Buying a car from a rental company

i would definitely rather buying a new car but tight economical situation may require me a not too much used car. I recently noticed that enterprise and Hertz which are originally rental companies but also sell some of their fleet. If I happen to buy from them the car has to be 2012 or 2013 and less than 20k miles. I assume they maintain cars well and inspect the cars to be sold for potential problems.
What are your opinion about buying a car from these companies? Thank You.

I bought an ex-rental car (sold through a dealer), worked fine for me. You might check if they include maintenance records, all the better. I would stay away from ‘high performance’ rental cars, they may have been mistreated. But that also applies to any used car.

I believe your odds of getting a late model used car with a problem from the general marketplace are high, while your odds of getting a “stinker” from a rental fleet are a lot lower. Individuals who trade late model cars often do so becaues there is a problem. Rental agencies do to to maintain a modern fleet for their customer base.

I plan to buy a Sedan; Chevy Cruz or a similar car.

I used to travel a lot for work, as did many of my co-workers. Of the dozens that rented cars, only 2 or 3 abused them. I think you will be OK. Understand that all models of compact sedans will not be available. You can expect the least popular (least expensive as a fleet buy) to be most prevalent. Also, rental companies might feature certain brands. Hertz features Fords and Avis features GM. You will need to check the car thoroughly to make sure it is in excellent shape and has not been in an accident.

Enterprise has a good web site for you to search for a car and buy directly from them. Lots to choose from. You will find all major rental car companies have similar sites. Some people feel that drivers of rental cars are very hard on the cars. I’ve rented and drive the rental car just about the same as my own cars. I think most 4 door standard sedans have had regular oil changes and with 30K miles should really not have many problems. If the price is good, I’d buy from a rental company.

My Pontiac G6 was a rental from Boston bought through a dealer. Its been fine and was a lower price than a similar one through Enterprise sales. I don’t abuse rentals either. There are pluses and minuses. Yeah they would be maintained but the price you pay is about what they paid for it brand new (according to our former fleet manager). They trade them when the bumper to bumper warranty expires so you are not likely to have anything except the 50-100K drive train warranty. Also, you may have to go into a 2011. A low mileage current year rental return would be a question mark in my mind as to why. On the other hand, they would have been maintained, not enough miles on to really be beat up, and the options would be good to satisfy most renters and also boost resale.

In addition to car rental companies, leasing companies sell cars after they are returned. PHH manages fleets for large companies as an example. They have a sales lot in suburban Baltimore if you leve nearby.

@jtsanders, I plan to buy a car in Denver, CO. Do you know any center around that area?

I’d expect former rental cars to be a good bet. You may hear stories of them being abused by the renters who drove them. But think about it. If you are visiting a strange city on business, driving a rental car, are you really going to abuse the car and take the chance it will break down in the middle of a place you’ve never been before? You don’t even know where the nearest gas station is, let alone whether it is even safe to get out of the car. Abuse the rental car? I don’t think so. I expect rental cars are driven more conservatively than even owner driven cars.

PHH Arval has an office in Colorado. You might look it up on line or in your phone book. I don’t know if they sell off-lease cars there or not.

I think I would rather buy a rental car that was driven 15,000 miles by 500 different drivers where one driver drove the car hard than a 1 owner car driven hard for 15,000 miles.

I rented a car some years back from a national chain. It was washed and vacuumed before I got it.
However the radiator was half empty when I checked it.
A year later same chain, this time the oil life monitor showed zero.
Plus one tire had a nail in it.
The car was washed, and vacuumed nicely again.
Just my experience.