can a dealer sell u a rental car without telling you its a rental
Yes if being sold as used vehicle. There are no special laws regarding this.
Car-fax, or similar, will tell you if it was a rental.
We just bought a used car that started its life as a rental. No big deal, they usually maintain the cars well.
Yes, they can.
Rental car companies (Hertz, Avis, National Budget, etc.) maintain their cars well, and an obvious lemon they may get ocasionally will go to the auction, rather than wreck their record as a good source of used cars. Best to buy from them directly; the prices are way better than a dealer.
That may be the usual situation. I know a man who rents often on business trips. He is quite hard on the cars and has left several on the shoulder because he drove them into the ground. He’s a former motorcycle racer. What can you do?
Sometimes they are listed as program cars. If it has between 17,000 and 22,000 miles on it, you should think it’s a rental. I think they are putting more miles on them these days.
The same could be true for any late model used car. A private owner, or leaser, can thrash a car just as much as a renter. Most don’t, but there will always be a few. That’s part of the trade off to buying used, the risk of what the previous owner did to the car that may not be immediately obvious.
A used car dealer has no obligation to familiarize himself with the complete history of his cars. However, you can ask for a carfax report. It will show you the official history of the car.
I must say, though, that it really doesn’t matter to me if it was a rental car. Just like any used car, the evaluation it gets from my mechanic is more important than anything else. A privately-owned car is just as likely to have been abused as a rental car.