I am in the process of buying a used car now. Have looked into direct sales from Hertz and Avis. I am looking at a Toyota RAV4 and went and looked at one yesterday. It had one deep scratch on the hood so we passed but overall was a good condition car with 25K. I have 2 more to look at. It might be a bit of leg work, but I feel it these might not be more abused than a lease return car. I am saving close to $2K over dealer pricing.
Right now we have a rental Yaris/iA and it is a pretty decent commuter car. Gets 38 MPG with my wife driving, so you can’t do worse.
I think you might be able to get a decent deal looking into this option.