Is It Smart To Buy A Used Rental Car?

Most drivers only communicate with a rental car on vacations or time away — and for many, they can also be a means to obtaining a vehicle that belongs to them.

While rental cars undergo a number of drivers, additionally they typically have extensive maintenance records along with a low price tag. Before you drive off all using these cars, there are a few factors to account for.

How to purchase a rental car

Just just like you were purchasing every other used or new vehicle, buying a rental requires some homework in advance.


Understand how much you can truly afford and also the financing options that work best for your budget. Because car rentals are thought used vehicles, there are plenty of financing possibilities. Rates sat in an average of 8.62 percent at the begining of 2022, based on data from Experian.

But keep in mind that the true cost of your vehicle is a lot more than just the cost you see advertised online. Check websites like Edmunds and Prizes (KBB). Both have breakdowns of expected repair and maintenance costs for a wide selection of vehicles.

Compare cars

The best resources for considering car rentals on the market are Enterprise, Avis and Hertz. Go to their websites and find out what they have available in your area.

Again, Edmunds and KBB could be a good guide. They can demonstrate average prices in your area for the vehicles you are looking at. This way, you can be certain the car or truck clients are offering a great deal. And because rental cars convey more deterioration, see if you can go lower than the average to make up for potentially higher maintenance costs in the future.


Once you've got a vehicle in mind, make an application for preapproved financing. Although a lot of rental companies will offer financing options that belongs to them, it is always wise to shop around so you know you’re obtaining the cheapest price.

Prequalifying also enables you to budget better. Knowing what you can manage to buy — and know your payment per month — you are able to shop for just the right fit for the finances.

Inspect the vehicle

Take a test drive and see the car personally if you can, then seek out the automobile history report. This gives you insight into any damage incurred, previous ownership plus some details about what’s under the hood.

Because car rentals see a large amount of drivers, they accrue a number of miles. You are very likely the odometer to become high despite relatively new vehicles, and so do an auto mechanic inspect it before you purchase. Along with the vehicle history report, this gives you a full idea of how hard the vehicle continues to be driven during it is time as a rental.

Check the warranty

Finally, inquire if the vehicle has any type of warranty — many can come with the manufacturer’s warranty, and you may be able to get additional protections in the rental company.

An guarantee may be a wise decision even when your automobile is still covered by a manufacturer warranty. Extended warranties cover more common repairs and maintenance needs. But they are an extra cost, so be sure you understand what it covers and when it makes sense prior to signing up.

Are rental cars good to buy?

As is the case with many things when it comes to car buying, you should fully think about the financial impact and also the fit for your lifestyle. While rental cars have a bit of a poor reputation, there isn't any guarantee any car or truck you purchase hasn’t been abused in the same way unless you personally know its history.

Pros of buying accommodations car

Rental cars could have a bad reputation, but there are some reasons they may be a great fit for you personally.

  • Warranties: Car rentals often come with a warranty of about one year — even cars that no more entitled to the original manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Buy-back policies: Car rental chains offer a buy-back policy should you change your mind shortly after the sale.
  • Well-maintained vehicles: The rental car company must have kept the automobile maintained and cleaned after every driver. So even with more deterioration present on your potential car, it has still been examined on a lot more than the average used vehicle.

These features can offer some extra peace of mind that might 't be found buying used elsewhere.

Cons of buying a rental car

Although there are quite a few positives, there's also drawbacks to using a car rental.

  • High mileage: Frequent drivers and long trips may outweigh frequent maintenance. Sky-high mileage accrued by renters could potentially mean more problems or a shorter lifespan for the vehicle.
  • Limited options: Along with this, buying a rental means a much more limited inventory available to shop. When the car rental company does not have the vehicle you would like available, you’re at a complete loss.
  • Basic features: The vehicles available do not typically come with all of the features some drivers are looking for. Many are basic models that will not have the luxury amenities other used cars may have.

The bottom line

If you compromise on the used car rental, do your research on typical vehicle pricing, run a vehicle history report and look for the fine print when examining rental vehicle websites — many offer deals or buy-back options. And, just like any car or truck, getting the vehicle signed off on by an independent mechanic can provide you with extra reassurance.

Related Posts