Save Money on Your Next Vehicle by Purchasing a Rental Car

Rental Car Availability

(Image from Flickr.com)

(Image from Emilio Labrador, Flickr.com)

Every year, rental car agencies sell the older vehicles in their rental fleets and restock with the newest models. Larry Lovejoy of Automobile Consumer Services Corp (ACS) states, “These cars can be a great deal for the average buyer. They have been well-maintained, so in essence you are buying a nearly-new car with no worries about mechanical problems. Furthermore, (if you buy a rental car from a car dealership) some dealers might extend the warranty for the full term or you can drive it under the balance of the warranty.” This means that every year rental car agents sell thousands of cars in great condition which are to be replaced by newer cars, either to private citizens or to dealerships that re-market the cars as “program” or “fleet” vehicles.

Rental Car Reliability

In order to keep customer satisfaction high and ensure repeat rentals from customers, a rental car agency must maintain their vehicles in optimal condition, both mechanically and physically. This means the drive train, interior and exterior are very well maintained on rental vehicles; after all, no agent wants to have a client stranded on the road with a break down or be unhappy because the power seats do not operate properly.

Each time a rental vehicle is returned to the agent, it is checked over with care and cared for with attention to detail to prepare it for rental by the next client. The engine and transmission are checked and any noises or noted problems are repaired. Periodic maintenance is performed on schedule including oil changes, transmissions fluid changes, radiator flushes and fills, wiper blade replacements, belt and tire replacements, windshield wiper fluid refills, antifreeze checks and fills, and brake adjustments or replacements. This quality of maintenance may not be performed by a private vehicle owner, resulting in a used car on the market which is in much poorer condition.

Interior and Exterior Maintenance

Often, private citizens fail to perform much-needed maintenance on the inside and outside of their vehicles. Rental agencies can’t afford this neglect. Their vehicles must appear as nearly new as possible so that people will want to rent them. This means that after each and every rental, a vehicle is detailed inside and checked for any wear and tear on seats and carpet. When problems appear, they are repaired before the minor damage becomes noticeable. Exterior dings are quickly repaired and the paint job is maintained by washing and waxing the vehicle in order to maintain a shiny, like-new appearance.

Where to Buy Rental Cars

Now that you understand why former rental cars are great buys, where do you locate those which are available for purchase? Lovejoy of ACS said, “(Used car) dealers like these cars because they can get them at low prices and sell them at a good profits.” Often you will find advertisements in the newspaper indicating special sales prices on “program” or “fleet” cars at a new car dealership’s used car lot or even at a dealership selling only used cars. The CarFax.com report on the vehicle will indicate that it was formerly a rental car. You can also contact rental car agencies directly to learn of any vehicles they have available for purchase. Some rental agencies advertise their available vehicles in newspapers and sell them directly to private buyers; often you can get the very best price by going directly to the rental car agency.

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