Buying cars that had been in rental fleets

Wouldnt be scared at all to buy a car from Avis or Hertz-Kevin

Buying a rental car from most companies wouldn’t bother me at all. I hate to publicly bash a company based on anecdotal evidence so I won’t mention their name except to say they’re a national chain and have 8 letters in their name.

A dealer I used to work for provided a lot of cars to this chain and we got back some real hack jobs at times. Even with a warrantable problem my assumption,right or wrong, was that it was more cost effective for someone in their facility to dink with it rather than spend man hours ferrying the cars back to us for a free, under warranty fix.

Every time I saw a repair order with their name on it the dread and disgust would set in because the odds were that it was going to be a butchered mess.

The prime, and worst, example was a Subaru rental car that had a measly 4k miles on it and “needed an engine overhaul”; which apparently they did.
Raising the hood instantly revealed a horror show…

While I’m not 100% positive on this, I think the rental chain scrapped the car.

The bad: People beat on rental cars, ignore warning lights, etc. While maintenance theoretically is supposed to be kept up on, I’ve gotten rentals with the “change oil” light on, and since the rental companies tend to dump the cars early too, there’s not necessarily any incentive for them to be meticulous.

The good: Major cost savings and if any problems came up, they were likely repaired already by the rental company–maybe a good thing when getting the bugs out of a car in its first model year.

Of the vehicles I’ve driven with oil change warning systems (which I admit aren’t many), I’ve never had a mechanic or service writer willingly reset the system when they’ve changed the oil. They usually rely on the customer to reset the system unless the customer insists they do it.


You must have run into the the cream of the crop . . .

When I worked at the Benz dealership, the customers would all come back cussing and raising hell if somebody forgot to reset the maintenance reminder.

Even now, as a fleet mechanic, the vehicle operators will come back and complain if a mechanic forgot to reset the oil change reminder in their beat up POS stakebed

Of course, some of my colleagues over the years weren’t very good readers and couldn’t find that section in the owner’s manual which explained how to reset the maintenance reminder . . .

If they can’t even find that information, how do you expect them to follow a trouble tree . . .

Ten years ago, my son had me drive him into the Hertz outlet in Chicago. We came back, same day, with a Mazda, I think Protege. He is still driving it, probably has close to 250,000 miles. Hertz showed us their rules on outlet cars. Any serious problems and they sold it out at auction, I think. Only those which gave good service and had all maintenance got outlet-ted. There were some nice cars. His had around 20,000 miles and I think cost around $10,000.

We would do it again, if Hertz still has outlets like that.

“When I worked at the Benz dealership, the customers would all come back cussing and raising hell if somebody forgot to reset the maintenance reminder.”

I think it is too much to expect a Mercedes driver to know how to reset anything or check the oil/coolant. Especially nowadays when most of them are leased. I think in the next few years the luxury car lines have to install remote gas tank monitoring and send attendants to owners’ houses to take their car for a gas fill.