How to Buy a Used Car from a Rental Agency

Used cars

Here is some info I put together from a quick overview:

Pros

  • Fixed pricing
  • Well maintained
  • Often under warranty; extended warranties usually available
  • Prices can be lower because agencies buy vehicles in volume

Cons

  • Limited luxury and advanced safety options
  • Car already has wear and tear
  • Powertrain warranties often do not carry over from owner to owner

What to Do

  • Know the fair market value of a car you’re looking at. Compare used rental price with used private and used car dealer price
  • Ask for a vehicle history report or run VIN through SaferCar.gov to learn odometer, repair and recall history, flood damage, etc. (~$40 for more detail from private company)
  • Test drive the car and be aware of any issues or strange noises. Inspect for any wear and tear and body damage
  • Get a 3rd-party pre-purchase inspection (about $100; on-site or in garage). Don’t buy the car if the dealer doesn’t want this. DO THIS BEFORE FINAL NEGOTIATIONS
  • Negotiate cost of any repairs down from the original asking price