Why buy a used rental car

If you’re looking to buy an affordable vehicle, you may want to consider buying a used rental car. The drawbacks of a limited inventory or extra mileage from previous drivers balance out when you consider that used rental cars are fairly priced and well-maintained.

Purchasing a former rental car is similar to purchasing a used car from a dealership. The rental agency will inspect their vehicles before selling them, offer warranties, allow for test drives and accept trade-ins. Due to the fact that rental companies offer relatively new cars, they may still be covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty.

Why rental companies sell cars

To expand their fleet, rental companies purchase new vehicles on a regular basis – sometimes every year. In order to keep their inventory up-to-date and to make way for newer models, they sell some of their cars at auctions, dealerships, or directly to consumers. 

Rental agencies want to offer their customers new models with low mileage, so replacing their fleets regularly is actually a strategic move. In the process, they sell off their “old” cars for affordable prices, even though these cars sometimes has as little as 5000km on the odometer!

Reliability concerns with ex-rental vehicles

Experts say used-car buyers shouldn’t be concerned about reliability when it comes to used rental cars. To avoid getting charged, most rental car drivers are careful to limit the amount of damage they cause. What’s more, many rental agencies impose daily mileage limits on their fleets, so customers often keep their journeys short to avoid having to pay extra.

While there may be some wear and tear from multiple drivers, precautions are made to ensure all essential maintenance is performed on rental vehicles. Before they are sold, they are also rigorously inspected. Most rental companies adhere to strict service schedules, use certified technicians and perform their own multipoint inspections.

Rental car companies seek to attract customers with newer cars, not models that are more than ten years old. Rental car companies must sell their “older” vehicles to make room on their lots for the new cars they buy on a regular basis. These vehicles are typically only a couple of years old, making them ideal for used car purchasing. 

Affordability is the biggest advantage

Vehicles are purchased in bulk and at a low rate by rental companies. As a result, they are able to sell them for less than a regular dealership would. Depending on the vehicle, the discounts could be as much as 10% or more of the cars’ actual market value.

Rental car companies often sell their vehicles at no-haggle prices that may include special offers. A two-year-old former rental car may have modern technology and safety features included, but it will cost less than a single-owner two-year-old model. Rental car companies need to get vehicles out of their fleet as quickly as possible, which means reduced pricing for buyers.

Perform your due diligence 

Former rental cars generally offer solid, dependable transportation but despite the fact that there are many benefits to buying a used rental car, it’s still important to do your due diligence before purchasing. Request a vehicle history report, maintenance records, or a copy of the inspection report. You should also have the car inspected by an independent mechanic you can trust.

When looking for affordable used cars, low mileage is generally not included. However with used rental cars, this is a common feature. If you’re considering a second-hand car, be sure to contact your local rental agencies to see if they have any vehicles that they want to sell. In addition, some used car websites feature ex-rentals on their pages, so keep an eye out for these bargains.


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Written by Taryn Hill

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