Should You Buy a Car That was a Rental Vehicle?

If you’re in the market for a new car, you have a lot of options to consider. One of your decisions might be whether or not you should buy a car that was previously a rental vehicle. There are some pros and cons to this situation, with the following being just a few:

Pros of Buying a Rental Vehicle

Consider cost effectiveness. In many situations involving rental vehicles, the car isn’t very old, perhaps just a year or two. You can usually buy a newer model for a lower price because rental companies often obtain new cars at lower prices themselves. When they turn around to sell the car after only a year or two of use, they are able to make a profit, while still giving the buyer a good deal. 

Maintenance is also a pro. Most car rental companies keep a detailed record of the car’s maintenance history. When a rental vehicle is in an accident, the individual renting the car is typically responsible for repairs, so rental agencies make sure to keep their vehicles up-to-date on maintenance and service repairs. In order to keep their businesses running smoothly and with a good reputation, rental agencies know they need to keep their cars well-maintained at all times, and ensure periodic oil changes, tune-ups, and tire rotations. 

Cons of Buying a Rental Vehicle 

High mileage can be a disadvantage to consider. When looking for a used car, buyers generally look for one with low mileage. If you’re buying from a rental agency, it’s possible the mileage will be higher because of the nature of use.

Your options may be limited. Depending on which agency you buy from, the cars might all be pretty basic models. You could miss out on features such as quality sound systems, leather seats, sunroofs, and other fun extras and upgrades.

There could be quite a bit of damage. You may not fully understand prior damage done to the car when you buy from a rental company. Although most drivers will treat their rental as they would their own vehicle, there are some who are not as cautious as most. They might drive right over potholes, push the speed limit, and just be rough on the car altogether. Some inner damage may be undetectable until you have owned it for a short while and it suddenly presents itself.

While you weigh the pros and cons of buying a car that was previously a rental, understand that there are some things you can do in order to make a well-informed purchase. Having open communication with the rental agency management, asking to look over maintenance and repair logs, and having the car inspected before you purchase it will all help to ensure you make the right decision.