I have owned 2 used, previous rental cars. Both turned out to be excellent in longevity and reliability. I now have a chance to buy a used lease car that has had 4 owners (leasees) in the last 4 years. Does anyone have experience with the realiability of purchasing leased cars versus rental cars?
At least the leased cars got the right maintenance; who knows about leased cars.
You’ll have just about the same luck between private use, leased or rental. The best maintenance would likely be a certified by manufacturer(they verify maintenance logs/no accidents) or from a private owner you know and trust.
Still the best maintained may have the worse luck.
You’ve had good luck with ex-rentals, why not keep going with them?
Also, it depends partially on what kind of car you’re buying. A 4 owner sporty model (or sporty rental for that matter) was very likely abused. However, you may be able to get maintenance records for the ex-rental, you may not be able to with the off-lease cars.
I’m not clear how a lease car would have four leases in four years, that sounds unusual. However, I suspect that a fair number of the 3-4 year old used cars on dealer lots are actually lease returns. It seems to me that the biggest difference would be the type/quality of cars available. Most ex-rentals are likely to be lower end “fleet” type cars, while lease cars may be higher end cars. I think you have to look an a case-by-case basis.
Will the seller provide a warranty? If not, or the warranty period seems short, take the car to a mechanic you trust and get an inspection. Do this only if you intend to buy the car if it has no major flaws. My friend buys all his cars at a local auction. Most of these are off-lease cars, and are quite a bargain. He’s had good luck with them.
I guess that a Subaru Baja could be considered “Sporty,” but not high-end
Adding to my reply: Thanks for your previous reply, and to all the others. I got the “Previously Owned” fleet info from CARFAX, so cannot dispute the number of owners. The later reply about taking it to a mechanic before closing the deal is also a good one.
You sure those auction cars are not repo cars instead of off lease?
There could be repo’s, too. But this is a very large auction. It can’t be populated by repo’s only. And the state only allows certain cars on the consumer lane. You need a dealer’s license to bid on cars in the dealer lane.