Is it Worth it to Purchase a Used Rental Car?

Summary: Rental cars can be purchased in a variety of ways. In some cases, they’re actually worth buying straight from the rental car company.

When it comes to rental cars, it turns out they aren’t as disposable as people make them out to be. Each year, rental agencies everywhere will sell a portion of their fleet to dealerships and consumers, so if you’re in the market for a used car, there’s a chance that you may be looking at a former rental car.

Now, many rental companies have a variety of car sales divisions. When you purchase a rental car, the process is similar to that of buying any used car. However, it is important that you take it to a mechanic as well as obtain a vehicle history report so you know everything that it’s been through.

What to Expect

There are various rental car agencies that sell directly to the consumer from their lot. Others tend to utilize a dealer-only or public auction to rid of their stock. Many of them will be listed as “program cars”” which is essentially a key phrase for a former short-term lease or rental.

You’ll find that most cars will have an odometer reading anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000, depending on the year, make, and model of the car.

Warranties and Limitations

Most rental car companies know that keeping their stock in good shape and condition will create a better image for them as they lease them out to travelers and guests. Some companies even have in-house mechanics while others tend to send them out to dealerships for maintenance and repairs.

Depending on the car’s age and mileage, it could potentially be covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty, so it’s definitely worth checking. Cars on rental sales lots might include a limited powertrain warranty or have a separate service contract active. As stated before, it all depends on the vehicle itself.

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