Buying a used rental car


I’m thinking of buying a used rental car from Enterprise. The advantages are low miles, maintenance records and some warranty. However, I am afraid that all the rental drivers may have beat the vehicle and it probably was not broken in properly. Anyone have experience in owning a used rental?


I have friends who have had good luck with them. They have always been pricey for me. I would not buy a sporty car from them, but most larger cars should have gotten decent treatment from the renters on business trips.


Buy it according to the fear. Keeps us out of a lot of trouble and worry. If the fear level is high, stay away. If it is low, test drive it. If the slightest thing is wrong with the way it handles, dial up that fear. Check Consumer Reports buying guide and if the predicted reliability is bad, then choose another model. Novice car buyers do better than experienced ones with a reliable guide. It should be a nice feeling putting on the first coat of wax that the car has ever seen.


I currently have a 97 Crown Vic that started life out as a rental. Mechanically, it’s in great shape, we had to replace a number of things, but that’s not abnormal for a 10 year old car with almost 220,000km on it (entire front suspension, steering shaft, brakes, intake manifold, and right now have a small exhaust hole.) But it doesn’t seem like it’s been abused - uses no oil, doesn’t leak anything, tranny’s fine, engine’s fine. Stay away from sporty cars, of course, but larger cars and minivans will likely have been treated relatively gently.


Hopefully there is a price factor(eg cheaper) over other non-rental cars motivating your purchase. If there is a price advantage simply way this against your fear factor.


I purchased a 1988 Ford Taurus that had been a rental car back in the Fall of 1988. It had 8000 miles and I had the balance of the warranty. This was a great car. We had no major problems. Unfortunately, at 100,000 miles, it was hit head on by a driver who got out of her lane and the car was considered a total loss. I currently own a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander that I purchased last year that was called a “program” car, so it may have been a rental. At the time, it had 15,000 miles on the odometer. I have doubled the miles on the car and had no problems.

I’ve driven rental cars on many occasions and I drive them as carefully as I do my own vehicles. I think most people do the same. The money I have saved by not purchasing a brand new vehicle has been substantial.