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3 min read Published March 02, 2023
Authored by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers to navigate the ins and outs of securely taking out loans to buy cars. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to control their finances with precise, well-researched, and well-sourced facts that break down complicated subjects into digestible pieces. The Bankrate promise
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So, this compensation can impact how, where and in what order products appear in listing categories, with the exception of those prohibited by law for our mortgage, home equity and other home loan products. Other elements, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether or not a product is available in your area or at your personal credit score may also influence the manner in which products are featured on this site. Although we try to offer the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include the details of every credit or financial product or service. The majority of drivers use the rental car for holidays or when they are away- and for many it is also the means of obtaining the vehicle of their choice. While rental cars go through many drivers, they typically have extensive maintenance records and a low price tag. However, before you can leave the lot with one of these vehicles there are a few things to consider. How to buy the rental car As when you purchase any other new or used vehicle, buying a rental requires some homework before the purchase date. Budget Know the amount and the financing options that work best for your budget. Because rental cars are considered used vehicles, there’s plenty of financing options. Rates averaged a rate 10.26 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022. 10.26 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022 according to figures from . Keep in mind, however, that the is much more than the amount you see advertised online. Check websites like Edmunds as well as Kelley Blue Book (KBB). Both have breakdowns of expected maintenance and repair costs for a wide variety of vehicles. Compare cars The best resources to research rental cars to buy are Enterprise, Avis and Hertz. Go to their websites and see what is available in your region. Also, Edmunds and KBB can serve as a great guide. They can show you average prices in your area for the vehicle you are interested in. This way, you can ensure that the used car dealership is providing a fair price. And because rental cars have more wear and tear, check to see if you can go lower than the average to make up for potentially more expensive maintenance costs later on. Prequalify Once you have a vehicle in mind, apply for pre-approved financing. Although many rental agencies will offer financing options on their own, it’s best to always do your research so that you know you’re getting the best price. It also lets you plan your budget more precisely. When you know what you can afford to buy — and know the monthly cost of your purchase — you can shop to find the perfect fit to your budget. Examine the vehicle. Try a test drive, and see the car in person if you can, then seek out the car’s history report. This report will give you an details about any damages or prior ownership, as well as details about what’s under the under the hood. Because rental cars are used by a lot of drivers, they can rack up many miles. It is normal for the odometer to be high even with relatively new cars, so be sure to check when you purchase. In addition to the car’s history report, this will give you a full idea of how hard the car has been driven during the time it was rented. Check the warranty Finally inquire if the car is covered by a warranty is covered with the manufacturer’s warranty, and you may have the option of getting additional assurances from the rental firm. This could be a great idea even if your vehicle is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Extended warranties cover more common repairs and maintenance requirements. But they are an extra cost, so ensure you are aware of what they cover and if it makes sense before you sign up. Do rental cars make sense to purchase? As is the case with most things when it comes to buying a car it is important to consider the financial impact and the suitability for your lifestyle. Although rental cars are a bit of a bad rap, there is no guarantee the car you purchase isn’t abused similarly unless you personally know its background. Pros of buying a rental car Rental cars may have a bad reputation however there are several reasons why they could be an ideal fit for you. Warranties: Rental vehicles typically include a guarantee that lasts for about a year- even cars that are no longer covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty. Buy-back policies: Some rental car chains may offer a buy-back policy if you change your mind shortly after the sale. Well-maintained vehicles The car rental company should have had the car maintained and cleaned after every driver. This means that even with the more wear and tear on the vehicle you’re considering purchasing the vehicle has been inspected more than the typical used vehicle. These features can provide some additional assurance that could not be found in used vehicles elsewhere. Cons of buying a rental car Although there are quite many benefits, there’s negatives associated with using the rental vehicle. The high mileage of frequent drivers and lengthy trips could outweigh regular maintenance. The high mileage incurred by renters could lead to more issues or a less long life for your car. Limited options: Along with this, buying a rental is a lot more restricted in stock available to choose from. If the rental company does not have the vehicle that you are looking for in stock You’re out of the woods. Basic features: The cars are not usually equipped with of the features some drivers are looking for. A lot of them are basic and don’t come with the premium amenities other used cars might include. The key point to consider is that if you decide to go with a used rental car, do your research on typical vehicle prices, conduct a history report, and read the fine print when looking at rental car websitesMany offer discounts or buy-back options. As with any other used vehicle, having the vehicle signed off on through an experienced mechanic can give you extra peace of mind. Learn more
This article is written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers in navigating the details of borrowing money to buy a car. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances through providing concise, well-studied details that cut complicated topics into digestible pieces.
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