually sell vehicles at 25,000 to 40,000 miles —these miles tend to be hard-driven ones since they come from multiple drivers who may not be inclined to take good care of the car.
Con: Rental Cars Are Likely to Have Suffered More Wear and Tear
Different driving styles — one renter is heavy on the brake, the next likes to floor the accelerator — often leads to early wear. Each new driver will naturally drive the car a little differently than the last, and they may be rougher on the vehicle as they get used to driving it. While most renters don’t want to damage the vehicle (because they will have to pay for it), many customers are more aggressive with rental cars than they would be with their own vehicle.
Pro: Rental Cars Get Regular Maintenance and Cleaning
Since rental companies buy their vehicles in volume at a discount and need to sell cars in order to replenish their fleet, they usually offer low prices on the cars they sell. Although a vehicle may have been driven hard during its tenure as a rental, it’s also likely to have been well cared for during that time.
Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz all have easy-to-use websites where consumers can sort through the used vehicle offerings in their area. Both Avis and Hertz offer a three-day test drive where the customer pays the rental fee up front, but that fee gets refunded if the driver buys the vehicle. Enterprise extends that trial period to seven days.
Consider Purchasing a Vehicle Online
If you are not comfortable with a dealership environment, you can purchase a vehicle online. You’ll have a chance to think about the decisions rather than taking the pressure one-on-one.
Best New Vehicle Incentives, Lease Deals for June
Meanwhile, car sales plummeted by over 30% due to the economic shutdown, which means dealers and manufacturers are concerned about sales.
However, production has also been halted so both supply and demand have been reduced at the same time.
This presents a situation where deal-seeking car shoppers are a bit frustrated because the deals aren't as good as they had hoped.
There are over 1 million lease returns that are due in the next 3 months, so there is definitely going to be some who need a new ride, and more used vehicles are becoming available.
Let’s take a look at some deals:
- Acura incentives deals: Good lease deals on almost every model
- BMW incentives deals: 0.9% to 3.9% financing for up to 36 months. Up to $1,500 cash back on some models. Hidden dealer incentives of up to $3,500.
- Chrysler, Dodge incentives deals: Cash rebates up to $3,000 on some models. 0% financing up to 72 months. Hidden dealer incentives of up to $1,000.
- Ford incentives (includes Ford, Lincoln): 0% financing on most models. Rebates as high as $3,500 on some models.
- GM, Chevrolet, GMC incentives deals: (Includes Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Cadillac) Up to $5,000 cash back and 0% financing on leftover models.
- Honda incentives: 0.9% to 2.9% financing on some models.
- Hyundai incentives: Up to $2,500 cash rebate on some 2018 models. 0.9% - 4.9% financing on some models.
- Infiniti incentives deals: Excellent lease deals on Q50 and Q60
- Jeep incentives deals: Cash rebates up to $7,000 on some models. 0% financing up to 72 months.
- Kia incentives deals: Great lease deals on most models, cash back rebates as high as $6,500.
- Lexus incentives deals: Cash rebates up to $7,000 on some models. Great lease deals all across the board.
- Mazda incentives: Rebates up to $3,000.
- Mercedes Benz incentives: 1.9% financing for up to 36 months on some models .
- Nissan incentives: 0% - 4.9% financing on some 2018 models. Up to $5,000 rebates on some models.
- Toyota incentives: 0% to 3.9% financing on most models, rebates as high as $2,000 depending on region. Hidden dealer incentives up to $4,000 on some models.
- Volkswagen incentives: Mostly lease deals, as low as $239/month
Most manufacturers are now offering payment deferrals, along with 0% financing - some up to 84 months PLUS cash back. Lease LOYALTY Discounts - an extra $100 to $2000 to stay with the same brand.
Lauren Fix, The Car Coach® is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. Post your comments on Twitter: @LaurenFix or on her Facebook Page.
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